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May 9, 2011
Web-power Behind a Playground Rebuild
How many community projects are there in which controversy could be quelled or participation enhanced with a website of their own? No doubt a lot.The web's close-in community relations aspects came to mind as we noted the plan to rebuild the the Cedar Hill Park playground in Oak Ridge, TN, in a week's time with 1,200 volunteers recruited by aggressive community outreach — and the rebuild's website.

Sure, websites themselves require talented designer/builders, but we suspect those skills are being added to the portfolios of community relations pros around the country. Diana Stanley, an Oak Ridge public relations coordinator, looks like she may be one of them, though The Oak Ridger's story on the "countdown" to the playground project doesn't make get into that aspect of the story. Anyhow, there's lots of enticing information on the playground's website.

We know of a zoning controversy in our own area that could be illuminated by a non-existent website about what's envisioned by the municipality's planners. Government belongs increasingly on the web, explaining what it's doing and enlightening citizens on the options for their shared future. A big "thank you" to the Oak Ridge officials who recognized the value of being on the web. We'd almost like to be sharing in the meals that will be provided to the volunteers being assembled to rebuild the Cedard Hill Park playground.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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