Communicating without Breaking the Budget
Consistently communicating with your community can be a daunting task if it’s a new tactic to your organization, or if you just don’t have the staff capacity to do it. Where do we even start? And how do we do it without it costing an arm and a leg? Well, we suggest starting small by utilizing tools you already have and ones that won’t break the bank.
Take the Town of Milliken, Colorado for example. Milliken is a small town of about 6,000 residents that is growing quickly due to its great location and quality of life. With their increasing population, they saw a need to communicate more effectively with their residents about the many projects administered by the Town. They wanted to be cost effective with their strategies, but also reach as many people as possible. The Town hired Slate to help find these communication opportunities and to create materials that would resonate well with their residents.
We found that one of the most useful strategies was to place communication inserts inside the utility bills of property owners, both residential and commercial. This would ensure that the materials got to all Milliken property owners, and used a resource that was already available to the Town.
Meeting people where they’re already at is another great way to efficiently communicate with them. If municipal staff or Council members will be present at an event, why not arm them with important information to share? Milliken saw this opportunity and did just that at one of their annual events. Town staff and Board members had a booth set up and were able to distribute resources about various projects, including park and water infrastructure improvements.
What we did:
- Created materials based on the Town’s projects that are easy to understand and visually appealing
- Developed messages that help relate the high-level Town projects to what it means for a normal citizen
- Help identify tools that the Town was already using that could be taken advantage of for more communications
The Town of Milliken is on a great path towards consistently communicating with their residents, and knows how to do so without spending lots of resources and staff time. By starting small, their communication practices can grow efficiently as their population grows as well.