Empower Young Men: “Have Volunteers Reach through Their Social Networks”

>>Susan, given your purview,
I’d like to actually hear from you on this, what have you
seen in terms of some effective and creative recruitment
approaches?>>Well, I think that’s
two approaches of the best. One is that if you have
a group of volunteers who we call core group, having them reach throughout
their social networks and think about all their friends from
different parts of their lives who are young gay men, young MSM
and reach to those guys and try to bring them into the project, bring them to the
small group part of it, bring them to volunteer, and
so forth, so that’s one way. The second way is why
empowerment uses social activities and a full
range of social activities because we know that if we
have a lot of different kinds of things that attract different
guys and we got publicity out there about them, then
guys will come to those things. And once they are there, then
you can get them to sign in, you can get their contact
information, you can get them on to a facebook page, you can
tweet them, you can text them. And so, this idea of putting
on, arrange different kinds of activities whether
it’s a sports activity, whether it’s a job trainings
activity, how to write resumes, a big dance party, all these
things will attract different kinds of guys, and from that you
get their contact information to get them more
involved in the project.>>So, having a variety
of activities that will interest them.>>That’s right.>>That will have, you know,
provide some incentive for them to come in the first place.>>Right and very, very
different kinds of activities, don’t all use the same
thing all the time.>>All right, right. Yeah, this demands
creativity definitely.>>Yeah.>>Grey [assumed spelling],
could you speak to that as well, particularly, you had talked
about this and your concern around reaching again
the younger men.>>Yeah, I mean, I think it
is important that projects, you know, use the same kinds
of communication channels that the youth are
using themselves so that if your target population is
on facebook, then you want to have a really strong
facebook presence. If your target population is–
I mean, all youth are texting and so, you know, projects have
used programs like Tatango just in doubt mass text
messages to their– to the people on their list. Also, it is important that you
know we not totally abandon other kinds of publicity
strategies as well, you know, even though, you know, people
are using facebook and Twitter and texting, you also still
want to have print materials that you know, guys can
pass out to other friends, invitations that are attractive. You might want to have flyers at
coffee shops, at clothing stores that are popular with the
population, any kinds of venues where guys are going
that they have the– that they can find information
about your projects there. I think sometimes
using HIV testing sites to recruit participants is
really important that you know, to make sure that where
the youth are going for testing is also where
they’re going to see a flyer for the project or pick
up a card, that counselors and faith community leaders,
you know, who are open and affirming will or health
care providers, you know, will know about your project and
being able to refer the youth into the intervention as well.

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