Launching “Connecting Bethlehem” with a communication survey (7)

(7th in a series of posts on the communication survey)

Take the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey

The “Connecting Bethlehem” communications survey – developed in collaboration with Mayor Donchez, his Administration, and a working group of citizens and community partners — is a significant step in Councilman Reynolds’ January 2017 proposal designed to increase the City of Bethlehem’s online presence and level of engagement with its citizens.

The survey  Communication 1

  • is available in English and Spanish
  • is open for about a month
  • takes about 10 minutes to complete
  • is available in paper form (City Hall, the libraries)
  • will be the basis for further planning and implementation of resources

Here is a recording of the Tuesday press conference in which the survey was introduced by Councilman Reynolds and Mayor Donchez.

Councilman Reynolds

“Citizens are looking at technology as an opportunity to interact in a different way.”

“We’re at an interesting time both in our community and across the country where we have some people who get all of their news and all of their information from the internet . . . and then we have some people who don’t get any of their information [there].”

“So it’s not necessarily an either/or where we need to move completely away from our traditional modes of communication, and that’s what led us to today.”  Communication 2

“[We] needed to take a look at all City communications . . . how do people get their information, where do they get their information from, what do they want from the City.”

“The survey is designed to measure people’s current use and satisfaction with our communication methods as well as determine the areas in which they would like to see the City invest in.”

“One of the things we’ve been trying to do . . . is expand the definition of what it means to be part of our community.”

“Our hope is that citizens, businesses, our institutions of higher learning, our Chamber of Commerce, [our library] . . . as many different ways as are possible that will allow people to be engaged.”

“People are expecting a quicker level of response, but it’s also about a greater level of efficiency.”

“What we are doing today is part of our larger scale push to embrace technology, to take a look at what it can mean to the City of Bethlehem, but at the same time not answer those questions ourselves.”

“This is about giving the opportunity to people in our community to help guide us in a direction . . . to redefine what technology can mean for our community.”

Take the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey

Mayor Donchez

The Mayor cited these significant additional elements in the communications area:  Communications 3

  • a new City web site July 1
  • a new 24/7 customer service phone line 610-865-7000 July 1
  • a new Bethlehem app July 1
  • a revamped newsletter going out in the next month
  • a new open data/open gov where we can see how our money is spent

“The goal is to make city information more accessible, easier for the public to get, and really connect citizens to the government.”

Take the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey

and spread the word to others!

One thought on “Launching “Connecting Bethlehem” with a communication survey (7)

  1. Like many surveys, built-in assumptions or biases limit the usefulness of any data that is received.

    The survey seems to focus heavily on social media, despite the fact that these are generally unsatisfactory ways to achieve real engagement. It also doesn’t seem to recognize the important distinctions between the best ways for the city to disseminate information to *all* the people vs. the best ways for the city to receive information from all.

    As it is, some member of the city council & administration often seem not to welcome — and be unwilling to act upon — people’s opinions that differ from their own. This is the largest barrier to effective communication in both directions.

    Like

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