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Public Relations News
Public Relations News: Rethinking Your Grange After COVID Mandates Lift
 

By Terri Fassio, CT State Public Relations Co-Director

  April 1, 2021 --

As COVID mandates lift across the state, Granges will soon be able to meet in person again, host activities and events, and raise some much needed funding and income. Some Community Granges are al- ready beginning to reopen by meeting safe and socially distant while others have been meeting continually via Zoom during the past year. Now is the time to take stock of your Grange’s values, principles and mission, and evaluate the status of your Grange and how it has changed and evolved over the past year. How does your Grange look in the future, to the public in which it serves?

 

Financial Implications

 

The uncertainty of the COVID pandemic has caused many people to either have their employment hours cut, lose their jobs altogether, or transition to a different work environment. The same trends ap- ply to all organizations, including the Grange. Volunteers now have to deal with changes at home, as well as changes at their Grange. Perhaps folks may not be available to give as much time and resources as they once did pre-COVID, while others may be able to volunteer more of their time and resources to the Grange. Granges need to take a look at their membership as it stands in 2021, and evaluate the availability of their officers, committees, and members looking for- ward, and how that may impact the Grange financially. Granges may have to look to alternate funding options (i.e.: grants, St. Pauly Shed, donations, etc.) to keep their group afloat.   Don’t overlook the importance of public relations when considering how to raise needed funds.

 

Resiliency

 

Businesses have found that during COVID they have had to streamline roles, adjust and be flexible, and alter workflows to increase efficiency. Granges are no different. They have had to respond to the situation around them, and adapt in order to survive. Granges are resilient, and have endured many journeys over the years, from the Great Depression to World Wars I & II, even the 1918 Flu Pandemic, and so much more. Granges have redefined themselves over and over to meet the challenges, and even thrive as they prepared for the “new normals” in their paths. Granges need to evaluate the services they offer to their local communities, and integrate what may need to be added or changed as a result of the past year.

 

Community Service a Priority

 

Granges historically have been important resources for their communities. They have played an indispensable role reaching out through service projects and activities. Granges are perfectly suited for a collaborative effort reaching out and reimagining community service priorities. This could be honoring front line workers, making masks, donating to the food bank, animal shelter and homeless group, hosting a fundraiser for local veterans, or cleaning the local cemetery, picking up trash along the road, brightening nursing homes with flowers, and mobilizing volunteers for a specific local project. As communities adjust post-pandemic, service projects become more important. Be sure to promote your Grange service projects within your community so that locals are aware of the efforts your Grange is putting forth.

 

Zoom is here to stay

 

One of the advantages of meeting virtually is that members who are not local, members who are house- bound, or those who cannot attend in person for whatever reason, can join and participate in meetings. Granges need to think about incorporating Zoom into their regular meetings, to continue to be open and inviting to those who can’t at- tend in person.

 

Looking Forward …

 

Once COVID mandates are lifted, your members will need guid- ance on how to get involved again. Consider various engagement strategies - such as a basic phone call list or email list, creating a newsletter, holding brainstorming sessions on Zoom, updating social media and more - and apply these strategies to your Grange’s recovery period. Planning for returning to a new normal is important to the continued well-being of your Grange.

Need help? The officers and committees of the Connecticut State Grange are here for your Grange. Don’t hesitate to contact them - to lend a hand or just be a sounding board. Need help getting the word out about your Grange and its activities? Send a note to information@ctstategrange.org  or publicrelations@ctstategrange.org .

 

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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