2015-17 Communications Plan

Strategic Approach

  1. Bring County departments together to foster meaningful relationships with each other and County residents by tapping into and harnessing the already strong sense of community.
  2. Enhance the County’s ability to raise awareness of its programs and services and increase citizen engagement by developing, launching and applying a unified County brand taking a multimedia approach to communications, using tools that are easy and effortless for both citizens and employees to engage with on a regular basis.

Message Strategy
The County needs to humanize itself in order to engage citizens, and one way to do that is to use a more conversational tone in its messaging for both internal and external communications. Most residents and employees feel a sense of community pride and ownership and the County can reflect that same sense of pride and ownership while also connecting with its audiences by using inclusive language like “our,” “we” and “us.” 

Communications Initiatives 

  1. Create a clear countywide brand identity with a brand standards manual that outlines how County staff and members of the public can and should use the County's brand. This will standardize how the County is represented across all departments. (Approved by the Board of Supervisors in December 2016; Took effect Jan. 1, 2017)
  2. Design and develop a new website to increase transparency and citizen engagement through digital communications. (Approved by the Board of Supervisors in April 2016; Scheduled to go live June 2017)
  3. Continue producing an interactive annual report to demonstrate the value of County government and highlight our achievements and the new challenges we face each year. (Published every year in February/March)
  4. Advertise via the County Government Center TVs & Government Access Channel 21 to raise awareness of County-sponsored events, programs, projects and services. This is a free way to promote what the County does while also informing the public of important upcoming dates and issues. (Planned to go-live in Summer 2017)
  5. Establish an Engagement Team to focus specifically on increasing citizen and employee engagement by producing monthly e-Newsletters and assisting with an Open House and other events.
    • Established a monthly public e-newsletter in January 2016. 
    • Maintains an average e-Newsletter open rate of about 50% (goal: 34%).
    • Maintains an average click-through rate of about 19% (goal: 6%). 
    • Assists with the Open House activities during National County Government Month (every April).
  6. Use social media to connect with the public and the communities we serve. This helps the County foster relationships with both citizens and employees. Not all departments need a social media presence, but if a department chooses to have one, the Administrative Office can provide proper training.
  7. Build and maintain relationships with industry partners and industry media to solidify the County as a world-class organization among our peers.
  8. Build and maintain relationships with local media to raise awareness of stories that might not otherwise be covered by local media.