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Telling Your MainStreet Story

By | Promotions PA
January 28th, 2014 | Category: Organization

From the NMMS eNewsletter May 2011

By Stephanie Redman

Good visibility and strong credibility for local MainStreet organizations are essential to attracting and retaining funding, community support, and volunteers. That is especially true during these tougher economic times when many are making hard choices about where to give or to cut contributions to community organizations.

Unfortunately when Design, Economic Positioning, and Promotion activities consume the organization’s focus, many MainStreet organizations often reduce or drop their efforts to educate and inform stakeholders and the broader community about the organization’s work. This can lead to reduced awareness of MainStreet and to a drop in volunteer participation and financial support of the organization.

Don’t let this happen to you! Instead, make sure your MainStreet organization conducts regular public relations and outreach activities that show off the good work that you do. The best MainStreet organizations use a mix of the following, but implementing even just a few will help to ensure that your stakeholders and the general public are informed and excited about your MainStreet organization.

Many of the following public relations/information tools are free or low-cost. Select a few of them to inform stakeholders and the community about what’s happening with the MainStreet organization and how they can get involved.

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email blast
  • Blog
  • Update letter/memo
  • Newsletter/E-newsletter
  • Press releases
  • Newspaper/media opinion piece or letter to the editor
  • Press conference
  • Radio/TV programs (including local access channel)
  • Meeting/Open Forum
  • Public Service Announcements on local media
  • YouTube video
  • Brochure/Flyer
  • Presentations to City Council and civic groups
  • Informal conversations with key stakeholders

Different methods will work for different target audiences, but using a variety of outreach tools will make sure that more people get MainStreet’s message.

The Organization Committee and staff are typically responsible for coordinating public relations efforts for MainStreet. Pull a few volunteers together who have good communication skills or direct public relations experience. Analyze what you are doing and what is working well, and then identify new outreach activities that make the most sense for your organization and your desired audiences. You can even assemble volunteer teams who focus exclusively on producing one method, such as writing and producing an e-newsletter or developing an informational video on MainStreet.

The sky’s the limit in terms of the types of educational and outreach activities that your MainStreet organization can do. Invest a little time and money in these methods, and you are virtually guaranteed to have better visibility and community support.

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