We’ve been doing neighborhood news with West St. Paul Reader for four years now, and we can never underestimate the value of showing up. If you’re going to work with the community, you have to be there.
It’s no different for any business, whether you’re trying to invest in your local community like we are, or make your presence known in your industry. You have to show up.
We recently attended a workshop on community journalism led by Dr. Cirien Saadeh, the executive director of The Uptake. She talked about the value of “being radically transparent,” and talked about one-on-one meetings with community members, helping people understand how the process of journalism works, and being present in the community.
Saadeh used the phrase “radically present,” and described working in a coffee shop in the community to simply be visible and accessible.
You need to show up to build trust and learn from community. Those kinds of connections can open doors, whether you’re a journalist looking for stories or a business looking for leads.