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
We are pleased to feature a special guest post from Rachel Giere, “the other half of @4sqCincy.” Foursquare Cincinnati was the first to get their city of Cincinnati Ohio to declare April 16th, 2011 as Foursquare Day! Read on below to learn how they did it, then let us know that you’re working on it and we’ll add you to the proclamation tracking page!
BONUS: Here’s the proclamation draft they sent to their mayor’s office. Rachel says everyone is free to use it as a sample or rough draft or just swap out the specifics and use it in your own effort! Thanks Rachel!
Ok, so you want to get Foursquare Day proclaimed in your neighborhood. Awesome! It was actually quite easy for Cincinnati, and I was surprised at how fast the whole procedure actually turned around!
Me and Chris (the other half of 4sqCincy) threw around the idea in a few DM’s on twitter. I took some bits and pieces from 4sqIndy’s letter to the mayor (as I thought it was pretty great and said what needed to be said quite well), and was trying to rework it to fit Cincinnati, without totally ripping them off. A few more messages back and forth trying to get the kinks out and Chris sent me a link. I highly suggest checking out your city’s government home page and seeing if they don’t have certain requirements for proclamations/contacts.
Fortunately, they offered a sample of a proclamation. I used it and inserted some facts, figures, ego boosting, into it, had Chris take an editing look and make sure I wasn’t completely off my rocker, and away it went. I received an email a few days later saying they had received it, and would let me know shortly. Lets just say that week or so was one of the longest I’ve had in awhile. But soon enough, I got an email from the mayors secretary saying the document was ready to be picked up and Bam! I’m driving to City Hall on my lunch break the next day.
At this point, I was still expecting to have a form letter telling me I was crazy, and things like this should be reserved for amazing heroics, or martyrdom, or a rocking pet, etc. But to my surprise the assistant there made a copy put the ribbon on it, slid it in an envelope tada!
Now it may have helped Cincinnati a little as our mayor is on Twitter, and the city is very active in social media already. This is one of those things though, that the worst they can do is say No. All it took was a little word working on my part and an email or two, and poof, hard part over! If anyone would like you are more than welcome to use the wording, or use it as an example. I highly suggest first off looking into what needs to be done for a proclamation in your city, and do that soon. I was told it would take 3-4 weeks, although it only took one. Then when the hard parts over, you can hopefully have much more leverage to reach out to those local businesses and venues and really get planning an awesome 4sq Day!