County Receives Award for Excellence in Digital Communications
Kitsap Electronic Notification Service keeps
(Port Orchard, WA) Kitsap County was recently
selected to receive the GovDelivery Excellence in Digital Communications
Award. “This award celebrates agencies that take an innovative approach to
improve communication and service to the public through effective
communication channels, cross-promotion, and compelling content,” said
Jennifer Kaplan from GovDelivery. The award is to being presented to the
Board of County Commissioners during their regular meeting Monday, October
24. Kitsap County was the only local government in the U.S. to receive this
award; the other recipient was the Norwich County Council in the United Kingdom.
The award was given, in part, because of the County’s
booth at this year’s fair. At the booth residents could sign up for the
Kitsap Electronic Notification System (KENS) powered by GovDelivery. They
could also learn about the other ways residents can stay informed. “We want
to keep residents informed, and KENS is a great way to leverage information
as it becomes available,” said County Communications Manager Doug Bear.
“Residents pick subjects which interest them from a menu, and then choose how
frequently and by which method they want to be notified,” said Bear.
Residents can choose immediate notification, daily notification or weekly
notifications sent to their email address or as text messages to their
mobile device. There are currently over 5000 subscribers to KENS.
KENS is just part of a multi-faceted strategy to
increase communication. The County now posts information to a Facebook site
and other social media sites. “Using social media allows us to leverage
text-based messages and enhance them with pictures and video,” Bear added.
The County’s FlickR site (www.flickr.com/photos/kitsapcounty)
is used to post pictures and the Vimeo site
is used to post video. In addition to these resources the County is adding a
Twitter feed soon. “The upcoming winter weather season provides a great
opportunity to leverage these services and keep more people in the know
during storms and snow events,” said Bear.
In addition to social media the County is using a few
special web sites to increase communications. Kitsap 24/7 (www.kitsap24x7.com)
is a new site that alphabetically lists over 125 links to services available
through the County and other government agencies. The Kitsap 1 web portal (www.kitsap1.com)
allows residents to report problems online, and search a knowledge base
library designed to help them find the information they are looking for.
Links to either of these services are available from the County’s home page
“It’s a work in progress,” Bear said, acknowledging
that while residents are sometimes still frustrated trying to communicate
with local government, emerging technology will present more opportunities
for improvement. “Our goal is to continue to explore methods to increase
communication and take advantage of opportunities as they become available,”
said Bear. For those without computers or internet access Bear recommends
Kitsap 1 (360.337.5777) as the starting point for County information.
Click on the links below for other articles about
Kitsap 1 and the services offered.
Article from the October issue of Washington State
Recycler’s Association magazine:
Kitsap County uses
electronic communication to reach residents
Article published by GovDelivery:
Kitsap County home page:
Kitsap Electronic Notification Service:
Kitsap County Facebook site:
Kitsap County Flickr site:
Kitsap County Vimeo site:
Alphabetical listing of services (Kitsap24/7):
Electronic reporting & knowledge base:
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