The last position I held before co-founding Quindar Media was Director of the Communications & Public Involvement Office for the City of Fort Collins, Colorado. The City of Fort Collins is a hallmark of innovation in local government. Named by Time in 2014 as “America’s Most Satisfied City,” the organization makes it a mission to not only deliver on their commitments to core services, but to delight the community through world-class services.
During the years I led the communications team there, we didn’t go a single week without hearing another accolade or honor bestowed on the City from third-party sources. That said, the staff will quickly tell you they don’t go out of their way to seek awards and honors – especially for the sake of trophies in a cabinet or ink in a newspaper. The accolades simply reflect the positive perception residents, professional organizations and the media generally has about Fort Collins.
How has the City of Fort Collins fostered and sustained this positive perception over the years?
I believe it comes down to two key reasons:
1. The City organization is clear about their commitments to their community.
2. They seize appropriate opportunities to “tell their story.”
In a nutshell, it’s “saying what you’ll do and doing what you say.”
These points sound deceptively simple, but in coming weeks we’ll be digging deeper to give you some real-world examples, case studies and tools that Fort Collins and other innovative organizations use to do both of these. To start, here are two ways the City shares how they are consistently delivering on their mission of “exceptional service for an exceptional community”:
1. Transparent, easy to find, credible data that tells a story, the City of Fort Collins Community Performance Measurement Dashboard.
2. A steady flow of stories that inform, involve and inspire - such as the regular “CityView” video series.
In future posts, we’ll pull back the curtain on how and why these and other communication tools were developed and how they continue to bolster the City’s brand while reinforcing public perception of their innovative city.
-Timothy J. Allen, VP & Director of Strategic Communication