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Tag: Communications

O.1.2 Community Support

O.1.2 Community Support

Action

Build community buy-in and consensus on your district’s revitalization.

Why

District stakeholders must be aligned with a unified vision. If different stakeholder groups have different priorities or goals, the district will not progress forward.

How

Engage in consensus building activities so stakeholders are in agreement on the vision and direction of the district. Establish a culture of collaboration and regular communication.

Resources

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • Stakeholders with an interest in the district are in agreement on the vision and direction of the district
  • The stakeholders are collaborative and communicate regularly
3
  • Stakeholders with an interest in the district generally are in agreement about the vision and direction of the district
  • The stakeholders have open lines of communication
2
  • Stakeholders have a shared an interest in the district but have little agreement about the vision and direction of the district
  • There is little collaboration and communication between stakeholders
1
  • There is little to no agreement or shared interest on the vision and direction of the district
  • There is no communication between the stakeholder groups

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O.1.1 Municipal Support

O.1.1 Municipal Support

Action

Build municipal support for and investment in your district’s revitalization.

Why

Municipal support is crucial for a unified vision and support structure.

How

Municipal government should demonstrate an active commitment to the district via dedicated funding and/or dedicated personnel dedicated to the district. Every local context may vary depending on the community’s history and political environment. Building strong municipal support may take some time. Develop a strong case as to why district revitalization is important and the impact it makes. Be ready to share key talking points consistently with municipal leaders as frequently as possible. Keep leaders updated regularly with progress.

Resources

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • Municipal government demonstrates an active commitment to the district’s revitalization.
  • The municipality contributes resources (personnel and money) directly to the district.
  • (If applicable) There is a Memorandum of Understanding in place, between the district and the municipality.
3
  • Municipal government demonstrates an active commitment to the district’s revitalization.
  • The municipality contributes resources (personnel OR money) directly to the district.
2
  • Municipal government says they are committed to the district’s revitalization but offers inconsistent or little resources.
1
  • Municipal government is not committed to the district’s revitalization and is sometimes obstructive to progress. 

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P.2.1 Positioning Statement

P.2.1 Positioning Statement

Action

Develop or improve a positioning statement for your district.

Why

A positioning statement is a concise and compelling description that captures the vibe of your district and gives a person why they should live, work, and/or play in your district. A positioning statement is the foundation of your brand identity and should guide all of your strategic initiatives, programs, events, outreach, marketing – everything you do.

How

To develop a positioning statement for your downtown district you first take stock of your district’s strengths, assets, attractions, history, events, values, etc. Next identify the target audience that aligns the most with what your district already has to offer. You may have a primary and secondary target audience. For example, families, young professionals, active outdoors people, retired professionals who love art, etc. From there, create a statement that captures what makes your downtown so special for your target audience.

Resources

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Elements: History/heritage, Assets (e.g. geographic, business clusters, landmarks, public art, etc.),  Target audience, Differentiator(s)

4
  • The statement includes 4/4 of the elements
  • The positioning statement is documented and approved
  • The statement is incorporated in strategic planning
  • The statement is shared with key stakeholders and bought into it and businesses use it
3
  • The statement includes 3/4 of the elements
  • The positioning statement is documented and approved
  • The statement is incorporated in strategic planning
  • The statement is shared with key stakeholders
2
  • The statement includes 2/4 or less of the elements
  • The positioning statement is documented
1
  • There is no positioning statement

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P.2.3 Brand Key Messages

P.2.3 Brand Key Messages

Action

Develop key messages and talking points for the different stakeholders of your district.

Why

“Key messages are the main points of information you want your audience to hear, understand, and remember. They are bite-sized summations that articulate what you do, why you do it, how you are different, and what value you bring to stakeholders. Key messages are important because they serve as the foundation of an organization’s branding and marketing efforts and should be reflected in all written and spoken communications.”

– “Developing Key Messages for Effective Communication” by MSKTC (linked under “Resources”)

Resources

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Stakeholders: Economic development, Public safety, Municipal leadership, Merchants, Funders, Volunteers, Visitors, Community members, Property owners, Anchor institutions, District Residents

4
  • Key messages and speaking points are customized, documented, and respectively conveyed for at least 6/11 stakeholders
3
  • Key messages and speaking points are customized, documented, and respectively conveyed for at least 5/11 stakeholders
2
  • Key messages and speaking points are customized, documented, and respectively for 4/11 or less of the stakeholders
1
  • There are no key messages

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P.1.2 Attitudes and Perceptions Survey

P.1.2 Attitudes and Perceptions Survey

Action

Conduct, analyze, and document the findings of an attitudes and perception survey of your district.

Why

Conducting an attitudes and perception survey of your district gives valuable insights into the community’s opinions and preferences, helping in identifying areas of improvement and guiding future development strategies to improve overall satisfaction and engagement with the district.

How

Before creating and administering a survey, it’s important to identify what you want to get out of the survey and how you plan to use the survey results. Next, identify the questions you want to ask using both open-ended, multiple choice, and Likert scale questions. Consider the different stakeholders of your district like business owners, residents, etc. Lastly, use a digital survey tool like Survey Monkey or Google Forms as your central repository to collect all the responses. You may also want to create the survey in different languages and as a paper version to ensure you’re hearing from diverse populations. Create a promotion campaign to get the word out for people to complete the survey.

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Potential Topics: Safety, activities, convenience, parking, quality of shopping, quality of dining, etc.

4
  • A survey is collected every 2 years from residents, workforce, student population, and visitors on the attitudes and perceptions of the district
  • The survey results are shared with key stakeholders and inform strategic planning and priorities
3
  • A survey is collected every 5 years from residents, workforce, student population, and visitors on the attitudes and perceptions of the district
  • The survey results are shared with key stakeholders and inform strategic planning and priorities
2
  • A survey may be collected from time to time or survey data is over 5 years old
  • The survey results aren’t incorporated into strategic planning and priorities 
1
  • There is no survey

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D.2.2 Parking Promotion

D.2.2 Parking Promotion

Action

Improve the promotion of your district’s parking options.

Why

Parking is always a hot topic. Most often people complain that there is not enough parking. We have found that sometimes you have enough parking, but people just don’t know about it or can’t navigate to it.

How

A specific webpage can be developed for district parking.  Information should include all parking options, rates, enforcement, and locations etc.  The link can be shared and promoted through all district stakeholder and business web and social media sites.  A more specific “wayfinding signage” plan may need to be developed to identify specific locations and desired/required signage information as well as determine a budget for the cost.

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • Parking information is easily found online through a dedicated webpage or website.
  • More than 50% of district businesses distribute parking information.
  • Parking information is included in all event promotions.
3
  • Parking information is easily found online through a dedicated webpage or website.
  • Less than 50% of district businesses distribute parking information.
2
  • Parking information is only available through printed materials.
  • Less than 50% of district businesses distribute parking information.
1
  • There is no promotion of parking online or in print.

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V.3.1 Small Business Resources

V.3.1 Small Business Resources

Action

Provide a “one-stop shop” for business owners where they can have easy access to community regulations, permit processes and all necessary contact information. 

Why

Providing business owners with the experience of a “one-stop shop” makes your Main Street and your community all that much more appealing. This is often the first experience they’ll have with you and their success will be supported by what you provide to them in these early stages. 

How

  • Decide who your main contact is for business owners. Who will shepherd them through the process from concept to grand opening? 
  • Create a Support Team and provide contact information (phone and email) for the team. This would include municipal staff that will review permit applications, as well as state and local departments and organizations that administer technical assistance and economic incentives. 
  • Be sure all information is available online in one central location including:
    • Economic Incentives
    • Zoning Regulations/Ordinances
    • Permitting
    • Demographics
    • Market Trends
    • Department Contacts information
    • Business technical assistance program resources

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Elements: Incentives, Zoning, Regulations/ordinances, Permitting, Demographics, Market trends, Department contact information, Business technical assistance program resources

4
  • Business owners experience a “one-stop-shop”
  • Information available online includes at least 6/8 of the elements
  • Information is accessible in a centralized webpage/website and with a contact number and email address to speak to a person
3
  • Information available online includes at least 4/8 of the elements
  • Information is accessible in a centralized webpage/website and with several different contact numbers to speak to a person across multiple departments
2
  • Information available online includes at least 3/8 of the elements
  • Information is accessible on several different webpages and/or contact numbers across multiple departments
1
  • Information available online includes 2/8 or less of the elements
  • Information is accessible only through calling multiple departments

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V.2.6 Attracting Development and Business

V.2.6 Attracting Development and Business

Action

Provide a warm welcome for developers and businesses by making it easy to access information regarding community vision, regulations, permitting, available economic incentives and demographics.

Why

Be stage setters! You want developers and businesses to invest in, and become part of, your Main Street community! Giving them the experience of a “one stop shop” makes your Main Street and your community all that much more appealing. This is often the first experience they’ll have with you and their success will be supported by what you provide to them in these early stages.

How

  • Be clear and intentional with the community’s (or Main Street’s) plan or vision. Communicate that vision so developers and businesses know what you’re looking for. 
  • Create economic incentives and update zoning regulations and permitting processes to remove barriers for businesses and developers
  • Make information easily accessible online for developers and businesses
  • Delegate a point person to coordinate the process for permitting and approvals

CMSC Professional Affiliates

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Elements: Incentives, Zoning, Regulations/ordinances, Permitting, Demographics, Market trends

Note: For 501©3 organizations or other non-governmental organizations, their role is to encourage a “one stop shop”

4
  • Municipality with community support maintains a vision for the type of development desired in district
  • Developers experience a “one-stop-shop”
  • Information available online includes at least 4/6 of the elements
  • Information is accessible in a centralized webpage/website and with a contact number and email address to speak to a person
3
  • Information available online includes at least 3/6 of the elements
  • Information is accessible in a centralized webpage/website and with several different contact numbers to speak to a person across multiple departments
2
  • Information available online includes at least 2/6 of the elements
  • Information is accessible on several different webpages and/or contact numbers across multiple departments
1
  • Information available online includes 1/6 or less of the elements
  • Information is accessible only through calling multiple departments

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V.2.5 Property Owner Engagement

V.2.5 Property Owner Engagement

Action

Improve engagement with your district’s property owners.

Why

Property owners are critical stakeholders in your downtown district. In the ideal world, property owners are partners and collaborators. Absentee, apathetic, or confrontational property owners can be detrimental to the progress of a district. The goal here is to develop strong relationships with your property owners. You want to engage with them regularly and consistently, not just when you want something or have a problem.

It’s also been shown that when people have access to quality downtown housing, they thrive in other areas of their life, such as work opportunities. This is especially true if their housing is located near transit, the kind commonly found in a downtown, for instance the CTfastrak rapid bus station in New Britain, or the Hartford Line train station in downtown Windsor Locks.

How

Tactics to help build relationships with your property owners:

  • Send a quarterly newsletter specific to property owners
  • “Walk the streets” to meet with property owners one-on-one on Main Street
  • Have a least one property owner be on your Board of Directors or Advisory Board
  • If you have a star property owner, work them to influence other property owners

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • Property owners are informed at least quarterly via a newsletter, email, or meeting on updates on the district
  • District officials “walk the streets” at least quarterly and engage with property owners one-on-one
  • At least one property owner is on the District Board or a Committee
3
  • Property owners are informed at least twice a year with updates on the district via a newsletter, email, or meetings
  • District officials “walk the streets” at least twice a year and engage with property owners one-on-one
2
  • Property owners are only informed in times of need or crisis via a newsletter, email, or meeting on updates on the district
1
  • No channels to inform property owners are established.

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P.3.4 Event Communications

P.3.4 Event Communications

Action

Establish or strengthen communications and promotional plan for district events.

Why

A good event promotional plan will inform potential attendees, supporters and sponsors weeks, if not months in advance about event details, dates, times and any other related information. 

How

Know your target audience and plan event messaging strategies around their preferred communication mediums.  This should include a combination of website, social media, live appearances, potentially radio, paid print and digital ads, and other related sources.

CMSC Professional Affiliates

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • A promotional plan that incorporates a variety of outreach and advertising methods is implemented weeks or months in advance.
  • The community expects the events because it is consistently held.
3
  • A promotional plan that incorporates a limited variety of outreach and advertising methods is implemented weeks in advance.
  • The community expects the events because it is consistently held.
2
  • A promotional plan primarily focuses on word of mouth and very few channels of outreach and advertising methods.
  • The community typically feels like they heard about the events after it happens.
1
  • There is no promotional plan.

-OR-

  • No events are held.

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Connecticut Main Street Center

P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141
860.280.2337

© Connecticut Main Street Center 
P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337