Get inspired

Your organisation can contribute to help people with literacy difficulties in many ways. Organising a literacy event is a great way to make people more aware of the impact of literacy difficulties.

 Here are steps that may help you organise your event.

1. What is your aim?

Knowing what you are aiming for with your event is a good way to clarify for yourself what kind of event you want to organise. What goal are you attempting to reach? Or what is your desired outcome? Your aim can be broad and abstract.

Example:
The overall aim might be to raise awareness of the issue of literacy difficulties in your region, and to give the audience something tangible that they can do to help address this issue. 

2. Who are you targeting?

When planning an event, it is important to think about which audience you want to target. The key messages, the methods you use and the call to action may differ depending on the audience. You can think of audiences such as policy makers, intermediaries (teachers, librarians, social workers, healthcare professionals, employers or family and friends), the general public, children and adolescents or people with literacy difficulties themself.

Example:
Target social workers in the role they can play in helping their clients to start following a literacy course.

3. What are your objectives?

What do you want to achieve? It is important to break down your overall event aim into smaller objectives. Try to formulate these ‘SMART’:

  • Specific – Each objective should be clear and unambiguous, rather than general and vague.
  • Measurable – Each objective should include some sort of indicator that will allow you to be able to measure progress.
  • Achievable – It is important that each objective is realistic and attainable.
  • Relevant – It is important to choose objectives that are relevant to the campaign.
  • Time-based – It is important to have target dates for each objective to establish a sense of urgency.

Example:
Motivate, inform and train 10 social workers to be aware of potential literacy difficulties among their clients and support them in starting to talk about this with their clients.  

4. What is your key message and call to action?

In order to have a successful event, it is important to have a clear key message and a concrete call to action. The following ELINET key message could prove useful in explaining your event; ‘It is not acceptable that 1 in 5 Europeans are hampered in being active citizens because of literacy difficulties. It is a problem that affects all age groups, crosses generation and impacts all aspects of daily life. Luckily, given the right support, almost everyone is able to develop adequate literacy skills. And you can be a part of it.’ A call to action might be ‘sign our petition’, ‘share our film on your social media’ or ‘share your story as a literacy learner’.

In order to have a successful event, it is important to have a clear key message and a concrete call to action. How do you want to talk about who your organization is, what your event entails and what you aim for? Make sure these key points are communicated consistently. Also think about a concrete call to action: what do you want your audience to do?

Example:
The following ELINET key message could prove useful in explaining your event; ‘It is not acceptable that 1 in 5 Europeans are hampered in being active citizens because of literacy difficulties. It is a problem that affects all age groups, crosses generation and impacts all aspects of daily life. Luckily, given the right support, almost everyone is able to develop adequate literacy skills. And you can be a part of it.’

A call to action might be ‘sign our petition’, ‘share our film on your social media’ or ‘share your story as a literacy learner’. 

5. What is your budget?

The budget you have limits the possibilities you have in the organisation of your event. Think about time that needs to be invested in planning and arranging, but also about the funding of materials, venues and hiring of speakers.

Example:
If you have a limited budget, make use of materials already existent in your organisation or your network. Ask people to volunteer at your event. Host your event at public locations such as schools, libraries, museums, town halls or outside.

6. What will be your event?

Following the previous step, you can think about the specific event you want to organise. Here are some suggestions:  

  • A language game day
  • A reading aloud contest
  • A writing competition
  • A Readathon
  • Host a speaker
  • An event at a special location: museum of printing or indoor aquatic centre
  • An exhibition on everybody's favourite children´s book
  • Ask VIP’s to read out loud at schools
  • Create a magazine with language puzzles and information
  • Start a petition and hand it over to a minister
  • Set a record (like: having the highest number of fathers reading out loud)
  • A comic drawing contest;
  • A literacy gaming event (for instance XXL Scrabble)
  • A book flashmob
  • A book-casting contest (like: Voice of ….)

Are you interested in a more thorough guideline for running a local awareness-raising campaign? You can find it here.