Community Preparation: Raising Your Community's Y2K Awarenessgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread
Getting as much of the community as possible aware of y2k is the important and tough first step in community prep. Charles Reuben sent this excellent batch of tips to the 2000efn listserver. Here are some of the things they're been doing in Dallas...
>Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 12:56:52 -0500
>To: Fran Bailey [firstname.lastname@example.org]
>From: Charles Reuben [email@example.com]
>Subject: Re: Raising Your Community's Y2K Awareness
>At 06:16 PM 06/02/1998 -0500, Fran Bailey wrote:
>I found your e-mail address on the Year 2000 User Groups listing on the
>Year 2000 Information Center website. I am a member of the Des Moines
>Year 2000 User Group and trying to find out what other Y2K user
>groups are doing to raise Y2K awareness outside of their membership.
>Any information you could send me in the next week about what your
>group is doing to raise awareness outside of your membership would be
>greatly appreciated. Thanks!
>Des Moines Year 2000 User Group
Bill Wachel of DFW/DAMA Y2k Prep...might want to flesh this out a bit because I can only give you "unofficial" observations of the Local Sucesses and failures.
If I had to recommend one tactic overall...P.R. P.R. is CRITICAL. You now have a "mass movement" needing leadership and direction. AND..people will need help, most especially small and medium sized users using PCs.
I would build a web site, sell ads to vendors and make them pay for a massive PR effort to build traffic and get the Local Media interested and involved. On that web site should be all the tools and links small Users and businesses need to "Bootstrap themselves". I would also make an effort to get all leading Pressure groups and interests inolved: the press,business,the professions and ...the Clergy. The politicians will find you after that.[Grin]
1. Some of Dallas' leading corporations have had their Y2k bosses come and tell us of the work they were doing. Same with some of the vendors.
2. Educational talks (DAMA is NON VENDOR) were very well received.
3. Since Dallas is so heavily an IT city with EDS,IBM and large Corporate Main Frame installations a lot of information was shared privately.
4. Cross pollination with the Society of Information Mgt. (SIM) Y2k Working group was greatly aided by the fact that the Co-chair Dr. Kappelman is close by at the U. of North Texas in Denton.
1. Attempts to reach "the public" back in 1996 and 1997 were not very fruitfu but may have been premature.
2. The Media yawned. If anything, we did not "pound them out" with P.R.releases. THIS ALONE MAY HAVE BEEN CRITICAL. Therefore: I strongly recommend that multiple copies of essentially the same information be sent repeatedly.
Collect all the local and state Media sources and all the web site URLs possible and just "SEND". It may be SPAM but its good and tasty SPAM. Sooner or later, a "bell" goes off and they realize that there IS a LOCAL RESOURCE.
3. Don't count on the "Users groups". I personally attempted contacts with the UGs by voice,email,mail and in person at the big PC users meets at the InfoMart (a biggie in D/FW). ZIPPO. (Except for one presentation to an AS/400 group by a vendor.)
4. BIGGEST FAILURE: THE DALLAS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. This Chamber RUNS DALLAS. That is not an overstatement. Its business and social leaders also run the "Citizens Council" which selects the Mayor and runs the City for BUSINESS.
They did not have a clue about Y2k. Was the timing wrong?? Probably. But this was the same Chamber that with GTE,AT+T,IBM and EDS did a massive Educational effort on "How to use the Internet for your business." And kept up that effort for over a year until it was old news by 1996.
Now, we debated that the huge Y2k efforts being done in the Dallas area by large Corporations might have created a "conflict" the Chamber did not want to get involved with. Still, the Chamber could have been the difference between a good effort and a wildly successful one.
4. THE PRESS...another almost 'clueless bunch'. Except for the Dallas Business Journal. The Editor took an interest and ran about 5 stories in less than 3 months back in Spring 1997. He wrote two OP-ED stories. I called him after an E mail to ask how it was going and what the feed back was.
RESULT: two responses. Mine and one from a nut cases telling him to Repent before the world ended in 2000.
5. The Professions. Only now have the Lawyers taken and interest and they were driven by the CPAs in the Big 4.5-6 (whatever is left now). The CPAs were on the stick but did not join DFW/DAMA. They do however, offer Y2k as an MCE course here and most know the issues.
Other professionals will have to learn from their Trade Journals. (Except the Engineers who laugh at this because they fixed their computers back in the 1980s ((according to one big local Consulting Engineering firm).
CPR aka: Charles P. Reuben,B.Sc.,M.A.+
The Lowest Cost.. World Class City
Il telefono: 214-369-9922
-- Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 23, 1998
For those who wish to tackle a community smaller than Dallas, I have some simple tricks.
First, go rent the movie "Meet John Doe". Key in to the efforts of neighbors contacting neighbors, simple networking. All that is required is talking to the people in your area. Very soon you will create momentum that will be bigger than any individual. Your sphere of influence will grow, your group will get well organized, and other groups and communities will soon start working with you to create larger areas of readiness.
This will be how America and the World will deal with Y2K. The sooner YOU start, the better off you and your community will be.
-- Sandy G (Geonet@earthling.net), January 15, 1999.