Top takeaways for communications teams in COVID-19:

  • Ensure Transparency and Consistent Messaging:
    - Launching information centers and one-stop-shop landing pads on city websites  with information from community partners and other state/federal sources;
    - Meeting residents “where they’re at” with streaming council meetings;
    - "Mayor’s Message”- updates directly from city leadership, videos, and Q&A with Mayors
  • Centralize Communications: Internal data reports to be both reactive and proactive, for informing messaging and aligning city messaging with resident concerns; shared spreadsheet for all city departments of resident FAQ’s, who are facing the same questions
  • Highlight City Initiatives and Remind Residents of Continued Services: Communications of city services, showing employees working from home, Capital Improvement Projects, etc.,
  • Census 2020 Outreach: Reminding residents to fill out while they’re at home, organizing events (i.e. partnering with a food bank for food distribution drive through with flyers in every package)
  • Listen to Residents: Using Zencity to review key issues, monitor sentiment, track misinformation, and analyze feedback on messaging. 

Spotlight: New Initiatives 

  • Adopt new communication streams: Tik Tok, Facebook Live, Youtube, etc,
  • Address mental health:  Messaging to provide and share mental health resources

Shared Challenges: 

  • Inclusivity: Creating content and targeting messaging for younger populations, who may feel invincible. Shared solution- connect with youth groups in your city so young people can share content authentically; targeted messaging about people they love who can be impacted by COVID-19
  • Streamlining and Acquiring Information: Collecting information from other jurisdictions (state, county services) since cities may not have a Dept. of Public Health; Not being provided information and answers to resident questions  (i.e. testing) 
  • Ensuring your Messaging Stands Out Among other City Sources: Messaging from Public Safety channels dwarfs city messaging, based on a higher number of followers; city messaging for residents at large may getting lost in that

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