To paraphrase former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, all communications is local. On an NTCA webinar a couple of weeks ago, Kent Larson of CHR Solutions made a statement that reinforces this idea, when he said that, “Loops cannot be outsourced.” He made the argument that, to some extent, parts of a telecom operators’ business can be outsourced, but the last mile network is their bedrock.
The implication is that there needs to be local employees who maintain, operate, understand and serve the needs of the community to deliver on the promise of an advanced telecommunications network. In my travels across America, these are the people who are the community. With the full support of their employers, they are the ones volunteering for the fire departments, school boards and city council.
The challenge for small companies is that they have fewer employees to share the workload. It truly becomes a team effort for the company, as one person sometimes needs to pick up the slack for another. It also becomes important to leverage efforts to create a win for everyone involved. Leverage is something that is a recurring theme in our Viodi Local Content Workshops , which are about creating content of interest to the community.
Community involvement, leverage and the “All politics is local” adage, were top of mind yesterday when I had the honor of appearing before the San Jose City Council with team members of Northern California’s only Little League World Series winning team. In 1962, this group sprung from an area that was then known for prunes instead of tech and won 13 straight to nab youth baseball’s most precious prize.
This was back in the day before ESPN turned youth baseball into another opportunity to create a licensing fee bonanza. It was when it was much more about kids having fun and playing the game. There is a great deal of history associated with this team; history that goes beyond baseball, but involves a community that has radically changed in a few generations.
Like so many small telecom companies do for their communities through videos, web sites and museums, we are putting together a history of this team, the 50+ years of the league and the influence it has had on the community and the citizens it helped shape. Our latest effort at this is the video we produced yesterday, which does double duty, by documenting the City of San José’s Commendation as well as promoting a team reunion/league fundraiser dinner this Saturday, 3/10 from 6:30 to 9:30 at Mountain Mike’s in Campbell, CA.
Mountain Mike’s is a great example of how franchised businesses should work with the community. This is also a story about relationships and how, to paraphrase Tony Jamroz, people help people. These are all great things to cover in a Local Content Workshop sometime, but in the meantime, I have to thank Roger Bindl for picking up my slack while I am flitting about at City Hall and the baseball diamond.