Communications Committee
August 2004 - Biloxi, MS
August 30, 2004

Princess Gordon-Patton, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1 p.m., Monday, August 30, 2004.

Robin Adams
Debbie Archer
Carla Craycraft
Princess Gordon-Patton
Frankie Gould
Tom Knecht
Virginia Morgan
Gloria Mosby
Sharon Omahen
Kizzy Payton
Garvin Quinn
Bob Reynolds
Ellen Ritter
Dee Shore
Don Stotts
Carol Whatley
Fran Wolak (liaison)
Ashley Wood.

New members were asked to provide name, title, institution, e-mail, telephone and mailing address for inclusion on the listserv and other communications.

Reports - Carla Craycraft, Gloria Mosby

  • Need standard form and look for marketing for CECP. Need consistency before project grows; also need to have consistency in listing of authors and institutions.
  • Possible need for PLN logo; project for plan of work for December PLC.
  • PLN will be held next year in South Carolina Aug. 28-Sept. 1.
  • Possible partnership with Dept. of Energy with money for Extension.
  • e-Extension operating on calendar basis.
  • Task Force Updates -- Need leadership training for people who want to move into leadership role -- possible Nebraska model.
  • FCS committee sending out marketing and image survey in Sept.

CECP - Frankie Gould and Ellen Ritter
Extensive discussion concerning CECP module design, preparation, resources required for CECP to succeed and communications role such as degree of support and at what point Communications should become involved.

  • Need to increase adoption and use; excellent approach at reducing redundancy in providing information and instruction internally and externally.
  • Discussed the 2004 Update CECP; need to decide what we're content to launch this year and prepare to develop for next year; will need be revised on annual basis. Basic Guide for CECP Module Development Teams -- recommends going to CECP site as it is more detailed than fact sheets. Both 2004 Update and Basic Guide for CECP modules are available as pdf.
  • Will need to set up review in communications and sunset date to make sure information is current.
  • Added challenge: lack of instructional designers for overall CECP project.
  • Two issues--resources and how to define CECP projects--should be part of regular process and regular workflow.
  • Several points and questions regarding CECP:
    • Concern that Communications is not staffed adequately to meet needs of CECP if it becomes priority of directors; directors may not be fully aware of resources required to make the project a success.
    • What would directors be willing to take off the table if CECP is a priority?
    • Would Communications benefit by having full on-line basic communications course that every agent should take toward masters; do we get credit for team teaching, of course?
    • Needs to be incentive for faculty members to become involved in CECP module to get academic credit.
    • Next phase is to set up review procedures to make sure modules are CECP certified and interface with e-Extension.
    • Ron Brown recommended administrative advisor for CECP group.
    • Steering committee is final stop in quality control; on Web site more elaborate than in sheet handed out at meeting; not cut in stone.
    • Need JAVA programmer to provide interactivity to modules.

Communications Modules Under Design

  • Tom Knecht showed media module; invited those in communications to go to site and review and make recommendations; question of intellectual property; need to answer question on how to store video files.
  • Carla Craycraft showed draft of working with the media module and sought input.
  • Ellen Ritter discussed marketing module. Used resources and material from various sources in compiling piece. Asked for volunteers to review, proofread, edit, and make recommendations on content and design.
  • The discussion turned to what is the "vision" on how a module might look, what it might contain. What should go into a module? How should it be made interactive? What components should go into the media?
    • In the marketing module, for example, should it include case studies or success stories of marketing?
    • A module might include brief videos of administrators, agents, specialists and communicators talking about the importance of marketing to their programs or areas of responsibility of module I.
    • Perhaps the module should include a reference section.
    • Need to provide guidelines on how to reduce size of video; some suggested allowing the visitor options on speed.
Action Items
  1. Tom Knecht moved that officers identify four individuals within Communications to review each module. Ellen Ritter seconded. Approved.
  2. Identified modules for development for '05 meeting:
    • Intellectual Property or Copyright, Tom Knecht
    • Accountability or Impact
    • Newsletters, Ashley Wood
  3. Anyone interested in proposing or submitting logo for PLN, send to
August 31, 2004

Princess Gordon-Patton called the meeting to order at 8:15 a.m.

Identifying needs and building relationships with Hispanic/Latino communities - Frida Bonaparte and Cynthia Knowlton, with Bill Watson.

Introduction by Tom Knecht

States in Southern Region have seen increase in the Hispanic population. Mississippi and contiguous states have been meeting via telephone to discuss connecting to Hispanic/Latino audiences.

  • Frida Bonaparte has been working to reach Hispanic audiences in Mississippi. She discussed her approach:
    • Review of Mississippi census to determine Hispanic demographic in each county and identified four main regions where Hispanics are concentrated, where they originate and the industries that tend to employ them, such as furniture building, poultry, casinos and construction. Hispanic population in Mississippi is not as homogenous as anticipated.
    • Identifies community leaders and works with them.

  • Cynthia Knowlton is a 4-H regional agent. She works more with local Hispanics rather than statewide.

  • Bill Watson is involved in the production of Spanish-language materials and in translation from English to Spanish. Also, very much involved in Extension en Espanol, a Web site that contains numerous publications in English and Spanish.

Report of Bonaparte, Knowlton and Watson focused on barriers, challenges and solutions in reaching Hispanic audiences.

  • Must find community leaders; in most instances male.
  • Language is a major barrier, especially for adults.
  • Municipalities have difficulty recognizing and working with Hispanics. Many Hispanics feel unwelcome in schools, communities; must find a way for inclusion.
  • Hispanic immigrants tend not to trust government officials and so cannot see Extension as a government program, but as part of the university; there is respect in Hispanic community for education and educators.
  • There is a challenge of defining needs through leaders of each community. Work with Chambers of Commerce and job agencies to refer people from and to those organizations. Get local leaders to understand Hispanics do impact local community. Male-oriented group.
  • Need to find activities for children such as soccer, dances, activities that match their cultural experiences.
  • This group is not always literate.
  • Need to network among experts to take care of particular areas. Example: teaching Hispanics to learn how to gain access to services and agencies.
  • Need to expend energy and time in building relationships. Hispanics have experience with organizations and groups that have come in to help and then leave or disappear.
  • 4-H is an excellent program for reaching Hispanic families.
  • Important to get involved with agents in county to determine if there is program for Hispanics.
  • Should not look at as issue of Hispanics, but of being inclusive with all groups, such as Vietnamese, Asians, Hispanics and so forth.

Extension en Espanñol

  • Challenge for Extension nationwide is providing Spanish-language materials; monolingual English speakers feel comfortable accessing and providing to monolingual Spanish speakers on important issues, such as clean water, nutrition, safe food.

  • Extension does not need to translate everything, but content that matches well with audience needs.

  • Printed material for Hispanics needs to become more graphically oriented, with less text.

  • While there are dialects, there is a standard Spanish just as there is standard English. Choose vocabulary; figure prime audience and determine favorite language.

  • Most translators charge by word count of English. Figure high of 20 cents per word, won't be off base very much. Doesn't take into account the proofing, review, content and field-testing of publication and "road test" first.

  • People need to write in English in a manner to make translations easier. Short, declarative sentences with few modifiers. Avoid metaphors, jargon and complex sentence structures. If you must use a particular term that cannot be translated, then the translation must explain the word. Translator needs to capture tone of informal "friendly" vs. formal. Informal can be insulting.

  • Acronyms do not work because built on English.

  • Units of measure need to be sensitive to unit of measure more familiar with other nations to make the relationship. Give alternative so Spanish reader can understand measurement.

  • In a document put English and Spanish side by side or front and back. Graphics on side by-side or front and back is difficult. Graphics have to be carefully chosen.

  • Need to be cognizant of cultural considerations. Can get help from bilingual specialists.

    Extension en Espanñol - The Web Site

  • Through Extension en Espanñol, hope to collect and share Spanish-language materials via Web.
    • Base concept was to have national brand and allow anyone anywhere in Extension to access material.
    • National clearinghouse of Spanish-language publications.
    • Number one audience is the county agent and specialists, providing them resources they can use in educational program.
    • Authorship and institutional sourcing stays with the document, but logo does not stay with document.

  • Working on job-posting area on Extension en Espanñol Web site. Provides links to other sites such as Texas Cooperative Extension to Social Security to Med-line. Feedback button to give those involved ideas on what's needed and/or response. Still in promotion of site. The listserv will provide quarterly reports. Nineteen land-grant institutions participating.

  • Provides link to participating institutions that have materials in core collection of materials.

  • Contacts: lists of individuals who can provide services for translations.

  • Lists new publications along with authors/reading level/institution.

  • Has links to Hispanic organizations that serve Hispanic community; avoids political or agenda-driven sites.

  • Reference section, major language references.

  • Major holidays and events for Hispanic nations.

  • Material for diversity to assist in working with Hispanic clientele: Extension print, audio, governmental resources, etc.

  • Good source of materials on child development that came out of California.

  • Looking to fill holes in 4-H.

Communications' role in e-Extension
Dan Cotton, National Director, discussed e-Extension and invited a visit to the e-Extension site; business plan has been written that includes budget plan; from business plan, a structure was started with governing committee, which is an entity on ECOP. The core group of four employees is in place.

  • e-Extension vision compilation of Extension resources and information for access to best content available; "communities of practice," which emerge out of "content teams" that would draw upon best information available throughout Extension system. There will be content and information provided by Communications and through IT.
  • Content teams will be formed and operate to gather information.
  • Need to find solution(s) to compilation of national source of information and knowledge but "rendered" through local county and state sites that maintain local viability. Need to build national presence while building county and state presence.
  • If want to compete in marketplace of knowledge must be on cutting edge in use of technology, but cost becomes problematic in making this happen at state level.
  • Directors will meet in February to discuss prototype and look. Certain aggregation of content--will have to go out there and get, says Dan.
  • RFPs have to be put out for content teams. Must develop image of what looks like. Interest at Dept of Energy in partnering, with potential funding from dept. for Extension.
  • Build prototype and RFPs. Horse Quest, beef, food safety information from Iowa; need to show and tell and give different "skin." Perhaps see RadioSource as being an early resident on the e-Extension Web site.

Combined IT and Communications

  • What resources are needed to support CECP?
  • IT went through exercise of determining fiscal resources needed to fully support. Communications had discussion of how CECP will be worked into the work requirements. Administrators may look at groups and see more resources than what's readily available. Disconnect between directors and IT/Communications.
  • Consensus is not sure directors understand the resources and personnel necessary to adequately support, to include personnel, software, hardware.
  • IT/Communications must inform directors what time was required for completion of a module and CECP. Need to translate for directors the personnel and time required to complete a project in CECP. Another message is that states are not adequately staffed in order to complete the projects coming at IT/Communications.
  • Where are subject matter people coming from? Where are IT/Communications people coming from? What is each state doing to meet expectations? Needs to be a multi-state accounting that includes possible MOUs between states in development of CECP.
  • On-going project, IT has been reviewing Web-conferencing products for Southern Region. Not done with project, but will continue working on the project and will return for funding requirements.

Action Items -- Communications
Gloria Mosby nominated Debbie Archer for secretary, seconded by Bob Reynolds. Debbie Archer was elected secretary for FY'05.

Assignments for FY'05
Annual Plan of Work (Must be filed by December):

  1. Work will continue on the following modules, with the intent of reporting back to PLN Communications Team at the 2005 meeting.
    • Media Relations
    • Marketing Extension Programs
    • Newsletters
    • News Writing
    • Writing for Accountability and Impact
    • Copyright
    • Implement Review Process
  2. Logo design for PLN -- October 15 for submission; logos will be distributed via e-mail. Meeting will be set for third Wednesday afternoon of the month, quarterly. First meeting 2 p.m. (Central Standard Time) Wednesday, Nov. 17.
  3. Begin process of internal marketing of e-Extension and CECP--Communications taking direction from e-Extension directors--Need success stories.
September 1, 2004

Report from PLC reps.
Carla: Should provide report on time/personnel needed to support CECP and e-Extension.

Gloria: Announced the PLC meetings -- October 16, telephone; December, face-to-face.

State Reports
State reports covered a variety of subjects.

Recommendation: Select single topic for next year's state reports. Example: Discussion about magazines only and have examples for fuller discourse. Give subject notice to folks in advance. Perhaps different areas; organize by topic rather than by state.