Brent and I were once again asked to have a chat about the paper with a local organization, this time the latest class of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy. Those folks have spent the past several weeks hearing from everyone from town government to local law enforcement, schools, community organizations and the like. Consider it a crash course on the inner workings of the community.

The talk was on Halloween, so of course I showed up dressed as what many have referred to as a “newsie zombie.” I like to joke that it’s not a costume, but rather what a journalist looks like toward the end of every week.

Anyway, we’re always happy to share what we do with local groups, so Brent and I happily made the trip to Chamber of Commerce HQ to share information and anecdotes with a room full of interested residents.

They hit us with a lot of the usual questions ranging from the paper’s history and services to things like circulation and whether or not we run every letter that gets submitted. We kept our rambling to a minimum, so I think we got the group out of there only about a half hour later than they had planned for.

In truth, the time flew by. It was a nice group of folks who clearly have an interest in learning more about their hometown. You might have guessed by the group’s name, but these folks typically plan to become more involved in the community in the coming years, so I appreciate the fact they’re taking part in something like the Leadership Academy, which gives them a chance to see firsthand how the community operates.

As I noted during our chat, one of the things The Times has had to come to terms with recently is the need to promote ourselves better. We gladly beat the drum of local news and staying informed to anyone who will listen, but we sometimes forget that we need to reiterate all of the ways we make that possible.

Some folks don’t realize, for instance, that we offer a daily newsletter. Included in that newsletter are reminders for local events, which anyone can submit with ease on our website at fhtimes.com.

Our website is where you can also find everything from the business directory to photo galleries and a new addition, FH Social. We’ll have more info on FH Social in an upcoming edition of the paper but, in short, it’s a service being offered to our advertisers that will allow their social media posts to seamlessly feed into a featured stream.

We’re working on ways to get the word out more regularly concerning our offerings for readers and advertisers but, in the meantime, I’m always open to suggestions or observations. What do you like best about the paper, our website or other services? What would you like to see added or removed? What section do you flip to first?

Feel free to share your thoughts by sending an email to ryan@fhtimes.com. I look forward to reading your comments and suggestions.