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Community Magazine

Open Invitation

"Johnstown Community Magazine"

As you may be aware I've now produced 2 editions of the 'Bailis Times' Free Online Community Magazines for the Bailis Downs Estate. It is working well for us and can be adjusted to work for the benefit of the wider community. 

After a year of planning and testing I'm now ready to expand this into the Johnstown area and would like to invite you to participate.

What I'm proposing.

A Free Online Community Magazine for Residents of Johnstown that I'm offering to produce for FREE.
  • Written BY Residents,
  • FOR Residents,
  • ABOUT Residents.

Review the latest Bailis Times and you'll see that the majority of articles will apply to the Johnstown Community. With a revised format the community magazine will share general topic articles about our Residents, our Environment and our Community.

A section for use by each Estate can host their own individual 'Association Group News'.

Why produce a Community Magazine?

To increase Community Spirit.

The magazine captures a moment in time and it provides a much needed communication network between neighbours, visitors, local businesses and groups within Johnstown.

There isn't a Website, Facebook Page or printed Newspaper that currently provides this and so we're not in competition or replicating anything that already exists. We've seen fleeting glimpses in the past for printed Johnstown community newsletters but financial costs and political motivations have meant they came and went.

You may have already tried producing your own Estate Newsletter in isolation but this online magazine can provide so much more. Not everyone uses social media but most have internet access, more often via smartphones, and those without can always obtain a printout.

By involving the community directly in it's creation the magazine can play a positive role building Community Spirit that crosses all physical boundaries and is sustainable for the long term.

What's in it for your Group?

There's NO catch, NO costs involved and It's NOT going to take up much of your time.

Your group could achieve these goals:
  • Enhance your Residents Sense of Community Spirit.
  • Engage more with your Residents through your Facebook Page or Website.
  • Get your messages across effectively.
  • Improve your Groups profile and standing within your community and be seen as something more than a maintenance fund.
  • Perhaps gain Voluntary Contributions more easily.

Proof it works.

The Bailis Times was aimed at only 142 Households and has significantly increased our Facebook and Website engagement with our Residents.

The 1st edition(April) reached 119 readers and this was nearly tripled in the 2nd Edition (Oct). The magazine results below run up to Dec 28th, and 10 weeks of activity.

<CLICK Images to view in NEW windows>



Bailis Downs Facebook Page Followers

www.BailisDowns.ie Performance

What does it cost?

To you Nothing:
  • FREE to Read,
  • FREE for 'Not For Profit' Groups to get their messages out.

Frequency ?

This depends entirely on the regular supply of content. The 'shelf life' of the Magazine is 4 weeks and a monthly edition is therefore highly feasible. With a population this size and so many Clubs and Groups we have enough for new and regular articles without replicating existing online material.

What will I need from you?

Essentially 2 things that can have minimum involvement:

1. Article Authors.

I need your help to meet Residents with potential stories.

Your Residents have a wide variety of interests, hobbies, skills and community involvement. To build up Community Spirit the 1st step is to break down barriers by introducing people to each other. It can lead to new friendships and common interests being shared.

I already have a 'back catalogue' of articles from the Bailis Times that most of Johnstown has not seen. These can be updated and reformatted to provide instant content should we fall short of enough articles.

In seeking out articles I took the opportunity to approach Residents who don't normally contribute to the Community Fund or participate in estate Clean-Ups. By engaging positively with them through an article this has changed how they view their community, our association, and as importantly their level of voluntary involvement.

To connect and engage with your Residents I will need at least one article per Estate, per Topic, per Edition and you need simply point me in their direction.

2. Your Group's News.

I can produce the pages if you can provide the content.

The magazine reached more viewers than our individual Facebook Page or Website and we've learned that door 2 door paper flyers and newsletters are time consuming, highly ineffective and are treated as junk mail. This method is free and through feedback reports, surveys and competitions it will tell you if you're engaging with your residents.

If you think you've nothing to say then AGM season is soon upon us so why not include some of those action points or a review of last year.

You'll also discover that you're doing much the same as other estate organisers so why not tell everyone what's happening, collaborate, share experiences and lets work smarter together.

What do I get out of this?

1. Getting Bailis Downs Residents engaged with our Association, our Facebook Page and our Website has been achieved and the magazine plays a pivotal role in helping to maintain this. It also provides 'positive news' postings for our Facebook Page.

2. It should help make it easier to obtain our Bailis Downs annual Voluntary Community Fund contributions. In the past few years we averaged 40% contributing but through a combination of events this went from 29% in 2015 to 88% last year. Time will tell what happens this year but having broken down some social barriers we're hoping to discover that neighbours are now more inclined to help each other.

3. I want to turn this into a small business venture. I will obtain articles from authors and produce the magazine.

# What I need from you.

Your reply to say that you're interested in taking this further OR simply get in tough to offer some support, potential people to contact for articles or ideas you'd like too see included in the magazine.

Again we're all busy people so I'm not looking to take up much of your time in getting this underway to set a target date for the 1st Edition.

Send me a message and thanks for reading. 

Robin Marshall

Chairperson, Bailis Downs Residents Association
Founder & Editor, Bailis Times Magazine.
Founder & Editor, Bailis Downs Website

Links to the other Projects