I started reading Ron Fennel’s (Smyrna, Georgia, City Councilperson, Ward 7) newsletter to his constituents, and several weeks later…
The exhaustively comprehensive newsletter was nothing if not long, detailed, and ridiculously informative. Seems the Smyrna councilperson loves pounding the keyboard almost as much as another Smyrna resident, Bob Barr.
Heck, within a few graphs I found out who the police chief was from a detailed photo, noted an email address I needed, and saw at least two Facebook friends mentioned in the copy.
Now I’m all for brevity on online communications, but the darn thing was so informative I say… go for it. Inform your constituency! And don’t stop until you’re done.
But how I wish other public servants who represent us would do the same. And comprehensively and exhaustively so is just fine by me — if you’re elected to serve us the people.
In fact, our elected servants should seek clarity and transparency of communications on their keyboards until they drop from exhaustion, you ask me. That’s what good writers do. Write to the point of exhaustion, right?
You don’t have to thrown in what you had for breakfast three Tuesdays ago, as Councilperson Fennel almost does, but if you do not yet have a newsletter but you do have a constituency (to serve) I suggest using Fennel’s newsletter as a model… for how to improve and clarify your community outreach and communications. After all, it really is your responsibility and duty. To us.
Your newsletter certainly doesn’t have to be as long and detailed as this one, but don’t forget some photos! Videos are good. Kitchen sink, too. And don’t be intimidated at the thought of starting one. Just a few graphs and an e-mail distribution list (you already have that) will do for a first effort. Set a time expectation too. Will you publish/send a newsletter every month? Every week? If so, let your audience know what exactly you’re going to be doing. Then go do it.
You can add bells and whistles to a newsletter as you gain confidence with your writing and your multimedia inclusions. Up the quality of your photos, eventually. Follow-up on things mentioned in a prior newsletter. Add a helpful link or three.
For example, I’m hoping the next newsletter from Mr. Fennel of Smyrna, Ga. will include a link to that Instagram account mentioned in the July letter regarding some Smyrna Boy Scouts and a sidewalk mapping project. Sounded interesting!
And if you need a newsletter written, edited, and distributed for you, well… you know who to ask.
BTW… if you haven’t been to Smyrna, Georgia lately you should go. Do a drive about. Snoop around over some pretty real estate. Place looks great.