Building Awareness to the Public

When I began working for the government in 2012, I started out in the Investor Education Program of the Securities Office of the Department of Commerce and Consumers Affairs (DCCA) for the State of Hawaii. It was a newly created position because it had an element of multimedia as part of the outreach efforts. Over four years later, I still find myself working in outreach for the state.

The topic I’ve chosen for this blog is, naturally, on education outreach for the general public. I spent over three years with the Securities Office before moving into my current position in another division of the DCCA, at the Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA). Even with the move, the type of position remained the same – education outreach.

When I started, I was a Securities Multimedia Assistant and now I am an Education Specialist. Despite being in two different industries (investments and public utilities), the mission of my positions have only differed slightly. In Securities, I did a lot more event planning and project management for the outreach efforts. At DCA, outreach is more driven by public relations (media) as well website and social media updates.

My work in outreach is to bring awareness to the public of 1) what my office does for Hawaii consumers and 2) prevent or promote the industry topic (i.e. fraud prevention when I worked in Securities and encourage energy efficiency at DCA). Often times the public doesn’t know what we do – or worse, they don’t know we exist! So outreach is an important part of our state department to be able to help the public help themselves.

I’m glad that I was able to make the move because then I got to branch out more into different forms of communicating with the general public but I also got to use the experience that I’ve had from the old division and implement them into the new one. Now, I have a whole arsenal of outreach tactics to spread the word to the general public. Sure, the topics are vastly different but the methods to bring awareness to an audience have the same principles.

I look forward to exploring more about the topic of education outreach in the hopes that I can bring what I’ve learn in the course and apply it immediately to my position to advance my office’s outreach approaches in the future. It’s already been a few years and my interest in education outreach has not waned. I hope to continue down this path and bring more to the table as I learn and grow in the program.

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