The Lawrence Township Community Foundation sponsors Community Conversations that provide in-depth opportunities for members of the community, town officials, and representatives from local businesses and non-profits to discuss topics and issues that are important to residents of Lawrence Township.
LTCF 2018 Community Conversation
Best Ways to Deliver News to the Community
Next Steps Town Hall
Thursday March 15, 2018, 6-8 pm
Lawrence Township Municipal Building
Thank you to all the panelists and residents who participated in the 2018 Community Conversation on Delivering News to the Lawrence Community. The event discussed the challenges groups and individuals face in communicating information about programs, services and events to the people of Lawrence Township. Residents brainstormed around how they currently receive their local news and how they would like to do so in the future. Our panelist told how their organizations deliver local news and the challenges they face.
Read more about it
Lawrence Conversations: Spreading the News by Huck Fairman, The Princeton Packet on January 25, 2018
The summary of our brainstorming session and small group discussions is summarized below. Please join us for our Next Steps Town Hall on Thursday March 15, 2018 from 6-8 pm at the Lawrence Township Municipal Building.
Roll-up Recommendations and Comments
What Will Work?
- Township website with calendar of events and goings on with links – need to keep current
- Repository of Serious News
- Citizen Task Force to Assist the Township in development – need diverse citizenry
- Write effective Press releases/use of Images and appealing graphics
- Think about reaching all areas of community various a variety of preferences
- Leverage University students (interns, communication and journalism students)
- Leverage ‘Letters to the Editor’
- Publish ‘Newsletters’ similar to Main Street’s effort
- Imitate Princeton Connect with a ‘Lawrence Connect’ app
- Support Lawrence Ledger as consumers
- Broadcast town meetings
- Being relevant – directing people where to find information and news they want
Potential Obstacles – What gets us ‘stuck’?
- Getting people’s attention with the right vehicle
- Who can produce and write (lack of time and expertise)
- Ensuring compliance with fairness and legal restrictions
What Can We Do Differently – Ideas?
- Journalism students as writers and producers per James Thompson, a program at Rutgers
- Consider Bonner type program (Bonner Scholars volunteer at TASK, Homefront, Presbyterian Church)
- Leverage student journalists to both research news items and use of multi vehicles/marketing
- Get funding from LTCF, Princeton Area Community Foundation and/or other similar group to establish/formalize student staffed work, e.g. internships
Recognizing the importance of connecting with the residents of Lawrence to help identify their needs, the Lawrence Township Community Foundation hosts an annual Community Conversation which brings together residents from all the neighborhoods in Lawrence for a township-wide meeting. Over the years, some great programs have been created as a result of these conversations, including arts festivals, Sustainable Lawrence, and the `Welcome to Lawrence’ signs around town.
Previous Community Conversation discussion topics included:
- Community Wellness—Health, recreation and wellness for residents of all ages
- A Healthy & Safe Lawrence – Preserving & protecting our community
- People, Places & Stories - A celebration of Lawrence Township history
- Being a Good Neighbor – Creating community
- Engaging Our Youth – Programs & activities
Read more about it
Public Lists Its Common Concerns For Town by Leah Kahn, Central Jersey.com, Packet Media Group on Mar 25, 2015
Communication is Key During Community Conversation by Michelle McGuinness, Open Post on Patch, on March 22, 2011