OEMC 2012 - CommunicationsPresented By:Shannon Hunter, AMCT, Dipl.M.M, CAOTownship of North KawarthaP.O. Box 550280 Burleigh StreetApsley, ON K0L 1A0705-656-4445 Ext.236www.northkawartha.on.ca Like Us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/NorthKawartha Follow Us on Twitter - twitter.com/NorthKawartha Follow Us on Pinterest - pinterest.com/northkawartha
LocationNorth Kawartha is a four season destinationthat is located within the north easternquadrant of Peterborough County andeasily accessible by Highway 28. There areapproximately 765 square kilometres ofarea comprised mainly of forest, lakes,creeks and rivers which provide for anabundance of wildlife, scenic views andrecreational activities for all age groups.
DemographicsPermanent Population – 2342Households – 3,433Seasonal Population Approx – 8582(based on average household with 2.5 persons)Population Density per Square Kilometre – 3.1Between the Ages of 0 – 49 = 1115Between the Ages of 50 – 85+ = 1225
Strategic Directions Provide for Effective Township/Resident Communications - Investigate opportunities to improve Township customer services - Continue to use a variety of direct communication methods to inform our residents - Use technology to improve public communications by updating, expanding and creating a more “user-friendly” website. - Continue to provide a variety of options for our ratepayers to provide feedback.
Standard Communication Methods Email Phone Front Counter Radio Posters/Bulletin Boards Electronic Sign Local Publications Newsletters Website
New CommunicationMethods Due to the fact that a majority of residents are seasonal, a financially sustainable, alternative means needed to be implemented in order to effectively communicate and reach our target audience Statistics Canada show that 81% of Ontarians are using the internet from any location Enhanced communications through electronic newsletters/emails, social media (facebook, twitter & pinterest) and website
Steps Taken to ImproveCommunication Had a clear objective Provided a Risk Analysis Implemented an Action Plan Implemented a social media policy and reviewed/updated current policies involving communications, employment and technology Monitored Return on Investment
ObjectiveTo positively improve communication with amajority of residents (permanent andseasonal) while maintaining a professionalimage.
Risk AnalysisTwo surveys were conducted and responses receivedby various levels of staff from13 municipalities, 2 cities, 1county, 2 ministries and ratepayers.The two most common risks identified by staff in regardsto implementing social media were lack ofprofessionalism and strain on staffing resources.Although the number of responses received was verypoor from the ratepayer survey in regards to movingfrom a traditional newsletter to a variety of low costcommunication methods, the most common riskidentified was the loss of the traditional newsletter andlack of computer/internet(affordability & availability).
Risk Mitigationo Lack of Professionalism - continued with professional communication methods already in place - continued training on enhanced customer service and understanding tools available for dealing with difficult individuals - updated policies that included acceptable forms of communication - provided staff with clear understanding on acceptable formats when communicating with the public (short forms to be avoided)
Strain on Staffing Resources - Implemented changes in small steps so that we could monitor time commitments - implemented policies and procedures so that workload was shared amongst management- clearly communicated with staff the expectations- provided expectations to Council- measured and monitored
Loss of traditional newsletter & lack of computer/internet (affordability & availability) - providing a “Welcome Package” with detailed information about Township services to new residents - providing bi-annual updates on current information by utilizing various methods including direct mailing upon individual request - providing ratepayers with continued information on free computer/internet services at libraries - supporting broadband initiatives through the County
Action Plan Created and updated current policies (i.e. social media, conflict of interest, employment policies, code of technology) Implemented Township of North Kawartha branding - utilized the same logo and name for all media platforms to provide a visual identification Received Council’s Endorsement Started small and did things well
Action Plan Promoted through various channels such as Social Media, Associations, Current Email Contacts, Ratepayer Groups, Radio Emphasized accuracy - in order to build an audience the source of the information needs to be trustworthy Emphasized importance of current information
Action Plan Emphasized customer service - Wanted everyone to have a positive experience and to come back - Determined that business was not to be conducted on social media platforms however people could be directed to the appropriate individual or place to assist Utilized the Township of North Kawartha Website as the main communication platform Provided Training - Ensured staff understood what was being implemented and the importance Encouraged two way communication
Social Media Policy Identify responsibilities Identify objective Provide detailed guidelines - who can post, what can be posted, format, identification, privacy and confidentiality, factual, accurate, respect, honesty, use of short forms, ethical standards and copyrights
Social Media Policy Personal utilization of social media - discourage reference to the Corporation while using social media in a personal capacity Branding Controversial Issues Enforcement
Return on InvestmentTools have been implemented to not only monitor what has been put in place but also to provide us with information on what the publics interests are and what they are looking for.o Google Analyticso Facebook Insightso Number of Userso Comments Receivedo Increased Involvement
Return on InvestmentPrior to going social, it was determined that our main platform of communication would be our website, which was revised in March, 2009.The Township of North Kawartha started actively promoting various methods of communication in February, 2012.
Return on Investment Website Statistics - February – August 20,267 Visits 47.10% New Visits - 9,546 9,950 Visits – Google 5,272 Visits – Direct 1,038 Visits – Bing 782 Visits – Facebook 471 Visits – Twitter
Return on Investment Facebook - 82 Likes 16, 922 Friends of Fans Twitter - 162 Followers
Lessons Learned Preparation very important Understand objectives After initial setup, not time consuming Do not conduct business on social media platforms or provide responses to inquiries after hours Internal identification important in order to track source of information Negative comments have not been an issue, people are just looking for information
Lessons Learned Ratepayers are viewing social media platforms however concerned with joining in case the Township is viewing their personal information Value the importance of all communication methods and listen to what people want One size does not fit all Have key staff in place to overview
Lessons Learned Make sure information is accurate to promote trust Ensure staff are fully trained on all policies, procedures and expectations. Reply in a timely manner. Be open to change!
Thank You!Shannon Hunter, AMCT, Dipl.M.M, CAO Township of North Kawartha P.O. Box 550 280 Burleigh Street Apsley, ON K0L 1A0 705-656-4445 Ext.236 www.northkawartha.on.ca Like Us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/NorthKawartha Follow Us on Twitter - twitter.com/NorthKawartha Follow Us on Pinterest - pinterest.com/northkawartha
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