Projects

Program Communications

End Date: 01/31/06

Objectives

Increase awareness of Sea Grant research, extension, and education efforts among various Mississippi and 
Alabama constituent groups—resource managers, legislators, media, commercial and recreational 
fishermen, scientists, students, teachers, etc—using a variety of communications tools and avenues. 
b) By the end of Year Two, the Communications Program will have made modifications to its web site which results in a 20 percent increase in the number of visitors over its current monthly numbers (1100 visits/month). 
c) Develop new Communication products/campaigns for MASGC’s Communications Program by initiating new communications efforts. These “tools” usually are developed based on new concerns or needs that arise in the bi-state area and require Communications input as part of the strategy to address them. 
d) Start building up more professional “credits” by becoming more involved in local, regional and national professional associations. To this end, the Communications Program will increase the number of competitive submissions in writing/editing, publication design, web design, and communication campaigns to media competitions run by national professional associations. 
e) The Communications Program will acquire new outside funding that will account for at least 10 percent of its overall budget by the end of this budget year. These funds will come through new grants and other income opportunities that the Communications Coordinator acquires. 

Methodology

The communications program staff will achieve the above objectives by effectively using its time, talent, and experience to: 1) strengthen ties with media and other communications contacts in Mississippi and Alabama coastal communities, at member institutions and their communities, and with government agencies and grassroots organizations; 2) modify the MASGC web site so that it’s more useful, appeals to a larger number of visitors, and is promoted more aggressively on search engines; 3) working with MASGC Management Team in deciding what new concerns or issues need to be addressed with special communications products or efforts; 4) participating in professional journalism associations and submitting MASGC Communications Program products into available merit competitions; and 5) investigating funding opportunities that could leverage new funding for the Communications Program. 

Rationale

Initiated in 1986, the MASGC Communications Program has made great strides in fulfilling ongoing communications needs of the Consortium. However, with changing strategic goals and objectives of the Consortium, the Communications Program is needed to transfer new research information to appropriate stakeholders, educate and inform the general public about changes in marine-related issues, and initiate new programs and products that promote the conservation and wise use of coastal resources in the bi-state area.