partnerships that create a better community

Mayor Julián Castro and family at Fit Family Challenge Finale Bashesd creates conversations that change communities – we’re in the message business, combining influences to help people be healthy and enjoy life. Since February, we have worked with San Antonio Sports to produce the Fit Family Challenge, an excellent model of esd’s “community collaboration” approach to social marketing. Community collaboration brings organizations and companies together for common purpose, maximizing each organization’s efforts and stretching resources.

thousands of families get fit together

More than 10,000 families participated in the summer program to get fit, eat healthy and learn about wellness together. The Challenge culminated this weekend with its Finale Bash, bringing several hundred families to SeaWorld for an early morning 3K walk through the park and celebration of achievement.

San Antonio Sports executive director Susan Blackwood has pursued a vision of fitness programs for schoolchildren that span the entire year. Fit Family Challenge expands San Antonio Sports’ fitness programs through the summer – the Finale Bash crowned this achievement with an excellent event.

The video that accompanies this post is part of esd’s coverage of the Finale Bash, documenting the event with excellent news-quality footage.

voices in the choir

Several key organizations and companies joined the Kronkosky Foundation to sponsor the Challenge, and many were on hand for the celebration early Saturday morning. With help from Spectrum Athletic Clubs, several school districts, WellMed, University Health System, WOAI-TV, the Express-News, H-E-B and others, we were able to provide fitness and nutrition events across the city and give participating families lots of gifts and other incentives to keep up the good workouts. World Boxing Champion Jesse James Leija acted as head coach for the Fit Family Challenge, providing inspirational leadership throughout the campaign.

finding the harmonies

Positive initiatives may be sponsored by one organization, but the goals achieved by the public action probably have common purpose with other corporate, foundation, non-profit and governmental concerns. esd’s public relations team has become very adept at finding harmonies between public agencies and forming partnerships that accomplish great things together. Things like teaching 10,000 families how to stay healthy together.

Many forms of communication are used to achieve community collaboration. At the core of this network of combined media is a tool we all know well – the telephone.

acknowledge and involve

Community collaboration needs to include two vital, active elements: recognition and participation.

Recognition. It’s more than a nod of the head, a nice certificate or a logo at the bottom of a webpage (though you must get those right) – each organization needs to fully express its individual mission and pursue its goals through the collaborative effort.

Participation. By keeping the various players informed all the way through the campaign and making each organization a full participant in events and activities, you achieve a tremendous synergy that makes productive use of available resources. It’s always a lot easier to move a mountain with a dozen organizations than with one agency acting solo.

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