Can you hear me now?

  • By: Fresno Chamber President/CEO, Al Smith

Most of us will remember that advertising slogan for a cell phone company.  The actor in the commercial kept moving around trying to find a strong enough signal for his cell phone to continue a conversation and repeating over and over again, “Can you hear me now?” “Can you hear me now?”

With each of us being bombarded daily with more and more avenues of communication, trying to break through the clutter becomes a challenge for any company wanting to relay a message.  The same holds true for your local chamber.

It is a monumental task keeping our 1,700 plus members – and the community at large – up-to-speed on the accomplishments within our organization, its benefits to the members and the community, and the challenges ahead. This year, you will see a number of changes that we will be employing to address that hurdle.

First of all, hopefully you have noticed that you are reading a complete different formatted monthly print publication. The Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Chamber and The Fresno Bee have partnered together to expand this important publication. We have changed the name from Chamber Update to the Fresno Chamber Connect. We are enhancing the content, improving the lay-out and, for the first time, allowing our members to utilize this targeted vehicle as a marketing and advertising tool for their company. Each issue will have a theme that we trust will be of interest to our members.

You may have also witnessed some changes in our weekly electronic newsletter – titled E-News – that is sent at the beginning of every week. The new format allows us to highlight more events and activities. It also presents the opportunity for us to see who is reading the publications – allowing us to see which areas you are the most interested in and ultimately providing us guidance to accentuate those areas you wish to receive more of.

Many of you are aware that the Fresno Chamber has two websites – the Fresno Chamber website ( and our advocacy website ( Our primary website is dedicated to the general business of the Chamber. It helps to address activities, issues, opinions and marketing opportunities for our members. The advocacy website is devoted to government issues. Within the next few weeks you will see a new and redesigned Fresno Chamber website. We are keeping the same address – – but it will definitely appear to be cleaner, more organized and easier to navigate, which in return will help to get you the information you need quicker.

And finally, you will see an increase in our electronic surveys by a research tool call Zoomerang. We will be asking you to answer no more than four or five questions, which should take less than a minute.  But    gathering this feedback from you – our membership – on pending legislation, issues facing the business community, your opinion of Chamber activities, will help to allow us in customizing our efforts to serve you better.

When it is all said and done and we ask, “can you hear me now?” hopefully your answer will be a resounding “YES!”


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