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Monday, May 18, 2015

Results of Community Based Team Projects


by Annette Popernik, Adam Klauss, Bryan Boccelli, and Danielle Binder

What?

La Línea is a helpline dedicated to the Spanish speaking and immigrant community of Champaign-Urbana. Since 2010, La Línea has served the diverse Latino community by helping with advocacy, translation, referrals, etc. As a team, we focused our attention on developing their Facebook page. Our goal was to communicate with and inform the community of various opportunities and resources as well as expand the reach and activity of La Línea’s Facebook posts. From the start, we decided we wanted to have a general layout of what we would post each day, week by week to have similar themes but to also make sure that our posts were varied enough. On Mondays, we posted about various events happening in the local community, from community gatherings and La Línea fundraisers to educational events like DACA Workshops and Health Fairs. On Wednesdays, as a form of empowerment, we informed them about Latinos making national news. Lastly, on Fridays, we posted information about agencies and organizations that can help with a variety of problems including healthcare, immigration rights, domestic violence, etc. With our strategy we were able to promote La Línea and the services we provide but also involvement in the community, empowerment, and education. We often followed our schedule but sometimes added a post in between or diverted from the theme for that day. We realized the need for flexibility if there was something happening in the community or an issue or event we wanted the clients to know about such as Governor Rauner’s budget cuts.

So what?

Posting on the Facebook page over the course of this semester allowed our group to really collaborate and work together as a team. When a client calls the helpline to ask a question, they only get a sneak peak into what La Línea does. With the schedule we set up for the semester, we were able to inform clients about events and resources they wouldn’t think of asking about or wouldn’t have typically known about. We made sure the clients’ needs were being met through the Facebook page. Our goal was to post relevant material that would benefit the community and inform them of resources they could use that they might not have known about. The various community-hosted events that we promoted over the course of the semester such as the DAPA and DACA information sessions were crucial because La Línea serves many immigrants. Our group was able to work very closely editing and revising every single post on the Facebook page to make sure everything that was posted was pertinent, useful information that the Champaign-Urbana immigrant and refugee community could use. It was really important for us to have posts in English and Spanish since La Línea serves English and Spanish speakers. We made sure the grammar and usage of Spanish was as accurate as possible because we wanted to show clients the effort and careful deliberation put into each post, which helped create rapport for and confidence in La Línea as a whole.

Now what?

La Línea has brought so many wonderful opportunities to Latinos living in the Champaign-Urbana community. Our hard work has contributed to a large social media following of individuals who use our services to seek out ways to immerge themselves and become a part of the growing community. From our advertising of various activities, group outings, restaurant deals, special events, etc., we have promoted a strong and stable place for Latinos to come together and share common interests. We learned the importance of teamwork and collaboration by working together to create a schedule for online posts and making sure we paid close attention to the needs of our followers. People choose to actively follow La Línea’s Facebook page because it is consistently updated with new opportunities. In addition to the online support, the page also provides the helpline’s phone number if further detail is requested about a particular subject or event. In the future, the social media team can connect current clients with the Facebook page by telling them about the page and what it is for. Awareness is crucial. Other future strategies can include creating themes based on the needs and interests of Latinos and immigrants specifically in the Champaign-Urbana community, but the team should investigate and find evidence as to what those needs and interests are versus basing it on personal opinion. There is room for improvement and as La Línea grows, other forms of social media can be used to market the agency as well. So many Latinos utilize our services and we are happy to lend a hand. Because of our growing popularity, we hope that more and more people will find the support we provide helpful and continue to visit our page!


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