Creation of a communication taskforce that works with traditional communication, physical events all around the municipality, and educating school children.
As part of the first part (2014-2019) of the municipal Waste Management Plan 2014-2024 the local politicians supported an increased communication effort in correspondence with the increase in new services and projects within the plan, and also due to the citizens’ increasing wish to sort more waste for reuse and recycling (as a consequence of a societal increased general awareness about sustainability and the role of waste within this), and thus need for knowledge on correct waste sorting.
Kolding Municipality’s Waste Management Department Redux has dedicated a communication task force to secure reaching citizens with important information and messages through broad and varied communication channels such as traditional media (tv, radio, newspaper), social media (Instagram, Facebook), school educational service, and innovative events about waste sorting, repair cafés, upcycling and more. The taskforce has five full-time employees and 8-12 part-time event team assistants who help out with all kinds of communication-related activities. The task force are responsible for both internal and external communication and thus are a big help to other colleagues working with projects where citizen involvement or getting information out to citizens (or companies) is important.
Increasing the communication effort significantly was a priority of the Waste Management Plan 2014-2024. This resulted in a communication taskforce consisting of: 1 Team Leader, 2 Communication Consultants, 1 Educator, 1 Event Coordinator and 8-12 part-time Event Team Assistants.
Evidence of success
Kolding Municipality: 94,000 citizens.
Education service visitors (n. school children): 1,092 (2017), 1,665 (2018), 2,564 (2019).
N. dialogues with citizens during events (2019 data): 5,200 distributed on a total of 52 events (e.g. citizen meetings, presentations of new waste collection trucks, sports events, dialogue surveys, Waste Management Plan surveys, free compost, choosing of new waste bins, citizen walk-and-talks, repair, upcycling, dumpster dinner, holiday specials and more).
It is important to either have or invest time and effort in creating a large communication network locally and make sure to communicate anything new such as an education service or an event in order for the target groups to be aware of the existence of whatever is being offered.
Potential for learning or transfer
Citizens especially value the events where our employees goes out and visits many parts of the municipality and, this way, create a more intimate relationship with the citizens than the alternative which would be to just stay in the offices and using online written online methods.
Since 2019 our Event Team has for each event estimated how successful the event was based on how well the event workers experienced parameters such as number of dialogues, how well the citizens received and understood the information, number of angry citizens and more. Parameters where the event worker would not be held responsible because this can bias the evaluation and grading of the event. Instead they objectively analyse and report on the how many people came by to talk, if the information is clear and understandable etc. The average event scores 4.5 out of 5 based on these parameters.
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