#StateOfTheCity: Follow Up From ELGL Friends

Posted on January 28, 2014

It’s good to have friends… thanks to Friends of ELGL for sharing today’s perspectives.

After our highly successful #StateOfTheCity Twittersation, ELGL received follow-up comments from two of our favorite friends (who just happen to work in professional communications).  Their comments were too good to sit in our inboxes, so we are posting them here so everyone who is working on a #StateOfTheCity address can learn from their experience and perspective:

“For what it’s worth much after the fact, I find SOTC to be usually very boring or completely unhelpful. The best ones are ones that focus on one or two things the city wants to work on in the new year. I realize this is a time to brag a little bit about what was accomplished last year, and I support that. But, usually, there is a whole menu of things the mayor talks about accomplishing in the new year and realistically, maybe half get done. But, if there are one or two things that the mayor uses the SOTC as a platform to start building support for, that is impactful.

Frankly, I usually just record SOTC, ask for the written speech, and then post it with minimal commentary for boring speeches. I’ll do a little more analysis for more interesting ones. But the real
conversation I try to foster in the comments, because I don’t live in that city. I’m more interested in what residents think of the speech.”

And here’s another perspective from another Friend of ELGL:

“To add (something that’s more than 140 characters) to the Twitter conversation on SOTC addresses… I’ve always thought it strange that SOTC addresses are always during the day, sometimes charge admission, and are generally given to audiences that include residents who are already actively engaged. I think one time [a City] had its address at the  Golf Club, maybe with a $25 fee?

I always thought SOTC addresses should be in the evening, free of charge and widely marketed to local residents who might not otherwise pay much attention to city issues. A pitch somewhere along the lines of: If you’re usually too busy to dig into city issues, here’s the one meeting you should go to each year where you can find out what happened in your community the past year and what issues/programs/initiatives you should expect to see in the next year. Then open it up to a Q&A session.

Of course, I’m an idealist on these wonky matters. Perhaps you wouldn’t get a deluge of extra folks attending the meetings and you might even lose some business leaders who can otherwise attend a lunchtime SOTC address. Anyway, thought I’d throw the idea out there.”

ELGL loves these ideas.  What do you think of them?  Use the comments section to share your ideas and perspectives.

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