DCC works on getting message out

Debra Simes
Debra Simes
The Dunedin City Council's communication with its public is being reviewed, following a residents' opinion survey that showed continued low levels of satisfaction with that aspect of the council's performance.

Marketing communication agency manager Debra Simes said this week she hoped the review would result in an improved information flow, and better timing of communication.

The agency's work includes communicating information on everything from animal control to kerbside recycling, keeping the public advised on consultation, and producing the City Talk magazine.

The opinion survey, released in July, noted there had historically been relatively low resident satisfaction with communication, with most measures showing satisfaction levels between 35% and 53%.

The review, by consultant Carter Price Rennie, would involve interviews with key stakeholders to identify how effective they considered council communications to be, including its media relations and communication through the media.

Communications would also be benchmarked against those of other councils.

Ms Simes said since the agency's communications strategy was put together in 2005, there had been many changes in aspects such as the council's website and its use of social media.

Information from the review would be used to revise its internal strategy, and Ms Simes hoped it would result in better information flows, better timing of communications, and better feedback from future opinion surveys.

"I will be particularly interested in how we compare in effectiveness with other councils," she said.

The marketing and communication agency had a budget of about $3.7 million, which included budgets for the council's graphic design and print services, communication and public relations, city marketing, the New Zealand Masters Games and the council's events unit.

- david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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