Thursday, June 2, 2016

Telling great stories of SC cities and towns

By Reba Campbell, deputy executive director

Part of what we do at the Municipal Association is tell the stories about the great things going on in cities of all sizes around the state. Among the many ways we share these stories is through our monthly Uptown newsletter. It’s 16 pages chock full of feature stories, best practices, kudos and training topics of interest to elected officials and city staff. 

Often we learn about these success stories from reading local newspapers. So, it was really nice this week when we could turn the tables when a local newspaper used Uptown as the source for a column. 

The Greenwood Index Journal ran an editorial praising the Greenwood County cities for several important economic development successes. Two articles that were in the May issue of Uptown prompted the editorial. It’s nice to see Uptown’s reach go beyond our audience of municipal officials!

Uptown has been around since 1975 and was preceded by SC City that launched in 1959. It’s gone from a simple typeset black-and-white publication to a full-color professionally written and designed newsletter that is painstakingly and strategically planned and published 11 times annually. It is mailed to more than 4,000 municipal officials, legislators and news media the first week of each month. Or…if you’d rather have it delivered online, we do that too.

Many of you know Uptown’s long-time editor, Mary Brantner, retired at the end of May after serving in this role for 28 years. She was the meticulous editor, talented writer, master planner, thorough researcher and patient cat herder who kept the process of planning, writing, editing and distributing Uptown on time and on budget. Over the years, she worked on more than 300 issues that included somewhere near 7,000 articles. That’s a lot of words! 

We congratulate Mary on her well-deserved retirement, and welcome to our staff Sarita Chourey, who has taken over as editor of Uptown. Sarita has a journalism background having served as the bureau chief and State House reporter/blogger for several South Carolina newspapers. She covered city issues for many years and will bring a unique perspective to our content going forward.

Often the best Uptown story ideas are those we get from local officials,so please share your successes with Sarita! We particularly like to include articles in Uptown about projects, programs and services in cities that meet a universal challenge or that can be duplicated in other cities.

The June Uptown should have already arrived in your mailbox. Or you can read it online now here. If you’d like to get the e-version in addition to, or in place of, the paper version, just go to your member home page from the Municipal Association website and change your subscription options in the top right corner of the page.

Happy reading!

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