Outreach in the field of IPM involves connecting with practitioners of pest management, as well as their customers such as policy makers, budget managers, building occupants, who have the potential to influence the direction of product and service markets by demand, addressing the interests of environmentally concerned citizens who support reducing the use of pesticides. A lack of awareness amongst policy makers, management, IPM practitioners and public about alternatives to pesticides is commonly cited as a challenge to pesticide reduction.
Outreach tools provide a unique opportunity to improve awareness and understanding of Integrated Pest Management practices. The audience urban IPM includes a diverse array of the non-agricultural public, such as the structural, turf and landscape industries and their customers. Additionally, urban IPM addresses many non-traditional audiences such as health and environmental advocates, community groups, school children, indoor air quality professionals, physicians, and health and safety specialists.
Successful education outreach programs are based on a solid understanding of the needs of the targeted audience and the use of appropriate techniques to disseminate the needed information. The following are examples of communication tools that can be used to generate education and awareness.