Communications Committee Reports
2020-2021 — Amy South, Chair
Traditionally, Communications reports on current and future Club activities but because of COVID, we were re-directed to design a process to share individual photos for competitions anonymously. We also worked closely with Workshops to help share communications regarding workshops and fabulous videos produced by Floss O’Sullivan, Florence Leyssène, and others. Floss O’Sullivan also created an invaluable step-by-step video tutorial on completing an entry form.
I am so impressed by the energy and dedication of those who continued to create magic in Avis Campbell Gardens, the Triangle Gardens, Garden Therapy, Workshops, Programs, Youth, Open Gardens and more! Additionally, thanks to Deborah Hirsch, we were able to grow our Membership during a year of lockdown. Special thanks to the photographers who jumped in and shared photos: Barbara Baletti, Claire Stepleton, Susan Yu, Marilyn Zaret, Michele Tomasik, and others.
My successor, Sue Young, helped us work around the frustrating challenge of an “absent webmaster” to post on our website a new dues renewal form with a Paypal link. She is very experienced with website design and her determination and wit will surely benefit the Club. It has been my pleasure to transition Sue and I look forward to staying on the Committee to help with the website rebuild. Recently, at the request of the Ways and Means Committee, we added a 'DONATE' button that will hopefully catch the attention of website visitors — more to come!
Thanks to Celia Radek for supplying Yearbook content for the annual website update. Thank you to our President, Florence Leyssène, for her knowledge and leadership during this challenging period. Her knowledge and experience, coupled with a kind heart, have helped make all we do possible. I am thankful for this amazing organization and feel inspired by the talents, energy, and dedication of our members. My heart is exceptionally heavy when I reflect on the many losses and hardships this past year but my mind is bright with the future of our extraordinary Club. Thank you to all — it is my honor to have served as your Communications Chair and I confidently pass the baton to Sue Young.
Email — Fran Wong
The Club is fortunate to have a robust calendar and Active membership and this necessitates adequate communication in order to be successful. Given the need to be flexible during the ever changing challenges of maintaining the activities of the Club during the pandemic, weekly e-mails were instituted to keep the membership informed and up-to-date. Whenever possible, articles and notices were congregated to avoid encouraging a common habit of ignoring email due to high volume. Appealing stationary is used to attract attention to the content. When we send it we want members to read it!
Email notices and reminders have become essential to keeping the membership informed and engaged. Every attempt is made to make sure current addresses are maintained and undelivered email is investigated and resent. Membership cooperation in notifying the Club of changes is always appreciated and is critical to the mission.
Finally, incoming messages to the Club email address were distributed to the appropriate individuals for their action.
2019-2020 — Amy South, Chair
Communications has continued to report to local papers, publications and social media regarding both our future activities and our accomplishments. lnstagram continues to be a very useful tool to spread word about events and highlight our accomplishments.
We continue to use Smugmug for photo storage. I would like to thank Susan Yu, Marilyn Zaret, Susan Straten, Michele Tomasik, Barbara Baletti, and Victoria Herrera for helping cover photographing events. Claire Stepleton continues to provide wonderful, consistent support with photography and tech related questions.
The temporary transition to Van Vleck for some of our events this year went smoothly in the communications arena. Attendance was strong for the fabulous Programs which might suggest that the publicity with the Montclair Local, Montclair Times, Baristanet, and Facebook was helpful. We supported some of our partners with advertisements in publications (Montclair Art Museum, Van Vleck, and 'May in Montclair'). Unfortunately, the pandemic brought a halt to all events (March -June) but we did submit a 1/8 page ad to the ·"We Care" section of the Montclair Local in support of the community and "May in Montclair".
The website requires a considerable amount of time to be updated and I appreciate all the assistance provided by Claire Stepleton. We will continue to share interactive forms (dues and Annual Luncheon responses) and to take payment on line via credit cards (with a nominal fee) through the website.
Some future goals are to increase Membership engagement with the website and to work with Claire Stepleton to update the History and Award information. Thanks to Celia Radek for supplying Yearbook content for the annual website update.
This year was exceptionally complicated by Covid-19 and our temporary move to Van Vleck. I am thankful to Florence Leyssène for her knowledge and leadership as President during these challenges and I look forward to another year as Communications/Publicity VP. I am thankful for my Membership and feel inspired by the talents, energy, and dedication of Garden Club members.
Email — Fran Wong
The Club is fortunate to have a robust calendar and active Membership and this necessitates adequate communication in order to be successful. At least two blast emails were sent each month during the
year. Whenever possible, articles and notices were congregated to avoid encouraging a common habit of ignoring email due to high volume. Attractive stationery is used to attract attention to the content. When we
send it we want members to read it! Special invitations such as that to the Holiday Tea were also sent.
Email notices and reminders have become essential to keeping the Membership informed and engaged. Every attempt is made to make sure current addresses are maintained and undelivered email investigated and re-sent. Membership cooperation in notifying the Club of changes is always appreciated and is critical to the mission.
Finally, incoming emails to the Club were distributed to the appropriate individuals and Committee Chairs for their action.