Communication and Engagement Initiatives
In 2019, the Public and Media Relations Office asked residents to complete an online survey about communication and engagement patterns. This survey was created to guide current strategy, identify potential initiatives for the next Communication Plan update and provide information to help Allen City Council set strategic and financial priorities.
Website and mobile app redesign
A Fall 2020 redesign of the City website and mobile app put greater focus on user experience through streamlined content, improved navigation and optimization for mobile users based on survey feedback. More than 40% of survey respondents identified the City of Allen website as a primary source of City news and events; however, some expressed dissatisfaction with organization of the previous site, especially when using a mobile device.
Launch of new City publication: Allen In Focus
While a large portion of surveyed residents praised the City's digital communication efforts, approximately 35% indicated a need to supplement digital efforts with regular print communication. To address this need, the City launched a new printed publication called "Allen In Focus" in Fall 2020. This new publication is included in utility bills six times per year and three times per year in the LIFE Activity Guide.
Addition of emergency notification system
Allen Police Department implemented Hyper-Reach emergency notifications in fall 2020 to sent rapid alerts about urgent situations with a telephone call, text and/or email message, web browser alert, smart speaker alert and more. These messages can reach geographically-targeted households in seconds to alert residents to emergency response information, missing persons, crime alerts, road/facility closures, utility service alerts and more.
Redesign of City email newsletter: SHAREable
Nearly a third (30%) of respondents said they typically learn about city news and events from a email subscription to City news. However, some expressed frustration with the old newsletter design, which required readers to click links to view important event details such as date and time. As a result, the City newsletter was refreshed in January 2020 with a new layout, allowing for more information to be included in each issue.
Community Block Party Trailer and Recreation Enrichment Vehicle
When asked about community involvement, 64% of respondents identified “lack of time” as their primary barrier. However, half (50%) of survey respondents said they would get involved in initiatives focused on their neighborhoods. These responses supported the purchase and marketing of a new Community Block Party Trailer and Recreation Enrichment Vehicle, which will bring community resources and recreation activities to Allen neighborhoods.
- Deployment delayed due to COVID-19; events pending for Summer 2021
Improved use of Nextdoor
Half of respondents (50%) use Nextdoor to receive City communication - more than Facebook (37%) and Twitter (7%) combined. With this in mind, the Public & Media Relations Office is placing a greater emphasis on this communication platform, especially when communicating messages in geographically targeted areas.