FRA Communications Report 2019-2020
Significant progress was made in the past year on the objective of improving our communications with Members. Regular communications are also vital for raising awareness of FRA activities among residents in Fetcham who are not current Members, but may be persuaded to join in the future.
The FRA communicates with Members in a variety of ways and many of these channels were enhanced over the past 12 months.
Website - fetchamresidents.co.uk
This was relaunched in the summer of 2019. Agreement was reached with Tekmate in Fetcham village to carry out the work of ending the relationship with the previous supplier, securing the domain name and email addresses, and redesigning the site on the widely used WordPress platform.
The website is now an effective ‘public face’ for the FRA.
- It explains the purpose of the FRA to existing and new residents.
- It carries news items which we believe will be of interest to residents, such as public consultations on local planning and healthcare.
- It features a bespoke mapping tool which allows residents to locate and view planning applications in their immediate area.
- It acts as a ‘noticeboard’ for local groups.
- It allows residents to easily contact, or pass comments to the FRA Committee, via email.
At time of writing, the website has had more than 3,400 visitors and is clearly achieving its aim of reaching many residents on a regular basis.
It has been especially useful during the Covid-19 crisis as a way of passing to residents essential public messaging regarding help for vulnerable groups, and the status of local services. We have also been posting the public messaging from our local authorities.
The FRA maintains a Facebook page. This carries links to items on the website and greatly extends our reach into the community. This again raises our profile, and the comments it attracts gives us an insight into community thinking. I would like to thank Dan Phillips for taking this on and providing the FRA social media updates.
This is published in Spring and Autumn and is delivered free of charge to every household in Fetcham, more than 3,000 homes.
The Newsletter was redesigned in 2018, with 16 pages of news, features and information about the village. Editorial input is provided free by FRA members, and printing and distribution costs are fully covered by advertising from local traders.
We are indebted to the strong support the Newsletter receives from local business.
As a printed publication with a wide distribution, the Newsletter is intended to raise the profile of the FRA, especially among non-members, and to raise residents’ awareness of issues which will affect them, such as the Local Plan.
The Newsletter is also the primary link with residents who do not have access to our website or social media feed.
Members who choose to supply us with their email address also receive regular email updates alerting them to matters we believe will be of interest.
This has proven to be a very useful tool, especially where the FRA wants to relay information to Members quickly, such as in the present Covid-19 emergency.
Analytical data suggests that more than two-thirds of members are opening the emails and at least a quarter of recipients are following links through to our website.
We will seek to build on all of these communication channels in the coming year.
Vice-Chairman and Editor