Reaching Beyond “Outreach”

| May 13, 2010

“Outreach” is an abused term: overused, exploited, and misunderstood. The idea that there is one type of outreach, or a single method for a single product, is obviously absurd. But from politician’s “community outreach efforts” to those of big corporations “giving back through outreach,” it becomes clear that genuine human interaction is the key to a successful connection, whether deemed an “outreach effort” or not.

As the rest of the team and I have begun to talk to people about Pressible, it is clear that we all have our own methods and strategies when it comes to explaining what we’re building and why we think it’s radically different (and just plain rad). Different approaches to different people is an obvious strategic inevitability, but it goes even further than that. Accurately sensing your audience’s needs–what they need to hear about Pressible or any Service X–is the only way that your outreach will have any sustained impact after you’ve stopped talking.

After months in the Lab, thinking and planning and prepping for Outreach efforts to begin full force, this recent reminder of the humanness of service is an important call to action (at least for me). Etymologically speaking, I have no idea when or why people starting using the term “outreach,” but I imagine it has something to do with the handshake that begins a long-lasting working relationship. Every handshake is different, as is every need. To read needs and to offer a hand–that is the kind of service I hope to help Pressible provide.