CITY OF SCOTTSDALE Comprehensive Communications Plan

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1 CITY OF SCOTTSDALE Comprehensive Prepared by: Advance Planning Services August 2009

2 City Council Mayor W.J. Jim Lane Lisa Borowsky Wayne Ecton Suzanne Klapp Robert Littlefield Ron McCullagh Tony Nelssen Planning Commission Michael D Andrea, Chair Steven Steinke, Vice Chair Kevin O Neill Michael Schmitt Ed Grant Jason Ottman Erik Filsinger Project Staff David Richert, Managing Director Connie Padian, Advance Planning Director Erin Perreault, AICP, Principal Planner Carrie Wilhelme, AICP, Senior Planner Joanie Cady, LEED AP, Planner Erica Bruno, Neighborhood Planning Services Jan Horne, Public Outreach Specialist

3 Table of Contents Introduction 2 Purpose... 2 Goal of the Key Messages Guiding Principles of the General Plan Update Project Description Communication Toolbox.. 4 Media Outreach Tools Internet Outreach Tools....4 External Audience Outreach Tools Internal Audience Outreach Tools Communications Timeline...6 Evaluation

4 INTRODUCTION Purpose The purpose of this Plan is to describe the public engagement process, which supports the development of the City of Scottsdale s. This plan takes a proactive approach in planning and executing communication. City staff will manage and participate in each public involvement element.. Goal of the Communication Plan To educate stakeholders about the General Plan process, what it means to the community and to promote opportunities for involvement. Key Messages This crucial process empowers citizens to plan the future of their community Long-range planning makes our community stronger and more stable The General Plan is not written in cement. It is meant to change to reflect new opportunities that are consistent with the community s vision. We respect the past all area plans will be incorporated and align with previous plans and policies developed by Boards and Commissions. Happens once every 10 years now is the time to guide the future development of the city. Guiding Principles of the Communication Plan Open Two-Way Communication Ensure that information is shared throughout the community and the organization emphasizing two-way informational flow. Proactive The plan attempts to give the city the opportunity to tell its story rather than rely exclusively on other to interpret the city s actions, issues and decisions. Community Problem Solving Provide citizens with complete, accurate and timely information enabling them to make informed judgments. Decentralized Strengthen direct communication among elected officials, city departments and citizens rather than trying to funnel all information through a central point of contact or department. This provides for more knowledgeable discourse, strengthens accountability and also makes it easier to access or provide information on city activities. Inclusive Include everyone in the process to build teamwork and a feeling of belonging, breaking down feelings of us vs. them, which are common in many city governments and in many relationships of the city government with citizens. The goal is to include everyone who cares to participate and to motivate those who are not currently engaged. Strong and Consistent Messages Build on strong themes. The communication plan should support, reinforce and reflect the goals of the city as established by the City Council 2

5 and the city management, thus underscoring the idea of an organization with one common purpose: the citizens. Timely Provide the public with timely notice and reasonable access to information about General Plan issues and process General Plan Update Project Description Project Scope The General Plan is an overarching policy document for the City. It is an expression of how the community wants to grow and change over the next 20 years. The General Plan is used by City Council, Boards, and Commissions to evaluate policy changes and to make funding and budget decisions. City staff uses the General Plan to evaluate programs and projects. Arizona State Statute requires that all cities prepare a long-range General Plan. It is required to be updated every 10 years. The current Scottsdale General Plan was adopted in 2001 and ratified by a vote of the citizens in The proposed General Plan is projected to be completed by 2011 and go before a citizen vote in Planning Boundaries Geographical focus for the General Plan includes the current city limits. This area lends itself to evaluation of the impacts of mutual concern with adjacent municipalities, and the City s position in the context of regional growth within the Phoenix metropolitan area Overview Of Update Process For the purposes of the Communication Plan, the General Plan Update process can be divided into four (4) generalized phases: Phase 1 Public outreach: This initial phase is the introduction of the 2011 General Plan update, explanation of the process and why a General Plan is important. Phase 2 Public comment: After being reviewed by the General Plan Working Group, the updated Plan will become public and community members, Boards and Commissions and city officials will have the opportunity to comment. Phase 3 Plan adoption: The General Plan will go through the major General Plan amendment process. The city will be the applicant and will be proposing the 2011 General Plan. Phase 4 Voter Ratification: The General Plan Update will be placed on the 2012 ballot for a vote. 3

6 COMMUNICATION TOOLBOX Media Outreach Tools Media packet A media packet will be available online for media sources. The media packet will contain facts, dates and talking points. Press Releases Local and regional media are considered key participants in the public engagement process for this plan. All media inquiries, whether by phone, in person or informally at meetings, will be directed to the project manager. Throughout the project, the city will issue press releases to announce the survey, progress of the Working Group, and when the draft Plan is available for public review. Significant project findings will also be announced through press releases which direct readers to the City s website. All press releases will include the project website address and City of Scottsdale contact. Internet Outreach Tools City Source General Plan Web Page Comprehensive website designed to enable staff to post information from any desktop computer. The site contains news items, calendar of City meetings, participation opportunities, and events, agendas, outreach material, contact information, proposed plan elements. It offers easy access to City programs, services, documents and more. Viewers can subscribe to a weekly ed newsletter. Simple surveys and questionnaires can be posted from the backend. Results can be reviewed online. Participation is limited to one entry per computer. Interactive Social Web Media Interactive social websites can provide another source to advertise the General Plan Update process to a target audience, as well, a source for online discussion, questionnaires, and surveys. Sites will contain General Plan information, meetings dates and participation opportunities. Facebook: search Scottsdale LinkedIn: Nixle: underway External Audience Outreach Tools City Source Utility Bill Pride Insert A utility bill insert sent to approximately 95,000 households and 5,000 businesses. This insert can include information on General Plan Update process, meeting dates, participation opportunities, and general information. 4

7 Survey/Informational Handout Survey or informational handouts can be administered to every event or activities attended by staff. Public Television Channel 11 Public access television. Provides live broadcasts of City Council, Board and Commission meetings. General Plan update information can be posted through informational slides, commercials or 30-minute segments. Assorted Printed Materials Flyers, maps, display boards, posters, calendars, brochures, business cards, etc. can be created as needed to provide information about the General Plan Update. These can distributed at meetings, located at City buildings and facilities, and hung in city-wide kiosks. Public Meetings In addition to regularly scheduled Council, assorted Board and Commission meetings, which are always open for public comment, other public meetings targets towards specific General Plan issues can be held as needed. Internal Audience Outreach Tools Employee E-newsletter (CityLine) Weekly ed newsletter distributed to all City employees each month. The newsletter includes information about upcoming events, information on benefits, employee training opportunities, etc. Executive Team and Management Forum Meetings Meet weekly to review city business, discuss upcoming projects, challenges, etc. Department Head Meetings Directors of the various departments gather weekly to review action items and to keep each other informed of issues in all departments. The meetings provide an opportunity for department heads to keep abreast of what is happening in all divisions and updated on the General Plan 2011 progress. Division Meetings Each division meets regularly to exchange information and to update each other on issues and activities within the Division and other divisions. 5

8 COMMUNICATIONS TIMELINE (tentative) Approximate Date Task 2009 August City Council Meeting Kick-Off Survey Available Online Monthly Newsletter goes out to public via the General Plan September website and subscription blast Planning Commission Meeting Introduction October Press Release - Survey available November December 2010 January January - September February Staff meet with Boards and Commissions to request appointment of members to Working Group Press Release Survey available City Council Meeting Advise Council that Working Group is formed and has started review process Planning Commission Meeting (Every other month) Advise Commission on General Plan Update progress Press Release General Plan Update process, Working Group progress March - April Press Release Vision available for public review September - October Press Release Draft General Plan available for public review Staff and Working Group members meet with Boards and Commissions with proposed draft General Plan November - December Planning Commission Meeting Propose draft General Plan 2011 January February City Council Meeting Provide update on General Plan progress Press Release as needed April Begin General Plan Amendment Process October City Council Hearing for Adoption 2012 August General Election General Plan on Ballot 6

9 EVALUATION Evaluating public participation for effectiveness, meeting the needs of various stakeholders, and providing a meaningful outcome for decision makers is an important step in the overall participation process and should be incorporated in the process from the very beginning. Valuable lessons can be learned if evaluation is thorough and effective, which can be used for future participation efforts. The following section provides a framework for evaluating the success of the 2011General Plan Update public participation process: Participant Tracking Tracking participation by using sign-in sheets, databases, and registration forms is an ideal way to track the number of participants at each program or activity as well as get an idea of the overall number of people reached and their demographic statistics. Event Evaluation Following each public participation activity, City staff should evaluate the effectiveness of that particular event or activity based on the objectives developed during the kick-off meeting. Summary Reports Summary reports provide an informal evaluation following an event or series of events. Summary reports can be distributed to the public for feedback to confirm that certain objectives were met. End of Project Evaluation Formal evaluation at the end of the project may consist of personal or phone interviews with stakeholders and participants to determine their satisfaction with the process and support for the outcomes. 7

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