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Public Relations News
Public Relations News: 2020 in Review and Looking Ahead to 2021

By Terri Fassio, CT State Public Relations Co-Director

  NOVEMBER 5, 2020 --

2020 has definitely been a time of evolution for the Grange - not only in how we gather, how we host activities, entertain and congregate, but also in our habits and needs.  Platforms like the various types of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) have become more than just fun but a vehicle of information, and software like Zoom has become a new normal, allowing us to connect digitally and virtually in ways never before thought about in Grange circles.

The Connecticut State Grange Public Relations Committee has adjusted our strategies and our programs to incorporate the new normal and reflect the changing public relations trends taking the forefront this year.  

We decided to disregard our contests, as Granges were unable to host events and connect in ways that worked within the contest guidelines.  For 2021 and looking forward, we will be developing a robust new program that is more suited to digital and virtual connections.  Keep an eye on the CT Granger as we will be announcing this in an upcoming issue.

PR Co-Director Robert Charbonneau has been keeping the website current by updating it monthly with all of the articles from the CT Granger, as well as other articles as needed.  This is a huge undertaking each month, and we thank him for all of his hard work.

We continue to utilize our strong Social Media base including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and more.  In 2020, we added Instagram to our Social Media portfolio.  Facebook is changing how its platform works for businesses and organizations, so we have no choice but to adjust moving forward.  In February 2021, we will host a webinar with the Membership Committee to teach our Granges how to best utilize the new Facebook tools for their Granges.

In late May, we started an e-mail newsletter for our membership that has been sent out on a regular basis.  We continue to add to our mailing list in hopes of getting information out to the majority of our members.  

In conjunction with the Membership Committee, we offered training services to our members for the Zoom platform, and held a number of one-on-one sessions to help get them used to the software and its workings.  We also set-up a series of 6 Social Hours held weekly on Thursday evenings in September and October prior to State Session to give our members a chance to work with the Zoom software and feel comfortable using it.  These gatherings each had a small program as part of the evening, such as trivia, guess the Grange Hall, etc.  Attendance at the Social Hours grew each week, with our most popular evening having 29 people in the Room.  These will continue at minimum monthly moving forward, to allow our members to connect virtually.

Studies show that in 2020, audiences generally prefer simplicity, convenience and transparency.  Our Granges are no different.  We encourage Granges to be authentic, personable, relatable and even casual to a degree when looking ahead, and to remember that our audiences are comprised of more than the organization in which they share, but of the people who are dedicated to the organization.  We need to always be considerate of our members’ time and be respectful of what’s on their minds and of the ideas that they share.

The habits of our members and supporters are changing at an unprecedented pace, while 2020 has forced us as an organization to adapt to these changes, and to see first hand the shift before us. We must focus on our fundamentals and revamp our message to tie back to our foundations in the long term. 

Getting the word out to the public about our Granges, their projects and activities makes a difference. Just ask the Granges who have utilized our services and resources and have seen positive results. We are here to serve every Grange and Committee at all levels - all you have to do is ask!

If you have any questions, or need a hand, please send an email to information@ctstategrange.org or publicrelations@ctstategrange.org.


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