In today’s world of instant electronic communications, promising new tools are unveiled every month. Barney & Worth is committed to testing these tools to find cost-effective applications for Salem and other clients. A few of the best, offering benefits lasting well beyond the initial buzz, are described below.
- Electronic polling: The new equipment is compact and easy for participants to use. Powerful analytical tools provide instant, usefulresults.
- Social media: Facebook and Twitter, when used creatively, reach that segment of customers who no longer read the newspaper, surf the webor use email (it’s more people than you think).
- Email list managers: EMMA and MailChimp are examples of low-cost email programs that efficiently keep track of interested parties’ contact data and information preferences. These programs provide engaging email templates, easily adaptable to clients’ needs.
- SurveyMonkey: New features for this Oregon-born, global survey program include simple analytical tools and options to have SurveyMonkey manage prizes—a sure way to increase survey responses.
- YouTube Channel: Many people don’t have time (or take time) to read. YouTube gets over 800 million unique user visits each month. Creating a YouTube channel with worthy videos—funny or “howto”—helps reach this enormous online audience.
- Mobile applications: Traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011. Americans increasingly live on their “smart phones”. Cities’ information should be there, too.
- Prezi: This cloud-based presentation software provides an alternative to banal (and too often boring) PowerPoints. Audiences agree—they have had enough PowerPoint, and are aching to see something different.
- GoToMeeting: Another easy-to-use technology that expands participation. Not everyone can attend a meeting. Let them participate, effortlessly, with this new teleconference technology that anyone can use.
- Google Docs: Cities can easily use this program to share an interactive, online project / events calendar with their entire project team. It doesn’t cost a thing, and is easy to access.
The League of Oregon Cities is working on legislation that would authorize a statewide vote on a Constitutional amendment to revamp the current property tax limitations. Barney & Worth led the consultant team that conducted the financial and public opinion research which informed the development of legislative proposals. Barney & Worth also developed a communications plan outlining key messages, strategies and timing to effectively reach elected policymakers, voters and other audiences in preparation for a successful Constitutional amendment.
Barney & Worth was selected by BPS to enable and support the districts’ investments (of time) in Portland’s long range planning. As a flexible, on-call resource, Barney & Worth staff built trust, provided liaison, leadership, facilitation, coordination, cheerleading, strategic thinking, communications support for the East Portland schools. The work resulted in meaningful district involvement in the Portland Plan.
Bend, like many other Pacific Northwest communities, is confronting the need to simultaneously upgrade and expand several key components of community infrastructure: for drinking water supply, wastewater collection and treatment, stormwater, streets and bridges, and aviation. Bend’s earlier infrastructure investments, some funded with federal dollars, are wearing out and need to be upgraded and replaced. And as the community has grown to 81,000, urgent capacity issues have also arisen. The bottom line: multiple infrastructure needs in Bend today totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
As the City of Bend moves ahead to finance and construct the next generation of community infrastructure, it faces several significant communications challenges. Barney & Worth developed a strategic communications plan with strategies and tools for a well-coordinated three- to five-year communications campaign. Objectives include enhancing public education and involvement opportunities, providing easy access to the most up-to-date information, and reinforcing the City’s credibility to deliver the projects.
Morningside Neighborhood Association is highly interested in updating and adopting their Neighborhood Plan. A 2004 draft plan prepared by neighborhood association leaders will be used as a starting point for the update.
The City of Salem and its Community Development Department requested the assistance Barney & Worth to assist in designing and supporting public involvement for this project to assure interested citizens could participate effectively. Along with a communications and outreach plan, Barney & Worth staff created project branding, messaging, survey tools, PowerPoint presentations and helped facilitate the project kickoff meeting.