In addition to establishing the EDB as the accountability organization – ongoing, transparent communication is essential to successfully implementing Strategic Sonoma. As recommended on the previous page, there should be a dedicated person or outsourced agency responsible for regularly distributing information about Strategic Sonoma to the public at-large. This will entail outreach to the press, social media campaigns, and an annual Strategic Sonoma Scorecard, to name a few.
- To begin, engage a person or agency to lead Strategic Sonoma outbound communications and serve as the liaison for inbound information requests and other inquiries.
- Charge that individual(s) with creating an annual Strategic Sonoma communications plan. The communications plan should include an array of channels to ensure broad access to information by all residents, for example: proactive press relations, social media campaigns, a Strategic Sonoma website, speaking events and presentations, participation in local events, and printed materials placed in public spaces such as libraries and community centers.
- Refresh the Strategic Sonoma logo and project website to better serve long-term implementation.
- Consider inviting people to serve as Strategic Sonoma ambassadors to help share information (and enthusiasm) about the strategy. Ambassadors should be armed with talking points and a brief Strategic Sonoma presentation that they can use to spread the news among their own networks.
- Produce an annual Strategic Sonoma Scorecard in which metrics for each goal are indexed and benchmarked against a handful of other communities, the state, and the U.S. The Scorecard can be a printed publication and/or an interactive, online dashboard. It should be widely distributed to the public at-large through, for example, an annual community event, the local media, a dedicated Strategic Sonoma / dashboard website, and partners’ websites.
- If needed, engage a third party firm to create the index and benchmarks for the annual Strategic Sonoma Scorecard. Ask that firm to analyze data and produce the Strategic Sonoma Scorecard each year and/or maintain a current dashboard website that is updated as new data becomes available.
- Produce content related to Strategic Sonoma in the form of white papers, blog posts, best practice write ups, and research, for example. Distribute this content as it becomes available through partner networks, social media, and traditional media channels.
- Brand initiatives as “Strategic Sonoma.” As in the Miami case study (provided in the following pages), make sure that the name Strategic Sonoma is visible and accredited in project team activities and wins related to its strategic goals. If good news or initiatives arise that were not in this strategy but directly support one of its goals, communicate how it relates to Strategic Sonoma. Keep Strategic Sonoma top of mind!