Lessons Learned from Franklin Matters


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three principles and a recommendation scheduled for presentation to the Franklin Town Council, Weds, Jan 15, 2014.

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  • Thank you for the opportunity to spend a few minutes tonight
    Your Dec workshop raised so many items around communications
    One of my goals is to share in ways that matter
    As the ‘self appointed’ Community Information Director
    This is an opportunity too good to pass
  • While I could talk for hours, I am mindful of your time and of those watching remotely
    I have a short agenda to provide some lessons learned
    For those who may not be aware of who I am, I’ll cover that briefly
    then get into the three principles I have learned
    I’ll provide a recommendation to summarize my lessons learned
    I have one slide at the end for Q&A but I am comfortable with interruptions along the way
    Interaction and collaboration will make this better
    These slides were updated since they were included in the published agenda but you should have the updated copy
    I have also posted these slides to the webpage so others can follow along
  • I am currently working full time at RBS Citizens Bank in East Providence, RI
    Sought them out while I was looking because of their focus on customer, colleague and community
    Good alignment with one the principles I follow and you’ll hear about tonight
    I do not represent Citizens Bank in what I do here,
    I’ll also not spend anytime about what we are doing with the Franklin Food Pantry, that respectfully deserves its own time
    The business I will focus on tonight is what I do for my fellow citizens and taxpayers of Franklin, MA
    Sharing information on the business of Franklin to enable good voter and taxpayer decisions
  • I started writing online in 2005, started following some meetings in 2006
    Concerned with the multiple hour meeting and reading the paper the next day to find maybe a portion of the meeting covered,
    PodCamp Boston was held in August of 2006 and I had my ‘ah ha’ moment
    I wrote extensively during 2007 and the only successful operational override to date on my personal blog
    Writing so much there that some of my regular readers were asking questions
    I create Franklin matters as a separate site in Nov 2007 and started that in earnest after the Nov election
    For simplicity sake, I am showing the numbers from 2008 through Dec 2013
  • The overall content comes from other than myself
    The careful readers will recognize that while a good portion is original
    I do share other notifications of events for Franklin groups, organizations and businesses
    I also share the applicable articles from the MDN and other items of interest to Franklin
  • With 33,000 + residents; 20,000 voters; my target is to reach 10,000 subscribers
    Yes, I have a long way to go
    The blue bars show the page views, a page view is counted when you click on a link to read that post
    The blue line indicates the net growth in my email subscribers year by year
    I show these two together deliberately
    While the page reads is important, the subscriber growth is more so
  • Which brings me to the first principle
    And let me raise two questions
  • The answer to those questions will lead us to use one or more of the tools available
    I don’t show Google+ but over the past month, the activity there has been surprising me with some growth I had not expected
    Google+ has an advantage in coming late to the game, able to learn from Facebook’s mistakes
    Facebook however is still the big gorilla in number of users
  • The second principle
  • On a cold day, close your eyes and think back to summer time
    Maybe mid-august, corn is high, country road
    Hand painted sign, crudely printed, fresh vegetables for sale
    You can bet the dew was still on them when they got picked that morning
    Same day, same road, a mile or so further down passed the vegetable stand
    Another hand painted sign, this time free flying lessons
    Now it may be that the farm hand who keeps the tractors and equipment running so well has maintained the plane
    But would you really take the chance with that ‘content in context’
  • Most communities work this way
    The stronger the community, the more there is agreement on the scope of the content
    Life is not always so cleanly cut, black/white, there are many grey areas
  • A good case in point, this story is still developing
    You may recall that the fallen hero signs were announced in a ceremony in 2012
    I obtained the documents and photos from Rose Turco and posted the World War II series during August
    As a native RI the celebration of Victory Day (VJ day) is still held there.
    23 posts, one per fallen hero
    Including Timothy J Hayes info shown here
  • In the meantime, an American living and teaching in Canada went on a trip with other Canadian teachers
    He visited the US cemeteries in Normandy carrying one small flag to find and mark a grave there, he did so
    Returned home to Google the name of the fallen who’s grave he marked with a flag
    Found the link to Timothy Hayes
    Email correspondence underway
    He drove to Franklin to visit the street corner before Christmas
    I am delinquent in following up on the family contacts I received from Rose
    If any relatives of Timothy J Hayes are watching, please be aware I am looking to reach out to share this story
    The gentleman plans to return to Normandy next year
    MDN article on legislators use of social media tools “it has an exponential positive effect”
  • And thereby the circles of communication can blend together, overlap from one to another
  • Finally to close
    You have a lock on the content around Franklin
    It needs to be more shareable, more searchable, more useful
    You have multiple audiences but there are multiple platforms to reach those where they are (location, location, location)
    You can’t afford to bring on more teachers, more police, Fire and DPW workers where we need them
    You can afford to enable concern citizens to handle the communication effort
    I won’t lead it, I am not looking to lead it, I have enough on my plate already
    I’ll help
  • Only three copies of the book for you, you can read and share
    It is well written and an easy read time wise, under five hours to listen to it as I was driving over the holidays
  • Thank you!
    I do appreciate how much time and effort you put into this work on the Council
  • Lessons Learned from Franklin Matters

    1. 1. Lessons Learned: 3 Principles and a Recommendation Steve Sherlock January 15, 2014
    2. 2. Agenda • Who is that guy? • Location, location, location • Content in context • Three “C”s • Recommendation • Q&A FranklinMatters.org/ Page 2
    3. 3. http://www.linkedin.com/in/stephensherlock http://www.franklinmatters.org/p/why-franklin-matters.html The ideas expressed here are my own FranklinMatters.org/ Page 3
    4. 4. Setting the stage - p1 Franklin Matters activity over 6 years (2008 through 2013) Meetings reported on YouTube videos Audio podcasts Franklin area photos Posts to webpage FranklinMatters.org/ 263 32 110 >2400 9080 Page 4
    5. 5. Setting the stage - p2 FranklinMatters.org/ Page 5
    6. 6. Setting the stage - p3 FranklinMatters.org/ Page 6
    7. 7. Location, location, location • Who do you want to reach? • Where do they gather? FranklinMatters.org/ Page 7
    8. 8. FranklinMatters.org/ Page 8
    9. 9. “Content in context” FranklinMatters.org/ Page 9
    10. 10. The story is from Tom Asacker A Clear Eye for Branding: Straight Talk on Today's Most Powerful Business Concept FranklinMatters.org/ Page 10
    11. 11. Community Conversation Content FranklinMatters.org/ Page 11
    12. 12. http://www.franklinmatters.org/2013/08/fallen-hero-sergeant-timothy-jhayes-us.html FranklinMatters.org/ Page 12
    13. 13. FranklinMatters.org/ Page 13
    14. 14. Circles of communication Photo credit -> http://www.hansgrohe.com/en/4851.htm/ FranklinMatters.org/ Page 14
    15. 15. Recommendation • You have commanding Content • Form a “Communications Committee” • Build a Franklin Community around improved communications by involving the people for whom it matters most FranklinMatters.org/ Page 15
    16. 16. For additional info • Sherlock’s “Basic Blogging” series – http://steves2cents.blogspot.com/2010/10/bas ic-blogging-or-blogging-100101102.html • PodCamp Western MA – April 19, Holyoke Community College – https://www.facebook.com/events/266444840 173001/ • Jay Baer’s book “Youtility” – http://www.youtilitybook.com/ FranklinMatters.org/ Page 16
    17. 17. Q&A