I have many an opinion about the make-up of the Columbia Association’s board of directors, village leadership and developing local leaders. But that’s another post for another day. For now, I’m going to chronicle what CA did in 2012 to promote and support local leadership. Perhaps this will serve as a guide and path for others to follow. Hope springs eternal.
In 2012, CA –
Created a website focused on local leadership opportunities in the villages and CA;
Ran a full back-page ad in the Columbia Flier encouraging people to vote and get involved in local leadership opportunities;
Ran Facebook ads to the same effect;
Shared the election-focused PSA with the villages and encouraged them to promote the video, the leadership-focused website and other relevant content;
Ran a year-long “Why I Serve” series of articles in the CA Monthly (that continues to this day, I do believe), in which people serving on village boards, CA committees and the Columbia Council were highlighted;
Embarked on an extensive campaign to increase the press releases, ads, announcements and community outreach to announce various committee and leadership opportunities that don’t require a campaign or election, knowing that many people move up the leadership ladder after starting out in volunteer committees;
Ran several pre-election articles in the CA Monthly (delivered inside the Flier to every residence and business in Columbia) about the elections, getting involved, dates for filing for candidacies and voting locations; followed by post-election articles about the new CA board;
Encouraged village managers to list their board and CCR positions in the Howard County Board Connect site.
Added a two-page spread on leadership opportunities to the CA at a Glance annual mailing.
And held numerous free, well-publicized Lunch & Learn sessions about social media, communications and citizen engagement to which all the village managers, their staff, their volunteers and their boards were invited.
The tools, the ads, the plans, the strategies, the systems and the knowledge for how to rock communications about the village elections, getting involved in local leadership and voting have all been layered into CA and shared with the villages. I’m sure this list can be improved upon in coming years. As I said, hope springs eternal.