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Gettysburg Connection 2020 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

It is my pleasure to share Gettysburg Connection’s 2020 annual report with you.

I direct this letter to all of you who read the Connection, who subscribe to the Connection, who sponsor the Connection, and who participate with the Connection in so many other ways.

I am happy to report that Gettysburg Connection has made progress this year toward reaching its goals of providing trustworthy news to all residents of Adams County. This progress is detailed in this report.

The Gettysburg Connection website was first published in October 2018.  2019 was a year of creating infrastructure, getting ideas, and coming up with a game plan.

By January 2020 most things were in place and I felt confident that things were ready. I had a secure platform, powered by WordPress, and hosted at Bluehost.com, that was able to reliably serve content to readers.

2020 was a good year for us, with progress made on many dimensions, and some initial movements toward sustainability.

The primary goal now is sustainability. The Connection is powered mostly by me, as well as a few part-time employees.  But this is not sustainable. The Connection needs more community engagement, more regular employees, and more funding to assure it will be here in the future.

Notable accomplishments of 2020 included:

  • Publishing 629 news stories, a 200 percent increase over 2019.
  • The numbers of visitors and page views have grown dramatically.
  • Our newsletter mailing list grew by 900 percent from 200, to 1800
  • Seventy-seven new charter subscribers provided $4,834 toward our mission.
  • Eleven new business sponsors provided $2,180 toward our mission.
  • We hired our first contract writer, Imari Scarbrough, who has created seven stories this year.
  • With a dedicated coronavirus page since March, the Connection has remained the #1 hit for Adams County Coronavirus on the Google search engine.
  • We published 20 stories in our education series. Digging further into education in our county is a major goal for 2021.
  • Our education crowdsource campaign reached its goal of $2,500
  • Podcasts – We published over 20 of them this year.
  • We guided people through the election process in a series of stories.
  • The Adams County Explorers program, in partnership with the Adams County Library, connected with local residents and donated $640 to local businesses and non-profits.
  • We created the Gettysburg Connection Photography contest.  Monthly prizes are awarded by the Adams County Arts Center
  • We are now publishing property transfers on a weekly basis

It’s important that we be aware of our limitations as well as our success, and these are some of the former.  They will be foci for 2021:

  • We are not adequately reaching the minority communities in the county. A Spanish-language editor would be helpful.
  • We are not getting enough reader engagement.  We receive very few comments on our stories, yet I feel these comments are the best indicator of our impact.
  • Engagement on our social media accounts is lagging
  • We need more local businesses and organizations to become sponsors
  • We need to increase our individual subscriptions

Well, that’s where we are in a nutshell. I’m satisfied but hungry for more.

Again I thank you all and I wish you a healthy and happy 2021.

Sincerely,

Charles Stangor

Owner, Publisher and Editor


Our Mission

Gettysburg Connection brings Adams County residents together to share news, activities, ideas, and interests.

We publish important, community, and unique local journalism that promotes civic engagement and community trust.

We cover local governmental, educational, arts, sports, and community events.

We publish a complete calendar of events for the Gettysburg area including Adams County.

Gettysburg Connection is independently operated and not associated with any other media organization.


Analytics

The Connection’s readership has grown dramatically this year, and we are now averaging over 15,000 unique readers every month. Here are our statistics for 2020:


Our Podcasts

With interviews ranging from local artists to girl scout leaders to insect control specialists and emergency room doctors, the Connection published over 20 podcasts in 2020. Here is the complete list.



Impactful Stories

It was a year that created a lot of stories.  Here are ten of the most popular and impactful.

Adams COVID Cases Jump Sharply, Stressing the Wellspan Health System and Gettysburg Hospital

State Senate Candidate Rich Sterner Injured in Gettysburg

2020 Adams County PA Voter Guide and Election Updates – How to Vote in Adams County

Armed Robbery at West Street Rite Aid

Open Letter to Borough Council Members

Gettysburg Area School District Proposes Reopening Plan

Hundreds Rally for Black Lives Matter on the Gettysburg Square

Adams County Will Move to Green Stage Next Friday, Allowing All Businesses to Reopen

Coronavirus Updates: What is Open at Gettysburg Military National Park?

Mt. Joy Township Residents Invited to Comment on Proposed 1,000 Acre Solar Farm at Wednesday Meeting


Kudos

The readers who completed our end-of-year gratitude survey were also asked their thoughts about the Connection. 

94 percent of the respondents said they found the Connection useful.  Here are some of their reviews:

“I absolutely recommend Gettysburg Connection – Stangor does a vital and meaningful coverage of local issues, a refreshing service to the arts and everyone!” Andrea Thiesson/Fissel.

I get to peek into life in the Gettysburg area — what a great place to live! D.R.

“I like that you are always there.” P. A.

“Hometown caring” N. C.

It’s an exceedingly well-rounded, objective, informative, homey  glimpse into the daily workings of an historical treasure that has held a special place in my heart since first visited in 1960, and has likewise carved its own special niche in the minds of everyone in my family who has come into being since that trip of so long ago. Charles Flannery

I will be subscribing. The Gettysburg Connection in my view is a great tool for knowledge of news and events. Helen Cook

Up to date local news. L. D.

“It pops up from time to time in my inbox and provides me with new angles on things I am interested in, especially locally.” Pam Cooper-White

I like the local news that is presented.”  H. W.

Kept us up to date, good and not so good news and issues facing OUR home away from home….kept us CONNECTED…           Roland Lefebvre

The Gettysburg Connection helps build trust among and between members of our community. That increased trust, that social capital, helps make us a healthier and happier community. We need local media, in all forms, to keep us connected.  Ralphe Serpe

Keeping in touch with everything going on making me feel connected with my vacation home. S. M.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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