By Paul R. Pace, News staff
There are literally 100 ways social workers can take part in National Professional Social Work Month this March.
Visitors to SocialWorkMonth.org can view the suggestions that are conveniently grouped in 10 categories: Students; Entertainment; Profession; Social; Media; Publications; Research; Events; Partners; and Advocacy.
The 100 ways list was designed to spice up the annual March celebration with novel approaches alongside time-honored methods.
“We want social workers to think about doing one thing this year to increase public awareness about what they do,” said Gail Woods Waller, NASW communications director. “We are encouraging direct interaction with people who may not know much about the profession.”
The list offers tips per area of interest. “For example, in the students section, there are ideas and tools for exposing young people to social work,” Waller said. “We hope hundreds of social workers will agree to make a career day presentation in a local school this spring.”
In the social category, the list offers “Blog about your best experiences as a social worker” and “Post the annual Social Work Month logo to your online profile.”
A popular resource also is available that provides professional background information and tools for a successful Social Work Month promotion campaign.
Available at SocialWorkMonth.org, the toolkit provides materials that highlight the value of the profession with informative talking points, social work experts, government proclamations and more.
Last year’s toolkit proved to be a hit with more than 140,000 visitors, Waller noted.
“The number of people who visited and downloaded materials through the online toolkit increased by 40 percent over the previous year,” she said.
In an effort to help those in the media accurately represent social workers in news stories, NASW has taken a proactive approach to working with media partner organizations and journalists.
Aiding this effort is the second NASW Media Awards. Throughout February, members will have an opportunity to vote on award nominations that highlight quality representations of social work and issues important to social workers through print, broadcast and digital content. The contest is conducted through NASW’s social work media blog, www.SocialWorkersSpeak.org and NASW’s Facebook page.
Winners in each of the 11 categories will be announced in March: documentary, feature film, TV news program, reality TV program, TV entertainment program, magazine article, newspaper article, column, radio segment, single topic blog and website.
Last year, more than 750 social workers and others voted for award nominees. Winners in 2012 included an episode of ABC’s popular hospital drama “Grey’s Anatomy.”
On a positive side note, SocialWorkersSpeak.org, which is managed by Greg Wright, senior public relations specialist at NASW, won the 2012 Gold Award in the Best Use of Digital/Social in a Public Affairs/Awareness Campaign by the Bulldog Reporter.
The organization supplies news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals.
According to the Bulldog Reporter, contest entries are judged by working journalists and winners receive more coverage, publicity and visibility than with any other PR industry program.
From the February 2013 NASW News