WWW – Webmaster Walter Writes!
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we are seeing a nice upsurge in submissions to the site! Thanks to those who are submitting and communicating!
And speaking of communicating, I had a nice email from relatively new Granger Preston Dunning at Huntoon Hill #398 in Wiscasset. He shared that their Grange wants to increased their presence in town using the Internet to broadcast information about their activities. After replying with some ideas, it occurs to me that we might review some of the opportunities technology provides.
Every subordinate Grange already has a website (based on WordPress) that’s provided free by National Grange. There is a short You Tube Video explaining how to claim and maintain it. Several Maine Granges have already done so and even those with little technical background are finding it fairly easy to do this.
I wrote a bit about Facebook Pages a while back. This article has a link that will lead you to the Maine State Grange Website Policy that includes a short policy adopted by National Grange for both websites and social media. There are, in my opinion, some real hazards with a Facebook page. The biggest one is you really lose control of content and need to monitor the page constantly. Personally, I recommend you focus on a website and post links to it on Facebook by “sharing.” You could, for example, post information about a public supper on your site then ask your members to share that link on Facebook.
National Grange also has developed an incredibly good “Communications Handbook” that’s available for download for free. I explained the process for getting it in an earlier column. The Handbook covers just about everything regarding public relations and advertising with all sorts of samples, templates, etc. And it’s free!
One technique I’d suggest is to send information every month to any local media outlets for their “community bulletin boards.” When you have these events you are welcome to submit them for listing on the Maine State Grange site as well. Just copy us on the information you release to local newspapers.
And speaking of newspapers, I hope everyone saw the quick tip regarding several newspapers subscribing to our site! It’s a testimony to the value of this site. Posting here is not a substitute for releasing information to media outlets, but you can never have too much publicity, right?
On a personal note, Janice and I enjoyed our recent vacation–the bulk of which we spent in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania “among the Amish.” Being there was both relaxing and stimulating. Relaxing in the sense that you find yourself slowing down and adopting a rhythm comparable to the clip-clop of the horses pulling buggies. Stimulating in the sense that the Amish provide us with some wonderful examples of how simplicity can work–and they are perhaps role models for an appreciation of agriculture.
Enjoy the summer! (There are only 44 days left until school starts!)