Examples of Innovation & Creativity
The Rural Network is collecting examples of creative solutions or innovative strategies.
Rural communities come up with their own answers if one doesn't already exist, and have the grit to overcome obstacles.
We want to find examples of this happening in your area to include in our collection. This collection will become part of the Rural Network online prevention toolkit.
NOTE: You may not have answers for all the questions below. Share what you can - any story or information you provide is helpful!
What are some creative promotional items that worked for you? For example, one coalition used Fortune Cookies to network and advertise meetings.
Describe a unique or unconventional location you've used to promote your work. For example, one coalition distributed flyers at the local garbage dump because is is one spot where everyone in town visits.
What are some ways you've had to adapt existing programs to your community? For example, one community had to find new stock photos for an opioid prevention campaign because the images provided were not reflective of their community or culture. Another example: a coalition had a youth empowerment curriculum meant for a long orientation training but instead adapted it to be short, monthly events for youth to attend.
Share about a time you have improved a project by adjusting your approach. For example, one community was promoting a "National Drug Take Back Day" event only to realize that the community was already using the year-round medication drop box. They instead promoted year-round locations and had greater success.
Tell us a story of overcoming barriers in your community. For example, there was a youth group who wanted a voice in local policy. They wanted to meet with their town council but experienced barriers attending public hearings. The hearings were stiff and didn't cover the topics youth cared about. Instead, they hosted a local "Key Leader Event" with roundtable discussions between youth and their council members/school administration. This worked better for a small, rural community who wanted to speak individually with their decision makers in a comfortable location (the school).
What are some ways you've managed resources to make the most out of what you have? For example: one coalition created a small contract with a local youth group to implement part of their action plan. This helped accomplish their grant goals but also support the youth by providing funding (which was used to attend the WA State Prevention Summit). Another example: three neighboring towns divide and share mental health tax dollars in order to maximize impact - even though it technically only needs to be delivered to one town.
Describe a time when you (or someone you know) were the only person advocating for a change. How did they persuade others and what tips do you have for others who want to advocate? For example, one person in a small town was the only one supporting local policy to build windmills. Most everyone was against them but one by one they met with key influencers in the community - people they know had sway and influence. Over time they were able to use these connections to change public opinion and the windmills got built - creating new jobs, revenue and sustainable energy.
Is there other information, stories, or details you want us to know that we didn't include in the questions above?
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