Everyone communicates all of the time. At the City we consider internal, stakeholder, crisis, media and marketing communications through work by a centralized communications group and peers in various departments.
How we motivate and inspire, defuse and rebuild, empathize and inform should be consistent. Communications should also be habitually included in planning across the City. When communication efforts fall short, people don’t understand the “why” behind our decisions and policy, they don’t know about service changes, miss deadlines, are surprised by construction delays and on and on. Public frustration and a lack of trust and confidence in their government follow that path.
When communication is seamless, the public are engaged and well informed. They may not agree with every decision, but they can appreciate how we got there. And they can navigate our services and their city with ease.
We have a lot of spokespeople available depending on the situation and subject matter. We have three new service areas and are committed to regular face-to-face communications.
We’re in a small media market with an intense level of media scrutiny. We’re also nervous about making mistakes in the public realm, but we want to continually test new ideas and do our best for our citizens.
What do our employees, from front-line ambassadors to senior leaders, need in order to share information with the right people, in the most effective way and at the right time? Are there new ways to use technology to our advantage? How do we decide when to communicate on what issues?