When trying to connect with diverse communities it’s important to remember that not all diverse communities are the same. Each community is different, has different sporting interests and different approaches to playing the same sports. The way you go about establishing relationships with one community will be different to another community. Different communities may face different barriers to accessing sport.
Here are some tips that can guide your connections with diverse communities.
Identify your target community
Try to identify who you target audience is for each programme and focus on delivering to that target groups specific needs.
- Get to know your surrounding community’s ethnic make-up by looking at demographic data from the census or your local schools enrolment data. How does this compare to your membership base?
- Get specific about who you are targeting. Create personas. What community are they from? How old are they? What sports do they enjoy?
- Be clear about why you are trying to connect with this particular community. What challenges do you think this community face?
- Agree on what it is you are trying to achieve with this community. Be prepared to revisit and review these objectives once you’ve connected with the community.
- Do all this before you start to plan your programme!
Establish connection points
Identifying key connection points within your target community will help you build a range of relationships across your target audience.
These relationships will provide a strong foundation for all programme development.
- Identify key organisations connected with within your target community. An overview of community organisations is provided in the Connecting with Diversity Toolkit.
- Identify ways to connect with your target audience, such as key community events, or specific ethnic media channels.
- Think about working with your Local Authority’s Community Development team – do they know any key leaders connected to your target community?
- Try to remember to connect with your community at all levels – with community support organisations, with representatives and with individual community members themselves.
- It helps to learn more about the community you are trying to connect with before you approach them – or get help from someone who really understands that community. There are lots of sport and diversity resources out there that can help. For example Harbour Sport have specific tools for connecting with Asian Communities.
- Once you know a little bit more about your target community think about the best way to communicate with them. Would face-to-face work better than email or phone calls?
- Keep in mind community’s change and disperse. Networks and relationships built up over time can diminish or disappear if contacts move overseas or to other areas. You can manage this risk by trying to develop a range of contacts and not relying on one representative.
- Be prepared for these connections to take time – but know the effort is worth it.
External Links Resource
You might like to check out our External Links resources where you can:
- Learn more about where to access demographic data to get to know your community.
- Discover some of the key media channels available for targeted ethnic communications.
- Identify key organisations connected with your target community.
- Read about some more amazing sport and diversity resources.