Some of you may know me. In case you don’t, I was recently hired as the public relations director and events coordinator for the City of Neosho.
Before then, I worked for six years as a reporter for this newspaper (there was another year in the middle when I worked a full-time history gig, and also worked for another newspaper, before I came back to the Neosho Daily News.)
I was also director of the Newton County Historical Park and Museum for three years, about one year of which was full-time (the history gig I mentioned.) I took a break from that, but am still on the Newton County Historical Society board of directors. I also continue to write a history column on Sundays for the Neosho Daily News.
Anyway, that’s a little bit of my background, in way of introduction.
Mayor Davidson asked me to write today’s column in his place, as he is out of town, so I thought I might share a little bit about some of the interesting things the city is now doing to get information out to the public.
In the past few weeks we have opened up more windows of communication between the city and the citizens.
To start with the basics, information that the citizens need to know is being disseminated to the area media outlets on a frequent basis, which is then hopefully communicated to the public on a mass scale. So far, this has included everything from water service interruptions, to Christmas toy drives, to winter weather preparations, to holiday safety tips, to most everything in between.
Hopefully, you pay attention to the local news, either via newspaper, radio or television. I assume you do, if you’re reading this column. However, I think a lot of people would like to keep up with the news, only they don’t always have the time. In that case, the city now offers a few other avenues of information to the public.
There is, of course, the city website, neoshomo.org, which is being updated regularly. All information sent out to the media is also posted on the homepage of the website. Usually, it’s posted there first, in fact.
Social media is king, and a popular king at that, so the city also now has a Facebook page. Be sure you find the “official” City of Neosho Facebook page. There is at least one other “City of Neosho” page out there that isn’t ours. You’ll know our page by the City of Springs logo (and, at least for now, the black and white cover photo of the All-America City banner, though my plan is to change that photo periodically). The direct link is facebook.com/CityofNeosho. Then click on “like.”
Page 2 of 2 - There you can not only read city-related news items and other updates, but also see photos of things happening around town. The most recent photos were of police officer promotions. Many people like to receive alerts on their phones when selected Facebook pages are updated, and this one is updated at least once, and often several times, a day. Everything that is posted on the home page of the city website is linked on the city Facebook page, so this is just one more way to get the word out to the citizens.
If you want just the bare-boned, basic facts lightning-quick, I have another information outlet to tell you about it. You can now sign up to receive phone text messages from the city. These mass messages, which can also be sent via email if you prefer, include reminders about everything from street closures to special events, and lots, lots more. This free service has already come in handy, I have been told, for people who don’t routinely check the city website and aren’t on Facebook. If nothing else, the texts serve as helpful reminders. To sign up, go to the city website, neoshomo.org, and click on the “nixle” banner on the left side of the page. Just follow the instructions from there. They are pretty simple and the whole process only takes a few minutes.
Although this service has existed for some time, it is now being utilized again on a regular basis.
I had intended to also write about some upcoming events, but it seems I am out of space. Perhaps another time! I’m sure you will be informed about them anyway, via any of the other information outlets I have mentioned today.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to call me anytime, day or night, at one of the numbers listed below.
Or just stop by city hall and say hello!
Wes Franklin is public relations and events coordinator for the City of Neosho. He can be reached at 658-8443 or, during weekday business hours, at 451-8050.