Fighting Poverty with Passion
The Central City Neighborhood Guides are finally here! We now have 15,000 copies stacked in neat rows inundating our small office that are ready to be distributed. Though our work is not done yet, I would like to share some insights on how we worked with other organizations to make this project a success.
It’s all about timing.
In StayLocal’s office we have an “idea board” with possible neighborhoods to map for the Neighborhood Guides. Determining which neighborhood to map is all about timing.
First, is there enough to map? In order for the map to be viable there needs be at least 20 businesses, organizations, attractions, or resources in the neighborhood. StayLocal tries to focus on areas that are up-and-coming. Everyone knows Magazine St. is a great place to eat, but what about all the restaurants in Central City?
Second, is there community and financial support? We always knew we wanted to make a Central City map and part of the reason we made it now is due to the strong desire for the Guide that was expressed by our community partners Central City Renaissance Alliance (CCRA), Good Work Network, and Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Merchants and Business Association (OCHBMB). We were able to form these relationships due to our involvement with the Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA program and the Tulane Corridor Collaborative. Working with Tulane University also opened up opportunities for market research by the Tulane American Marketing Association and funding for printing.
Create a buzzzzz.
Before we made the Guide we floated the idea around to major community players such as CCRA, OCHBMBA, Good Work Network, and the soon-to-come Roux Carre. Next, we preformed outreach to all the local businesses and organizations to recruit them to become StayLocal members and get on the Guide. As we worked to round-up the businesses, we were constantly posting on social media, writing tid-bits in our newsletter, and letting everyone know the Central City Guide is coming.
We also need to mention Tulane City Center who helped us design the Guides as well as fashioned original holders for the Guides.
To release the Guide we had a happy hour at the Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market and invited all the business owners, community supporters and sponsors, and Central City residents.
Say thank you!
Make sure to thank all your sponsors! In order to maintain relationships with sponsors and partners it is important to let them know you value their support. We did so in three ways. First, we put their logos on the back of the Neighborhood Guides. Second we had signs with their logos at our release event. Third, I sent them hand written thank you notes.