WHAT I LEARNED: 1. The guest for my next “CAL Chat” podcast show (Episode #7) chose this booklet, “The Best of Public Outreach” (item # P-90), as his favorite outreach piece. I’ll be posting that episode soon at calchatpodcast.com, but wanted to get my review in this blog first. This hardcopy booklet was originally printed in 2000 & it came in a folder with pockets. It was subtitled: “A ‘How to Workbook’ for Public Outreach Service Activities” & was a huge success. So much so that, per page 72 of the “2000 World Service Conference Summary” (item # P-46), it made 3 other outreach kits obsolete: Interim PI, Institutions, & CPC kits (item #’s K-3, K-S, K-15) so the World Service Office discontinued them. Then, in 2012, the booklet became available online only. Click this link for the free download version of “The Best of Public Outreach” from 2012. It still says it was last updated in March of 2012, but certain parts of it have actually been updated very recently such as the new “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism 2017” (item # N/A) outreach magazine (on page 18) & the road sign posters available with different backgrounds (on page 26).
2. I’m glad they updated the booklet! The newer version seems more comprehensive, less gender-specific, & references current media avenues. For instance, there is less emphasis on mailing items, using the phone book & fax machines, plus it doesn’t mention leaving literature in “canteens” or suggest outreach meetings that sound more like Tupperware parties with the recommendation to plan ahead & make “arrangements for a babysitter” (page 10). (I guess that’s good for a glimpse of how Al-Anon used to be.) I also learned that because the “Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism” outreach magazines didn’t start up until 2007, special September issues of The Forum magazine were given out instead!
3. I’m familiar with Al-Anon as a fellowship, but this service tool talks about Al-Anon as a resource. It stresses the importance of outreach projects mainly to professionals to improve Al-Anon’s name recognition & credibility, but it also has plenty of ideas for simpler outreach ideas to non-professionals. One idea I liked, that was a small thing, is from page 19: “March 4th – ‘Leave Al-Anon literature’ on Lois W.’s birthday.” I’ve already marked it on my calendar to make sure I do some type of outreach on that particular day. …Because doing public outreach service doesn’t have to be a big undertaking… it’s just planting a seed. 🌱
4. And almost last, but not least, it talked about the public service announcements that are available to watch on the main Al-Anon website. They’re at: www.al-anon.org/media-kit/public-service-announcements. There are 2 versions for TV, each 30 seconds long & they were interesting to see!
5. I have 3 favorite lines from this piece:
From page 4: “It is Al-Anon/Alateen policy to interpret Tradition Eleven to include the Internet, as well as all forms of evolving public media.”
From page 9 (of the hardcopy booklet from 2000): “First make it fun & they will come!”
From page 39: “Remember to communicate with the various service levels about successes—and even ‘flops’.”
**BONUS: To see the full-size pic below of this item at the finish line, please visit: www.instagram.com/CALChatFan1.