Jim Brewin


BID activities are really starting to gather pace; three good examples are our piece on Essex radio which reached an audience of approximately 178,000 listeners, the Facebook page Saffron Shop Local and the SWBID Business Watch WhatsApp group which is sharing some really good information.  If you are not a member of the group, I urge you to join.  To be added, please contact the SWBID manager Louise at saffronwaldenbid@gmail.com

We have been concentrating on delivering marketing initiatives, but now want to spend some time on effective two-way communication with members.  Saffron Walden is a great town but against the backdrop of the internet and Brexit apathy, we will have to work hard to even stand still.  Our best chance of success is to work together in a positive way to promote our town and its unique experience.  In order to work together we need clear and effective communications and so I set out below a summary of the SWBIDs communication channels:

  1. Website saffronwaldenbid.co.uk

We see this is a data source for members and interested parties alike but not a marketing channel in its own right.  For members it will contain press releases, monthly newsletters, board minutes etc. For interested parties it will provide , business listing and links to what’s on pages elsewhere.

  1. Facebook page  Saffron Shop Local

This is mostly marketing to residents and some visitors, but members do have a very important role and that is to follow the page, like the posts but most importantly share posts on their own FB pages and encourage friends and family to do the same.  Like it or not social media is hugely important, and we can reach a vast number of people if we all share and encourage friends and family to do the same.

  1. Monthly newsletter

We will continue to circulate a monthly newsletter to members by email.  We know how busy you are and so it will contain a limited number of items, so you can easily scan it in 5 minutes once a month to see if there is anything you’d like get involved with.

  1. SWBID office

If you have any ideas or anything you want to discuss “face to face” then the BID has a small administrative office at 9 Market Row (first door on the right as you enter) the drop-in hours at the moment are 11-1pm on Thursdays.  Give the SWBID manager, Louise a call on 07434 914027 to arrange any other time that suits you better.  You are welcome to meet Louise or any other BID director.

  1. SWBID email  saffronwaldenbid@gmail.com

If you have anything you want to say, discuss or tell SWBID please drop us an email.

  1. Open meetings

The open meetings have become less effective as communication channels.  The morning meeting has never been well attended and many people have been unable to make the evening meetings.  We found that often it was the same people giving up their valuable free time.  A big thank you to all that have attended, your participation is much appreciated.

These meetings will be replaced by two initiatives a) larger less frequent more social gatherings (more on these in future news-letters) and b) 1-2-1 meetings with BID directors or BID manager.  These 1-2-1 meetings will be a combination of ad hoc, scheduled and requested.  If you have any bright ideas just email Louise and one of us will pop around to see you at a mutually convenient time.

  1. WhatsApp – SWBID Business Watch

This has really taken off.  The intention is for members to quickly and efficiently communicate crime or general anti-social behaviour.  In order for us to work closely with the Police we have to have certain rules and these are set out in the WhatsApp group.  We have learnt from other WhatsApp and Facebook groups that a few rules are essential for any group to fulfil its purpose.  Here are our 1st thoughts:

1. No abusive language or aggressive behaviour to other members,

2. This group is for SWBID levy-payers only and

3. Moderators of the group will remove any posts not contributing to the aim of the group.

  1. WhatsApp – Open Forum

This will be renamed “SWBID Information”.  WhatsApp is an excellent form of immediate communication and the aim of the group will be to ensure that general information is quickly disseminated to the group e.g. events, offers etc.  To make sure this group works it will adopt similar rules as the SWBID Business Watch e.g.

1. No abusive language or aggressive behaviour to other members,

2. It’s hard enough running a business – offer advice not judgement or criticism,

3. This group is for SWBID levy-payers only and

4. Moderators of the group will remove any posts not contributing to the aim of the group.

Phew !!  That’s enough of rules, regulations and communication channels.  All very important, but not as important as running a business, so thank you for your attention.

Jim Brewin
Saffron Walden BID Chair