California Watch’s stories about earthquake safety problems in schools reached hundreds of thousands of people through a statewide network of radio, TV and newspaper partnerships.
But the ones most affected by nonprofit news agency’s investigation were the ones least likely to read it — children.
That’s where Ashley Alvarado comes in. Her job as California Watch’s public engagement manager is figuring out how to deliver information to the audiences who need it most but are hardest to reach. This means that her techniques have to be as unique as the diverse communities that she’s targeting.
With the earthquake safety story, the solution was putting information in a kid-friendly format — coloring books. And not just in English, but also in Spanish, Vietnamese and both simplified and traditional Chinese, the most spoken languages in California.
California Watch had planned to print 2,000 copies, but the demand quickly exceeded that. By the time the outreach campaign ended in June, California Watch published 36,000 coloring books and distributed them for free. Read more