Everyone talks about the need to communicate but actually doing so can be a challenge.
Case in point is the recent process launched by chairperson Bob Fleming to see if the Regional District of North Okanagan can improve how it interacts with the public.
“We tend to be reactive and not proactive when disseminating information and I want to change that,” he said.
Examples of where RDNO was left trying to catch up with public opinion and the media are Shuswap River boat regulations and the rhythmic gymnastics zoning debate.
But communications aren’t just limited to how you handle controversial issues.
Unlike most local municipalities and many regional districts, RDNO has no presence on social media. Like it or not, the reality is that many people turn to Facebook, Twitter and other sources for information. If your agency or business isn’t there, you’re likely to be overlooked.
Website photos of RDNO directors are also terribly out of date. While not serious, it leaves the impression that RDNO doesn’t care about how it portrays itself.
Yes keeping websites and social media current takes staff time, which carries a price, as does issuing press releases and holding public meetings. But what cost do you put on having informed constituents and creating a meaningful relationship with them?
Hopefully Fleming’s process doesn’t hit a brick wall, but actually leads to some changes.