Finding meaningful and creative ways to partner with the community and capitalize on opportunities

June 20, 2017

kim krueger, Marketing and Communications Manager, the whole person

Kim’s passions reside in the world of creativity. It is at the core of how she thinks, approaches challenges and lives her life. She is constantly inspired by the stories her co-workers share about the work they do each day for The Whole Person’s consumers. “The people I work with at TWP are smart creative thinkers…they are passionate and kind,” she says. “I push myself to continually produce pieces that showcase the work we do each day to celebrate independent living for people with disabilities.”

Prior to joining The Whole Person, Kim was the creative director for an ad agency specializing in print and online yellow page advertising. In addition to her work at TWP, Kim is a freelance graphic designer, paper artist, community volunteer, workshop instructor and photographer. She has served as a volunteer designer for Project Equality, Johnson County Christmas Bureau, Covenant Network and Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.

5 MAIN TAKEAWAYS

Talk to your co-workers. Have one-on-one conversations with co-workers to learn who they are connected to, what community organizations they follow and support, and where/who they think you should connect to. Listen to their ideas and tap into their creativity to spark ideas for initiatives to build your presence in the community.

Be curious. Attend every free marketing, networking event and webinar you can. These are great outlets to learn tips and tricks from the professionals who, like you, live the marketing life. I have come away with many “ah-ha” moments and ideas that have catapulted our marketing efforts into areas I hadn't previously considered. If you aren’t using Canva for Work (canva.com), stop reading this and go there now!

Find great vendors and stick with them. We’ve developed relationships with our vendors, and they stand by us and support what we are doing through sponsorships, donations and involvement in our community events. Never take those relationships for granted, and be sure they know what is going on with your organization outside of that 4-color postcard or branded post-it notepad. They are untapped ambassadors whose connections can foster volunteers, lead you to community outreach events, and introduce you to people who do not know about your mission.

Become a resource. Offer to share your expertise with other community partners and engage in dialogue that impacts how they execute their mission. The Whole Person wants to extend our knowledge about accessibility, people-first language and employment opportunities for people with disabilities (and more) to any business in Kansas City. We know that welcoming people with disabilities means being more welcoming to everyone. Inclusion and diversity are programs many businesses and organizations are focusing on, and we want to be a part of those conversations.

Have a presence on all social media platforms (maybe). Understand which social networks are best for engaging your organization’s audience, and make sure you monitor those networks closely to support the 2-way communication people expect. We make sure to be part of the conversation on the social media platforms where we know our consumers and supporters are, but have an account on other platforms just so we have secured our name there. It is important to look at your messaging with fresh eyes and measure whether the exposure on a certain platform really makes sense for your mission.