|Project Title||Revamp U.S. Consulate Hermosillo’s Consular outreach strategy using new and traditional media|
|Project Summary||Develop post’s consular outreach strategy to integrate traditional and new media and tailor it to the needs of the Consular district served by U.S. Consulate Hermosillo.|
|Agency||Department of State|
|Number of Interns||1|
Research and analyze the role of social media platforms and the Internet related to consular activities for both expatriates seeking American Citizen Services and Mexican nationals seeking non-immigrant visas. The goal of the project is to enhance customer service for the Consulate’s clients and counter fraudulent information. The U.S. Mission in Mexico prioritizes promoting legitimate travel to the U.S. as well as protecting U.S. citizens living in Mexico. Although close to the U.S. border, Sonorans and Sinaloans often rely on the misinformation regarding visa services that they receive by word of mouth. Other Mexicans are on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the popular WhatsApp Messenger and obtain their information via those channels. U.S. Consulate Hermosillo would like to request a Virtual Student Foreign Service eIntern to research and analyze social media platforms and the Internet in Sonora and Sinaloa. See additional information.
The eIntern will build upon post’s consular outreach strategy to more effectively incorporate new media as well as some traditional media. The eIntern will create a library of posts, accompanied by images and organized by topic that could be used by the Consulate and other Mission Mexico posts year-round on official social media platforms. The eIntern may also suggest alternative methods in traditional media that may prove to be fruitful in disseminating our message.
The U.S. Consulate Hermosillo is one of the highest issuing posts of agricultural and nonagricultural worker visas (H2 visas) in the world. This is a subsection of the population that the Consulate has had difficulty reaching via new media channels. As part of the outreach project, we would like the eIntern to develop a series of advertisements under the theme, “No a los Coyotes,” (A coyote is a person who helps smuggle another person into the U.S. or a term for a visa agent that charges fictitious fees or provides inaccurate information to a visa applicant in order to make a profit and circumvent U.S. immigration laws). The goal of the ad campaign would be to provide accurate information to workers about the H2 visa program and advise them against using the services of mala fide visa agents or recruiters - i.e. coyotes.
For another aspect of the project, the eIntern will evaluate the needs of the U.S. citizen community in our district, and develop outreach tools to better communicate and serve this group. One subsection of the U.S. citizen community that is often hard to reach, are the minor children born in the U.S. to Mexican parents and have since returned to Mexico without their U.S. birth certificate and/or without a U.S. passport. These U.S. citizens are often not registered correctly with the civil registry in Mexico and many fail to apply for a U.S. passport until they are much older. The eIntern will help develop a strategy to reach this subgroup of the U.S. Citizen population.
The eIntern will also help assess the effectiveness of ongoing outreach programming through implementing monitoring and evaluations of both traditional and new media outreach. For example, he/she will track social media hits, monitor traditional media coverage, and help assess effectiveness of programming through conducting surveys of event participants. The eIntern will use this research to make informed suggestions for improving post’s outreach strategy.