Well, I guess it is never too late to learn new things.
This is my first ever blog post, which goes to the subject of this piece.
The whole world is becoming about communications: smart phones, social media, electronic billboards, tablet devices, Wi-Fi ...all new terms over the past several years and new ways for us to be in touch, relay information and entertain ourselves. One of the successful tools used in the past two national elections was the technology and market value associated with handheld devices.
As an organization with 1,000 members and nearly 2,000 contacts of businesses and individuals, we finally realized that one of our shortcomings was not keeping our members informed about Chamber opportunities, new programs, successful events and all the other programs offered with your membership and your investment in the Chamber.
In May of 2013, we hired Grant Thompson to head up our effort to address our communications challenge. With a degree in mass communications and experience in social media, marketing and web design, we asked him to look at new ways we could stay in touch with our members.
Since his arrival, we have continued with our one-page "Monday Memo" sent to all our members weekly to give them an overview of the Chamber's activities. We also continue to use our Constant Contact
platform to reach out to our members about special events and opportunities for them to maximize their dues investment.
Last fall, we introduced our first ever electronic version of our bi-monthly newsletter "Directions." We received lots of positive feedback about that and plan to continue the offering. Also, Grant "live tweeted" from our State of the Decatur City Schools and State of Morgan County Schools breakfast events and plans to expand those engagement opportunity. He has developed the Chamber as a very active participant in Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere, and we believe we are reaching an entirely new audience while still connected with those who have been with us for generations. We are currently meeting with billboard companies to consider a high profile presentation to the entire community.
As you can see, we have rolled out a redesigned website which features several business development resources that, in the past, had been in paper form only. We have cut back considerably on paper at our meetings and have reduced our standard mailings. We have revised our constitution and by- laws to allow for electronic voting which reduces time and cost and allows us to be more responsive to issues that require action on our part.
We will continue to explore opportunities to keep you informed and to get information to you faster and more efficient. We plan to use this blogging platform to keep you informed about trends, topics and conversations as we, the Chamber, continues to serve as an advocate for business and community development in Morgan County. Every few weeks, you will hear from a different Chamber voice and experience the diversity of the organization.
I'm excited about this new vehicle for communication. And as Grant has already told me, this will not be my last blog. Bear with me.
John Seymour is the president and CEO of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber. He has served in the role since coming to Decatur in 1991 and is responsible for the overall direction and management of