February 23, 2012
Las Vegas has rung in the 2012 4sqDay season with our first city proclamation!
If you’re throwing a 4sqDay party, making it “official” is a fun way to help promote it locally. Having been through the process, it’s not as daunting as it sounds – jump through a few administrative hoops, get cooperation from your city, and you’re golden. In 2011, Rachel from 4sqCincy wrote an extremely helpful proclamation guide for this site. Because of the nature of the bureaucratic process, this is something you’ll want to start NOW. It will differ from city to city, but here are some basic steps:
1. Go to your city goverment’s website, city council website, or mayor’s official website. They may have instructions about how to request a proclamation. If not, they’ll likely have email addresses. If the mayor’s administrative assistant’s email address is listed, that’s a good way to start. If you’re not having any luck, try googling “[your city] proclamation.” Or you could (gasp!) pick up the phone and contact your city or town hall. Many cities have requirements listed or clear instructions because people contact them for proclamations fairly often.
2. Write a letter, explaining who you are, what you’re requesting and why. Rachel used Chris Banks‘ Letter to the Mayor, but made it her own (as did many other organizers did last year, including myself). Since last time we’ve written, 4sqDay has gotten a ton of publicity which you can leverage. Check out our list of present and past proclamations. The high profile coverage that NYC Mayor Bloomberg received should give you credibility. Reference the 4sqDay meetup page for all the cities participating. If your city isn’t listed, create it.
3. Sometimes the city council asks you to provide proclamation language upfront. This is the trickiest part – Where As, proclamation language can be awkward. Sometimes, like in Cincinnati’s case, they offer a sample to work from. Rachel provided what she used. My city asked for 3 short proclamation paragraphs. Here‘s what I used. This might also be the point where you can request the mayor’s presence at your event.
4. You wait for a response. Depending on your city, this can be within the same day or take weeks. If there is a significant wait, I would recommend contacting the mayor’s office directly to explain what you’re doing, without being pushy. This would is also a good opportunity to invite the mayor to your party! Write a blog post. Emphasis your focus on local commerce/tourism and if your party has a charity element, mention that as well. If your mayor’s office is active on twitter, mention them in a tweet and have others do the same. You can get your local tourism board and chamber of commerce involved to help, but remember there’s a thin line between passionate and annoying.
5. They say yes! Some cities (like Las Vegas) will honor you immediately with the proclamation. Others invite you to accept the proclamation at a city council meeting and ask you to talk about it. Other mayors present it at the 4sqDay party.
6. You can then use this proclamation to garner more publicity for your event – get more businesses on board with specials and sponsorships, all in the spirit of 4sqDay. When you get your proclamation, LET US KNOW! Contact us on twitter or facebook. We’ll add you to our proclamation list and spread the good news!
Good luck. Let’s get started! If you are having trouble with any of these steps, let us know. If you aren’t hosting a party, but want to help out the organizer with this task, contact them. They’d love the help. Do you have any other tips to get a 4sqDay proclamation?
image credit: Finesse