Guidelines for Public Talks

Public Relations Tips for Historic Preservation Commissions

  • Contact Chamber of Commerce or a similar group to get a list of civic groups and organizations in your area.
  • Make a slide show using pictures of local historic districts and sites (a local survey is a good source for this material).
  • Discuss architectural styles and areas of community worthy of preservation.
  • Always make the talk positive in spirit - never negative.
  • Leave out preservation jargon if possible, but if you use it define the terms.
  • Talks should aim to educate and simply be a guided historic tour of the community.
  • Show details of local buildings. Teach your audience to "look up."
  • Have a strong single message aimed especially at your audience. For example, "Economic Benefits of Historic District for Real Estate Professionals."
  • Use BEFORE and AFTER photographs. Show the positive projects that the commission and property owners have successfully completed in the community.
  • Take the opportunity to let them know more about the commission, who you are and what you do. Also let them know how to reach you.
  • Distributed commission brochures that explain more about how you work in the community and what the process is.
  • Remember always that you represent the commission and do not get involved in discussions about policy decisions and personalities. Be professional.