The state has cut the money it sends to local governments. There’s only so much you can cut before you affect the services that people have come to expect by right. You often need to gain understanding of decisions and activities that will be unpopular – assessment increases, service reductions, road repairs, parking rates.

More than ever, you need to make sure your citizens and businesses are engaged in the decision-making and know what’s coming.

A comprehensive and thorough public relations plan can help you respond to problems and may even help you avoid them. Communication is a two-way process. We recommend communities listen to their constituents using objective, quantitative opinion research. Council members who know that 90 percent of their residents favor a proposal can make an informed decision even when four people show up at a council meeting to speak against it.

When you want to reach out to tell your story, you’ll need multiple outlets. Tech-savvy residents may want a website and an e-newsletter. Opinion leaders read the local paper. Seniors may rely on cable TV or direct mail. We at the Douglas Group can help you reach people through the media they most prefer.

 

sharlan douglas

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