Citizens For A Better Norwood

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Should the City of Norwood do an online newsletter?

Norwood city council has been talking for months about the need for a government-produced newsletter to inform the community about things like new ordinances that affect everyone, leaf pickup schedules, street improvements, new equipment purchases, etc. Naturally, the discussions turned to the least expensive ways to “spread the news.” One suggestion was to include newsletters with the quarterly water bills, which might keep the cost at a bare minimum while assuring every household would receive them. We‘re not sure the “how to” was ever completely nailed down, but we do recall one council member indicating the 2008 budget would include funding for a newsletter.

Last week, a Cincinnati Enquirer blog announced the latest edition of the twice-monthly “Hello Hamilton County” online newsletter, billed as “E-News for Hamilton County citizens and employees.” Is this a model for our city to consider? Are there enough internet users in the local population to make an online newsletter viable? No one knows for sure, but according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, 71% of American adults use the internet. This chart shows what percentage of all users have performed various activities on the internet. 66% have visited local, state, and federal government websites.

We’re curious what our readers think is the best way for the city to deliver a newsletter to the community - mail only, internet only, or perhaps a combo of the two? Is making better use of the current City of Norwood web pages another option?