Healthy relationships start with good communication. Partnerships between the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and County Historical Commissions (CHC) are only as good as the information shared between the organizations. Here are some tips for improving communication with the THC.
Asking the THC for help
Make sure the basics are covered! CHC Outreach created the THC Contact Guide to use when contacting THC staff and other partners. Use this template to gather basic information about your property, project, or question prior to calling or leaving messages. You can also fill out the template and email it to THC staff, so that they have enough information to provide a more helpful response.
We emphasize the need for basic information because there is very little we can do for you (or anyone else) without the basics. For example, a threat of demolition to a historic building is a high priority issue; however, our staff cannot respond without a contact name or property location.
Information exchanges with staff are also more productive when you know more about THC program participation. CHC Outreach published a set of THC Recommendations for CHCs in 2016. This packet includes suggested etiquette to improve communication with our staff and the public. Level 1 recommendations address foundational responsibilities––how to develop constructive relationships.
While specific to THC programs, most recommendations can be applied, in general, when working with other organizations and individuals regardless of purpose or project type. These communication strategies are designed to ensure efficient exchanges of information for both CHCs, THC, and partner organizations.
Finding a THC staff member
THC’s Contact Us webpage provides a Program Contacts section with a full list of THC programs. There is also a Contacts by County section that provides regional review staff assigned to each county.
CHC Outreach staff developed a contact shortlist that lists THC staff assigned to programs that are frequently used by CHCs. The web link to this list is located on the What are CHCs? webpage under the “Contact information for CHCs” heading.
The type of resource, concern, or assistance needed determines which staff person to contact. Navigating THC programs and people will become easier the more you work with us. Initially, you’ll need to ask for help to figure out the appropriate staffer to field your questions––this is one of many ways CHC Outreach can assist you!
What to expect when contacting THC
Quality partnerships take time and effort to build and maintain––they are ongoing relationships. A regular exchange of information encourages planning and prevents missed opportunities. Don’t wait until an emergency arises to make initial contact with a partner, especially the THC. There’s very little we can do once the wrecking ball arrives!
Look around, keep watch, and call our staff when a situation in your community arises that impacts historic property. When you contact us, remember that our staff receive hundreds of calls and emails every day. Messages are answered in the order received and it takes time to respond to everyone.
Please be patient with us––during slow periods, we can answer your questions immediately; during busy periods, we may need several days to resolve the issues that were reported prior to yours.
Read more about what CHC Outreach does for CHCs.
To visit the CHC Partnership page, click here.