When it comes to advertising, events, transportation, and communication–how can we work together throughout the county to collaborate?
“Collaborating Across Communities” was the topic discussed at our third Be Here Quarterly on September 25. The group was made up of about 15 individuals from across the region and the consensus was that we need to individually work hard to make one another feel welcomed and included, no matter where you live in the county, where you are originally from, what your income is, what your age is, or whatever else makes you unique.
While the conversation was focused on how we can work together across the county, the importance of celebrating our individual communities was brought up, too. Each municipality has its unique amenities–Franklin has a robust downtown, Oil City has a thriving art scene, Cranberry has great shopping, Emlenton is filled with beauty and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. And we can’t forget about the smaller communities and their positive qualities–Clintonville, Pleasantville, Rouseville, Utica, and many, many more.
It’s great to have community pride for the town or city in which you live, but it’s also important to see our county as a whole. Most likely every resident travels across municipality lines to go shopping or out to eat, visit the doctor, take a yoga class, or attend an event.
Points brought up in our conversation at Be Here Quarterly included:
- Advertising: Are we posting flyers across the county, sharing information in regional publications, and talking about businesses in other towns?
- Events: Are we holding events at “middle spots” where it is easy for people from multiple communities to attend?
- Transportation: Are we making it easy for people to travel across the county through public transportation?
- Narrative: Are we talking positively about each community, not just our own?
These were discussed at our event and there are many more that could be added to the list. After the group discussed how we can collaborate, the question asked was: “Why is this important?”
- “It creates a larger ‘we’ and we can get things done.”
- “It allows visitors to explore a larger footprint and experience everything we have here.”
- “There are not enough people in each individual municipality to support events or businesses; we need to cross-promote.”
- “It makes our region feel safer and more neighborly.”
The group discussed how we can work to create this ideal community where everyone collaborates well, and also discussed the ways we already do this.
“People have to have the desire and curiosity,” an attendee said. “It’s essential to keep an open mind and accept others.”
“You can’t choose where you’re born, but you can change where you live,” another added.
The group agreed that we need to celebrate our regional amenities more, communicate with one another face-to-face, and work to change the narrative here. It was also mentioned that while we can do our best spreading messaging to one another, positivity starts within.
Be Here Quarterly wasn’t created so we can solve all our area’s problems; it’s a way for community members to discuss how we can work to help our area thrive. Our conversation about collaboration was another great step in doing just that.
We will not have a fourth Be Here Quarterly this year, because we are instead hosting a workshop with ZingTrain on November 6th. Learn more here.