Council adopts new communication plan

By: Robin Ruehlen | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published September 26, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS — A new communications strategy in the works aims to make important village information more accessible to residents through daily updates on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Village Council unanimously approved the proposed strategy set forth by the five-member Communications Committee at council’s Sept. 18 meeting.

Chairwoman Lynn Kier said the committee’s goal is to ensure consistent communications across multiple channels on issues such as planned events, emergencies, and council decisions and actions. They also want to promote village services.

Kier said the strategy will help summarize village business in layman’s terms within a day of decisions, and it’ll serve to supplement news reports. The village has had a Facebook page since June 2011 that provides information about traffic and road closures, local events and pertinent county information.

“One objective is to advise residents on the financial condition and operational efficiency of the village, as well as guidance on how to communicate with village administration,” she said.

The committee, which meets once a month, has already confirmed its goals and its audience, and is now set to confirm projects, choose communication tools and estimate costs and a timetable for the strategy.

The communications strategy does not apply to e-business or self-service opportunities for permits or licensing, however.

President Rosanne Koss said the Communications Committee was a product of council goal-setting sessions that took place in January and February.

“I think a lot of times, one of the things we get criticized the most on as a council is our communication, and this committee is a great group of people who have done a wonderful job developing this strategy,” she said.

“I tend to get very focused on getting things done when it comes to our business agenda, and the last thing I’m thinking about at that moment is calling the newspaper. It will be good to have a group that is focused on getting the word out about those things.”

Committee liaison Walter Briggs thanked Kier and the committee for its work.

“The discussions have evolved quickly into projects that we would like to get going on, including promoting communication tools that the village already uses, such as the weekly email blast that administration already puts out,” he said.

Village Manager Chris Wilson said residents can sign up for timely village updates via e-mail, text message and social media through the GovDelivery system on the village’s website,