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Opinion
March 21 - April 3, 2009 31
Publis
Community
Note
her’s
Commentary
Maintain presence
Improving livability, sustainability
during tough times
by Councilmember Trinity Donovan
The City is faced with decisions on how to cut costs
With fewer dollars being spent on goods and
while maintaining quality of life services that Chandler
services, businesses need to be more visible than
residents enjoy, even during these tight economic times.
ever to attract shoppers. If nothing else, you need
When determining solutions, sustainability is a key
to let people know you’re one of the few still open
aspect for most municipalities locally and across the
Photo by LightRainImages.com
for business. If readers don’t see your ads on a
nation.
regular basis, they’ll likely assume you’ve folded.
Recently, I learned about an exciting new program
So, despite the economic downturn, now is not the time to cancel
called STAR Community Index, which was formed
your advertising.
Trinity Donovan
through a partnership among ICLEI – Local Governments
However, we recognize your advertising dollars might be
for Sustainability USA, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Center
dwindling, too. Here are a few ways to get the most bang for your
for American Progress. STAR was created to help local governments work
buck:
collaboratively on best practices to improve the livability and sustainability
Don’t drop all your advertising. Instead, reduce your ad to a
smaller size, or run it fewer times, such as one time a month rather
of U.S. communities using a national, voluntary set of standards. STAR will
than two.
follow the model of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED),
Think “What’s in it for me?” with the “me” being the reader or
which established a consistent set of standards that defi ne green buildings.
your potential customer. What will make the readers view your
Members from various government and private entities have been selected
ad, come into your store or call about your services? People like
to establish the framework for the STAR program. These participants serve
“something for nothing.” Consider using an “informational” ad, with
on one of eight Technical Advisory Committees. It is my privilege to have
useful information rather than just a sales pitch. Maybe you describe
been selected to serve as Committee Chair of the STAR Health & Public Safety
details about a specifi c product and why it’s useful; perhaps you give
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Bob Goff, the City’s Water Quality
information about a certain technique you use and why it’s benefi cial
Specialist, was also appointed to serve as a committee member on the Natural
to your customers. People appreciate good information such as this,
Systems TAC.
which also creates good will.
At our fi rst meeting, we discussed common issues and existing measurement
Change your ads periodically so they don’t get “stale.” At the tools with peers from various communities. Such collaboration is fundamental
SanTan Sun News, we offer free design and layout. We’re not an in developing a set of standards, choosing the best from many different
ad agency and can’t make up what you want in your ad, so you systems. The Committees will focus on three key areas of sustainability:
just have to come up with the “copy” or the text you want us to Environment, Economy and Society.
include. Don’t pack it full of so many “specials” that the words have
One of the benefi ts of STAR is the cost savings that will be realized by
to be really small – or look so busy and overwhelming that potential
working in partnership with other cities nationally to share information and
customers won’t stop to read. Pick no more than three major points
resources on sustainability initiatives, which will prevent municipalities from
to make. Include photos if you have them. If you offer coupons, give
needing to develop their own programs. Another advantage is participating in
something people will think is worth the trip.
a globally recognizable green standards program specifi c to local government
And fi nally, send a news release along with your ad! News releases
using a common set of terms and defi nitions. And, while no two cities will
cost nothing other than a little bit of your time. And while news
look exactly the same, participants will have the ability to rate their own
releases are subject to editing and available space, as opposed to a
communities and learn from the successes of others.
paid ad for which you approve the copy and layout, you’ll get more
In 1989, the United Nations Brundtland Commission developed what is
bang for your buck with a second “mention.” The SanTan Sun News
now a common defi nition of sustainability, meeting “the needs of the present,
gives priority to our advertisers’ news releases, and all you have to
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
do is go to our website at www.SanTanSun.com, click on “send us a
news release” and fi ll in the blanks. One of our great copyeditors will
needs.” Since the decisions we make today have a direct impact on tomorrow,
rewrite it to fi t whichever section we feel is best.
looking at various factors of sustainability will allow us to better understand
Talk to your SanTan Sun account executive and see what ideas
how it personally relates to each of us. Making small changes in our daily
they might have for your advertising campaign. We know these are
routines can have a profound impact on the three sustainability areas.
tough times for everyone, and want to help you be successful.
The Technical Advisory Committee members will continue to work together
Thanks for reading, advertising in and patronizing our advertisers in
through 2009 to develop standardized indicators and metrics to create an
the SanTan Sun News.
independent, third party certifi cation process for STAR’s offi cial launch
scheduled for 2010.
Laurie Fagen, Publisher
Chandler is already making progress in the areas of environment, economy
Geoff Hancock, Advertising/Production
and society. As we move forward, it will be exciting to see the fi nal product
of the STAR Program and learn how to best use this tool to look at reducing
Chandler’s carbon footprint. It will also be a great opportunity to implement
Have a story idea or news tip? Know of an interesting photo opportunity? How
new innovative measures as we continue to reduce expenses and develop even
about positive feedback or constructive comments? We’d like to hear from you. Email greater sustainability strategies for our community.
us at News@SanTanSun.com.
Deadlines for the April 4, 2009 issue:
DEADLINES:
PUBLISHER WRITERS
Laurie Fagen Lynda Exley, Editor
The Deadline for Editorial and
ADVERTISING:
Advertising for the
Susan Henderson, Managing Editor
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
FEBRUARY 16, 2002
ADVERTISING/PRODUCTION
Geoff Hancock
Jen Bondeson Sharon Schnakenburg
issue is K.M. Lang Miriam Van Scott
EDITORIAL:
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
MAILING ADDRESS: For News Tips, Classified Ads, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2002
Sharon McCarson Joan Westlake
Darlene Keberle
PO Box 23
Editorial Articles, or Letters,
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Natalie Morris
Chandler, AZ 85244-0023
email is preferred.
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