Using email to communicate with residents

I’m extremely grateful to our Parish webmaster, Mike Jones, for the work he does on this website. Mike was a member of the Parish Council but he stepped down a while ago but kindly offered to carry on offering his services for free in helping us with this website. He built this website and helps with backup and monitoring the useage statistics and helping to keep it developing.

Recently he suggested that we use the website in conjunction with Mailchimp. This is a piece of online software used in many different ways to send emails. I wasn’t sure it would be useful at first, but after having considered it, I think there is a useful role for it. 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but you can now add yourself to our database so that you receive emails from us. I’ve decided to start by sending a news update by email once a month. You can see the first such email here.

This is a useful additional communication tool. Residents can choose to subscribe or to unsubscribe. The process is automated so it requires no input from the Parish Council. The system provides useful tracking data about who opened the emails and what they clicked on for more information. It helps to get traffic to the website and to raise the profile of the work of the Parish Council. So far we have about 100 people subscribed to the list but hopefully it will increase with time. Importantly, it hasn’t cost us anything to do this too.

It is almost as if the Parish Council is now in the 21st Century!



New parish website goes live

Thanks mainly to the genius of former Parish Councillor Mike Jones, Loughton Parish Council now has a new website.

Mike has built this one using WordPress, a web format popular amongst bloggers, but also gradually finding favour with many organisations as a platform for a website.

The advantages of WordPress (apart from being free!) are that there can be many contributors, that posting is pretty straightforward, and uploading resources such as documents is also pretty straightforward. Continue reading »