8 Questions About Manchester Matters with Editor Doreen Petrozza
Manchester Matters is the Town’s most reliable news source and has been circulating important information directly to the community for more than 20 years. Manchester Matters underwent an exciting upgrade that has made the e-newsletter more user-friendly, accessible, and efficient than ever before.
The Town of Manchester’s Customer Service Center Manager and Manchester Matters Editor, Doreen Petrozza, has a front-row seat in witnessing Manchester’s evolving community. With over 20 years of experience working for the Town, she understands the importance of adapting communications to better inform and engage while keeping up with the ever-changing needs of the community.
We asked 8 key questions to get her perspective on why these changes are being made and why Manchester Matters has always been and will continue to be an integral part of the town’s continuous goal of improving civic engagement and communications.
1. How have the communication needs of residents changed over the years?
Doreen: Manchester has long been on the forefront of technology, and that has allowed residents to quickly and easily access information and services. For instance, 20 years ago we were mailing out hundreds of Road Race registrations. Now people around the world can register instantly online.
2. Why was Manchester Matters created?
Doreen: This email service was created to deliver both municipal and community information right to the subscriber’s in-box, enabling the user to be knowledgeable about Manchester’s events without the need to go searching. The service was launched in November of 2001. The NAMCO explosion in July was a catalyst for us to implement this tool to reach large numbers of residents via email with the click of a button.
3. Why are e-newsletters important?
Doreen: If you live or work in Manchester, you don’t want to miss out on programs and events that are available to you, or activities or deadlines that may impact you, such as summer camp registration, concerts, water main cleaning, and property tax relief, as just a few examples.
4. What types of information can be found on MM?
Doreen: News about voting, taxes, leaf collection, committee meetings, road construction, fire safety, Town jobs, dog licensing, special events, and programs offered by the libraries, schools, health and recreation departments.
5. Do you have any interesting stories that stand out in your memory related to Manchester Matters?
Doreen: Aside from the day-to-day news, Manchester Matters is also an important tool in preparing for and recovering from emergencies. In 2011 alone we had an historic winter with record snow accumulations and roof collapses, Hurricane Irene in August, and Snowstorm Alfred in October. Manchester Matters provides critical information to keep our community safe.
6. What kind of impact has Manchester Matters had on the community?
Doreen: The newsletter gives the community awareness and the opportunity to be involved and connected. We often hear, “I learned about this from Manchester Matters!”
7. What do you love most about Manchester?
Doreen: The people and their heritage. So many people I have met over the years have their roots here and have such interesting stories to share. The history here is so rich and speaks of community. The Cheney family focused on ensuring the quality of life for their workers and the residents, and that laid the foundation for services that are provided today.
8. What do you think separates Manchester from other towns?
Doreen: Manchester is fortunate to offer such a variety of important services for all ages at the municipal level, ranging from Recreation, Human Services, and the Senior Center, to the Water & Sewer Dept and the Transfer Station, as well as having a hospital and a community college in town.
These changes are reflections of the changing communication needs of the community and have been positively supported by other town employees as well.
When asked about the new Manchester Matters upgrades the town of Manchester’s Communications & Civic Engagement Director, Brianna Smith, said, “Manchester Matters is a legacy newsletter that continues to be a dependable resource for up-to-date information on happenings in Town. As the community turns to technology to stay informed, it’s crucial that we adapt our communications to make it easier for people to engage with us. Doreen has done a wonderful job in building and evolving this e-newsletter, I’m thrilled to see the community’s reaction when we launch the new version this Summer!”
The town of Manchester’s General Manager, Steve Stephanou, emphasizes, “The Manchester community has been utilizing Manchester Matters for over two decades. It’s proven to be a key channel for communications and the decision to make the upgrade to this newsletter will only help Manchester community groups, partners, and Town Departments stay better connected and more informed.“
Manchester Matters will continue to change, serve, and grow with the community to help keep Manchester a great place to live, work, and play.