City Council will receive an annual update today on the implementation of the city’s communications efforts as well as the launch of its new website in June, both with goals of increasing inclusiveness and transparency. language access.
The council meets in rooms at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.
The update highlights outreach strategies, accomplishments, ongoing actions and goals for the coming year, staff said in their report to the board.
Located within the Office of the City Administrator, the Public Information Officer/Community Engagement Officer coordinates the city’s overall outreach efforts and is responsible for developing city-wide guidelines. the city for communications and outreach. A communications specialist and municipal television staff are also contributing to these efforts.
A major initiative of the city administrator’s office has been to improve outreach to reach more of the community, increase transparency and invite the public to engage, said the staff.
Discussing language access at the start of projects, rather than addressing topics such as content translation and accessibility once the project is underway, “creates more effective planning to meet the need for translation and Spanish interpretation and online accessibility,” the staff said.
To improve online accessibility and translation, staff not only translate online documents and publications into Spanish, but also think about fonts, colors and text size so that information can be better read by visually impaired users.
As part of its technology support for council meetings, the city has incorporated the use of the Listen Everywhere app. This allows meeting attendees to download the app, use their own headphones, and get an English hearing aid or Spanish translation.
For those who choose to view meetings from home, there are several ways to view online meetings in English and Spanish. The use of closed captioning is also available on meeting videos.
The Public Information Officer continues to work with the entire city communications team to draft and approve a Spanish Language Access Plan that will guide the city’s efforts in presenting a unified approach to creating messages that reach Spanish-speaking audiences.
Planning for the State of the City will begin in just a few weeks for a community-focused State of the City address/open house that will allow the community to engage with staff and officials, hear about upcoming projects and accomplishments and get questions answered, staff said.
“In an emergency, it is imperative that language is not a barrier to communicating essential information,” staff said. “The city has a Spanish cadre in place that is activated in emergencies to provide this communication, but staff are continuing to work to increase the number of participating employees and provide formal training.”
In addition, communications staff continue to work on developing a comprehensive and updated guide to brand identity and the use of social media to ensure consistent communication across departments.
Spanish translation work continues to not only identify and translate existing materials, but also to increase the city’s ability to create as much Spanish content as possible, staff said. Improvements in this area will take time and are ongoing.
The city is also considering redesigning the weekly newsletter, relaunching the quarterly business newsletter, and relaunching the quarterly 50-minute magazine as a five- to seven-minute bi-weekly show that is better suited to busy audiences in the city. ‘today.
The city’s website is one of our strongest outreach tools, staff said. The site was launched in June and from the start of planning for the website, staff made a strong and ongoing commitment to the inclusiveness of all website visitors. The city’s website was designed with the idea of making web content accessible to people with disabilities.
This was accomplished in the following ways: simple and consistent information architecture; use “skip to” navigation links that allow a visitor to easily navigate to the main content area of a page; main site navigation and sub-navigation use lists that are easier for screen readers without unnecessary code; images have alt text; Accessibility Widget is installed on every page allowing better compliance with web content accessibility guidelines; and using PDFs that integrate with Adobe tools to help blind and visually impaired users.
Since its launch, a comparison of web analytics between pre- and post-launch shows the following: people are more engaged with the website while spending less time on it.
“It shows that they are getting what they need more often and finding it faster than before,” the staff said. “Traffic from social media engages much more with the website. Traffic from mobile, search and social channels has increased because we have optimized our content and design for search.”
Under the Board’s approval schedule, staff recommends that the Board adopt the 2024-2024 salary plan applicable to unrepresented managers and professional lawyers, and the 2022-24 salary plan applicable to certain unrepresented security managers.
Also under the council approval schedule, staff recommends that council authorize and direct the City Clerk’s Office to accept applications until October 10, 2022 to fill anticipated vacancies within various groups. City advisory and unforeseen vacancies resulting from resignations received at the City Clerk’s office by September 21.
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