Citizens in Budapest read about the Austro-Hungarian Army's mobilisation in newspapers at the start of the First World War, 30 July 1914.

Marketing & Communications

How do we get the word out about CCE programs?

As you might have learned, there is no one right way to reach our local community. When we have an event, opportunity, or other news to get out, it should be adapted in order to share in many ways. These include:

  • Social Media — short, friendly messages driven by eye catching images and a clear next step, such as “register at...” or “learn more at...” Remember to add alt text and again, use a good photo not crowded by too many words!
  • The CCE Tompkins County Website — the place to host long-term information, events, and program details. Take a look at what’s there regularly to see if it can be better organized.
  • Posters/Flyers — a good visual way to reach out into the community. We are updating a list of locations.
  • Email Newsletters — one general at the beginning of the month; others for gardening, agriculture, and parenting. Please submit material ahead of time, as these are not sent often!
  • Local Listservs — where info can be distributed quickly to subscribers. We have one for Tompkins County as well as other issue-based email lists.
  • Press Releases — how we tell local news sources that there is a story worth covering. Any new program, partnership, public event, etc. can be sent as a release.
  • Paid Advertising — can be pricey, but is a good way to get the word out through radio stations, bus ads, newspapers, or online.
  • Branded Giveaways — such as lip balm, pens, stickers, even t-shirts can increase awareness of a program, helpline, or resource. Consider cost vs reputability of the vendor.
  • Word of Mouth — the most reliable way to spread the word, but we have very little control over it. If you can, encourage people to tell their friends about what we do!

Whichever type of communications you'd like, help is available. If you’d like assistance with design, messaging, or distribution, talk with your appropriate Issue Leader, colleague, or the Communications Manager.

How can I best use the CCE Tompkins County website?

The website is first a place to learn about CCE Tompkins and what we are about, second as a home to our calendar and upcoming events, and third as a collection of resources and information that people may be looking for. If you are a new user who needs to learn how to add events and manage info, there are detailed videos at

Over years, our website has grown into a fantastic repository of vast amounts of knowledge across many subject areas. It’s impressive! On the other hand, there is so much information that as a user or an administrator, it is difficult to find what you need. The Communications Manager encourages staff to make two lists: what should the structure of your section look like, and what is it now?

Aim for only 5-8 major website sections, each with a simple, understandable title. Underneath of these, another 5-8 pages should live, each of which describes a current program, a topic area, a partnership, etc. Web users are impatient and finicky. If they don’t see what they’re looking for in a minute or less, they will leave. Keep the most important details towards the top.

What is CCE’s “brand”?

Like most organizations, Cooperative Extension encourages the staff who create materials for the public to use a consistent look, by all of us using the same baseline colors and fonts. Visit to learn more.

The biggest advantage of this is that when you open a blank document to make a poster, flyer, social media graphic, etc., you already have a couple of the first decisions made!

Secondary colors and font variations allow for creativity and differentiation.

The use of images also helps tell our story visually. Avoid large fields of color, instead using quality photographs. Because styles and technology change over time, we need to keep getting new photos when we can. If you need photos or if you have good images to share, please contact the Communications Manager to learn more.

Note that use of the CCE brand is recommended in your designs, but we understand that some programs have developed their own brand identity.

How should I use social media?

There are several major sites that people use frequently. Each has its own set of conventions and best practices. What’s more, most people have 1 that they prefer because of how it functions — while they may have an account on the others, they don’t spend time there. Ask the Communications Manager if you'd like to talk about how best to use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and more. 

Note: in an attempt to make these user-friendly, every site personalizes an individual’s feed based on what it believes they want. No matter how many followers, your post won’t go to all of them unless you pay for that. And if you share info about an event happening the same day, if may not be seen for several.

If you decide to create an account or are made the manager of one, use it consistently! Aim to post 1-3 times a week, and avoid posting too much in one day. Be authentic and let the audience see the humanity behind the posts. Use plain language and keep it short.

Direct any questions to the Communications Manager.


David P.L. Foote
Communications Manager
(607) 272-2292 x158

Last updated February 28, 2024