Telling Your Story: Effective Strategies for Communication
Successful public communication is more than surveys and opinion polls. It must also inform and educate, and that requires more than posting everything on your website. Even in a small community, that volume of data is overwhelming and can be frustrating to navigate. In this presentation, we will share how West Whiteland Township created the “Development by Design” brand and integrated it into our communications to organize a high volume of information during a period of rapid development, helping residents stay informed about what was happening in the Township while assuring them that all of this was, in fact, planned.
Keeping residents and other stakeholders informed and educated about what’s going on is challenging under the best of circumstances, but COVID-related lockdowns heightened that challenge. While internet-based technology proved essential, it is only one means of communicating: the “technology divide” is real, and relying solely upon tools that require a computer and internet access will leave some people out. So we will also review other methods we used, including traditional print media, in-person meetings, focus groups, and public open-houses in addition to the tools we used when meeting in-person wasn’t an option, including on-line and virtual meetings, social media, and effective use of our website. Not everything worked, and some things worked better than others: we’ll share our experiences – including our failures – and our thoughts on how useful these tools may be in the long run.
Our Township is fortunate to have two planners and a dedicated communication specialist on staff, and we recognize that most municipalities don’t have access to that level of resources. For this reason, our presentation will highlight methods that deliver a lot of bang for the proverbial buck and methods that may be more successful with smaller populations and that require minimal resources.
CM credit is pending approval.
Speaker: John Weller, AICP
**The Pennsylvania Chapter is not responsible for the materials or opinions of the speaker(s) you will hear**
Deadline to register is August 2, 2022
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