Talk It Out: Plans for Communicating Your Main Street Project

| Tuesday, May 20 | 3:15 p.m - 4 p.m. | Room: Richard B | Session Tracks: PD, MC

Developing a communication plan for your downtown is essential to delivering your message to businesses, consumers, and the entire community. Want more attendance at events? Need to share vital information about street closings? Looking to boost your twitter followers? From little projects to big projects, the chances of achieving goals are better if organizations develop a plan to communicate. In this session, learn how to write a plan, identify and troubleshoot pitfalls, and how to respond to unexpected hurdles. Attendees will walk away feeling confident in articulating and implementing a communication plan that supports either keystone or everyday projects in their community.


Cristina Sheppard-Decius, Ferndale Downtown Development Authority 
Cristina Sheppard-Decius is a 14-year veteran executive director of the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority and received certification from the National Main Street Center as a Certified Main Street Manager in 2005. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Western Michigan University and over 20 years of experience in public relations, marketing, volunteer organizations, and economic development. Under her leadership, Downtown Ferndale was honored as one of five Great American Main Streets in the nation by the National Trust Main Street Center in 2010 for its transformation into a thriving downtown in the Metro Detroit area over the last decade. 

Christine HughesFerndale Downtown Development Authority 
For the past five years, Christine Hughes has been the communications and marketing manager for the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, developing and delivering the district's message locally, regionally and nationally. On a daily basis, Christine utilizes her past experiences as a journalist, advertising copywriter, and retail business owner to generate communications that resonate with business owners, engage fans, and ultimately, bring more buy-in to the district.