By Ron Drew

Blog

How EDOs And Chambers Can Be The Ultimate Business News Providers

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ron Drew

 

 

 

 

 Today’s guest blogger is Ron Drew, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

 

A study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project found that American adults get their local news from a variety of platforms, including newspapers, television and the Internet. The platform they turn to depends largely on the topic.

Notable findings from the study:

  • Americans turn to the Internet first for information about restaurants and other local businesses.
  • The Internet ties with newspapers as the top source for information on housing, jobs and schools.
  • Print newsletters, online listservs and word of mouth are still vital sources for information on community events and local schools.

Today, the majority of American adults are using three to six different types of media every week to get news and information about their local community.

So, how do you turn your EDO or chamber into one of these local news sources?

How Your EDO Or Chamber Can Be A Local News Source

Because of their reach and influence in the business community, more and more, local economic development organizations and chambers of commerce can be one of those relied-upon sources of business and workforce information.  After all, who better knows which companies are relocating, expanding, adding jobs or providing new products to market than those organizations to which many companies belong and to which they participate in through leadership roles?

To be a valuable local news source, keep in mind these 4 best practices:

1) Send an e-newsletter.

As the local economic development organization for Greater Fort Lauderdale, we’ve found that our monthly electronic newsletters and broadcast emails are very popular with our members and those who have registered on our website to receive our news.   We use our e-newsletters and emails to keep our community informed on company relocations and expansions, local business announcements, education and workforce activities and accolades, and commercial real estate activity, for example. 

 E-newsletter of Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance

2) Deliver bite-size headlines.

We’ve also found that our members like to see our news in short headlines, with the ability to “click through” to those stories in which they have an interest. When they don’t have to scroll through full articles to find the news story they want, we are saving them valuable time.  Here are some examples:

 example of short, bite-sized news headlines

3) Leverage social media.

Most every news story on our website is also posted to our Facebook and Twitter accounts as an additional way to reach our members and those who follow us.  We also use Facebook and Twitter to post third-party news articles that are relevant to the local business community.   This allows us to share the news before our e-newsletter comes out at the end of every month, so it is more timely.

Facebook post by Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance 

4) Allow members to submit news articles.

Our members do a good job of providing their news to us, and many times, the news that comes from our members, that we publish, doesn’t appear in other forms of print or online media.  Additionally, sometimes the stories we post get republished in other media after they appear on our website, in our electronic newsletter or in our social media. And they get shared and re-tweeted by our members.

It’s our way of providing an added benefit to our members and the business community.

And a way we can tell the positive news stories about our businesses.

***

As we like to say, “economic development is everyone’s business.” The more our business community and community leaders know about business successes and the strength of our businesses, the better they can help us promote our community as a highly desirable place to do business.

To read more about the journalism survey please visit www.journalism.org/2011/09/26/local-news/.

To follow the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, visit www.gflalliance.org, @gflalliance on Twitter or facebook.com/gflalliance.

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