What is a Community Press?
A community press is a relatively simple concept, and setting one up is as simple as adding a blog to your party unit's website. In short, it is a news page you make available for anyone in the community to share information about the issues that are most important to them and to tell the stories of what is going on in their neighborhood. While you definitely want to curate and edit some of the content, it should be as accessible as possible, and you should actively seek out people who might have something to contribute. Ultimately your community press should be a website where people want to go to find the news they can’t get anywhere else. In a world where all politics seems to be national, a community press is how you can make things local again.
Why is a Community Press so Important?
A community press is an opportunity for local organizing units to reach out into their community and tell the stories of the people closest to them. The advantages are twofold. First the simple act of reaching out lets people know that you actually care about what they have to say, second people will want to share their stories on social media giving your organization a broader audience. Having a larger audience of people who in your community hearing the stories of their neighbors will strengthen your bonds with the community and make organizing during an election cycle a far easier task. People don't want to show up for you if you don't show up for them, and this is a great way to be there for the people who feel unheard.
Overall, a community press is a great way to show that your local organizing unit is dedicated to the people of your district. By showing up for people, telling their stories, and broadening your audience, you will build a base that is solid and ready for an election year. It also has the added bonus of helping you grow your email list by drawing traffic to your website. A community press has the potential to be a catalyst for change in your neighborhood, and because of that, it is a must-have for local organizers.
How to get started?
Set up a website with a blog.
Set up a committee of people responsible for curating and publishing content.
Find a group of people willing to write 200-500 words every month.
Reach out to people you know to see if they have topics they want to be covered, stories they want to be told, or things they would like to write themselves.
Try to interview people in your community about problems they are dealing with and write articles about their concern.
Share your posts on social media.