Here are a few excerpts from my Annual Report—you can read the entire report online or, if you are attending State Convention, in your information packet. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know!
During the past year, I published twelve monthly Bulletins without missing a deadline. I am grateful to those directors and officers who regularly submit articles and support improving our internal communication.
The website is now in its seventh full year of operation in its current form. The objectives of the redesign in November 2010 were simple. Some of the more important included:
- To encourage prompt posting and maintenance of information and resources,
- To control that posting process with some level of moderation and quality control,
- To allows users to find basic information and resources (such as applications, manuals, etc.) readily, and
- To allow users to subscribe to the site and receive email versions of posts.
We continue to achieve those objectives. Site visits are slightly less for the most recent year but are trending up again for the last six months. There have been just over 26,000 site visits from September 1, 2016, through August 13, 2017—an average of over 2,150 per month and over 70 per day…
Looking ahead, there are several areas I recommend for focus next year. One is the “Exciting Granges and Grangers” category. The feedback I receive from you suggests that learning about other Granges and their successes is both motivating and helpful. This past year, some Granges decided to send representatives to other Granges who are reporting success to see first-hand “how they are doing it.” A priority for next year will be to encourage more success stories and contributions. As if to further support this, we’ve had several cases where the media has picked up those success stories from our website. I’ve also been contacted by media representatives in search of successes to report.
A second priority is expanding the “Resources for Grangers” feature of the website. While we don’t want to “clutter” the site, the goal of this feature is to provide Granges and Grangers with resources that may have value personally, provide programming and event ideas, or just be of general value. There are several challenges associated with this, but it does seem to be worthy of pursuit!
Obviously, these are both areas where your help is needed. Don’t underestimate the value of the things your Grange does. What may seem commonplace to you may be an exciting, brand new idea needed by another Grange. I admit that I get really excited when I receive an email from someone whose name I don’t recognize because I can’t wait to see what you’ve done. Photos are also great—and a photo or two with what we call a “cutline” can tell a story. (A cutline is media talk for the caption explaining the photo—usually a sentence or two.)
I believe the primary role of any state position or function is to support Subordinate and Pomona Granges. But communication is not a “one-person job.” Individuals, Community/Subordinate and Pomona Granges can best support our communications efforts by providing positive news and information.
I will also continue to encourage more open communication throughout our Order. We must generate interest and excitement among our communities, prospective members, and ourselves.
With that background, our greatest accomplishment in 2016-17 is also our greatest need for the coming year. We must continue to increase participation and information, working to build the Maine State Grange website as a “go to” place for members and friends who wish to learn more about our Order.
If there is anything I can do to help you and your Grange, please let me know.
Thank you for your continued confidence and support.
*For those with additional interest, Stop Teaching Me is an article I wrote on the topic of how today’s learners differ and what it means to real estate educators.
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