Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to share with others what your organization is doing in Silver Spring

First things first:

The “Holy Grail” of a single portal, Facebook page, web-site, mobile-app, or FM radio station where you can tell the world the wonderful things your organization is doing simply does not exist.

For the past year, the Silver Spring Regional Center has begun releasing regular e-blasts that consists of a combination of civic meetings, community gathering and celebrations, and sample of fund-raisers and ticketed events. We do this as part of our mission to be “the eyes and ears of the community to County government – and vice versa.”  We also do this because we help “staff” the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District; and, we manage the Silver Spring Urban District.

Of course, we are not – and never intend to be - THE single source for information for all the amazing things going on in the Silver Spring Regional Area, which includes over 25 identifiable neighborhoods, eight commercial hubs, a major downtown area, and an incorporated City (Takoma Park) with its own downtown; and many great venues, countless restaurants, commercial entertainment opportunities, community serving non-profits, and over 60 faith communities.

We certainly appreciate and welcome you letting us know what is going on. We hope you will continue having us on your mailing list – or add us to it if we are not already.  Please send it directly to:
In return, please do subscribe to our e-blast. Go HERE to sign up. (We promise it is easy to unsubscribe if these e-blasts get to be spam for you.)

If you are looking for other sources to expand your message and reach the broadest audience possible for that next function, here’s some pointers we hope are helpful to you.


There are a handful of media outlets that welcome knowing about what is going on in the community and provide an excellent place to let the “general public” know about what you are doing. Among these are:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog  Washington Post’s “Going Out Guide.”  Make sure you ‘search’ for Silver Spring…  Solid listing of commercial opportunities.

http://silverspring.patch.com/events/category/family   “Silver Spring Patch” events calendar…  An excellent ‘searchable’ event listing.

http://www.takoma.com/calendar  “The Silver Spring Voice” events list…  Easy to read list.

http://www.gazette.net/section/calendargzevents   “Gazette.Net”…  Maryland Community News Online.  Probably the most comprehensive list of events, with easy to follow web-link.

There are also certain public sites that do a great job listing opportunities to enjoy community, focusing mostly on arts, entertainment, and performances.  While these sites may require registration, membership, and/or a fee, they are a great source and reach a focused, targeted population.

http://www.creativemoco.com/calendar  "Do and Go"...  A service of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Do & Go is an online calendar for cultural events in Montgomery County. Festivals, camps, classes, museums, historical sites and performances -- it's all here!

http://www.visitmontgomery.com/events-calendar  “Visit Montgomery”...  The Conference and Visitors Bureau's official site. Very good for all things 'touristy', as well as performances and arts.

http://visitmaryland.org/Pages/Welcome.aspx  “Visit Maryland”... The official site of the Maryland Office of Tourism.  As good of a comprehensive list for 'things to do' throughout the State as there is, focusing primarily on established destinations.

http://www.wamu.org/arts   A simple way to reach the “NPR” crowd. And, your listing may even be featured in their daily “art minute”.

We are fortunate to have in our community two wonderful 'volunteers' that maintain their own list of what is going on relevant to our community.  

[ ] Busy Graham releases an occasional e-mail with a list of art-centric events in and around Silver Spring. If you'd like to be added to her list, and/or for her to consider listing your event, please e-mail her at:

[ ] Emma Whelan is maintaining a 'marketing e-mail list' to help promote our area. If you'd like to be added to her list, and/or for her to consider listing your event, please e-mail her at:

Beyond these, there are of course the often forgotten ‘obvious people-to-people’ places that most organizations have easy access to. Ultimately, nothing replaces “word of mouth.”  Getting our own staff, board members, customers, clients, and friends to help us spread the word and get the function listed in their own virtual and real networks can pay great dividends. Key among these are:
- community listservs
- faith community bulletins
- other non-profits
- affinity groups message boards
Each organization knows best how to maximize their own resources. However it is done, it is imperative that these ‘obvious’ networks be tapped to promote and get the word out to the closest of ‘constituents’, the ‘friends-of-friends’. This is oftentimes one of the easiest and most productive acts that anyone can do without much effort to help the function be as successful as it can be. Yet, this simple approach is all too often brushed aside or not given the attention it merits.

We hope you will take advantage of all the existing tools to help you ‘spread the word’ and look forward to continuing to hear about the wonderful opportunities you create to build community!

See you around Silver Spring,

Reemberto Rodriguez, Regional Director
Silver Spring Area

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