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Communications and Outreach Working Group

Working Groups

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Communications and Outreach Working Group

The Communications and Outreach Working Group provided strategic counsel to city staff about best practices and innovative ways of engaging a broad cross-section of the community in the ongoing discussion about whether the city should form an electric utility. This group was tasked with vetting ongoing communications and outreach efforts, identifying and examining alternate strategies and low-cost tactics for informing the public, and providing city staff with feedback from the public’s perspective about what worked in terms of communication related to the municipalization exploration effort. To get a glimpse of their recommendations, check out the meeting notes below.

Background

The city's Energy Future communications and engagement team will use traditional tools the city has for communicating with the public, like this website, news releases, project email listservs, newsletters, printed advertisements, etc.; however, the city also plans on using significantly more targeted outreach to specific audiences. The city has already began attending existing community group meetings and will continue to attend and provide information as requested. This allows the city to reach a larger audience without the preparation and organization costs associated with city-hosted events.

Goals

The Communications and Outreach Working Group came up with strategies and tactics to engage community members in an ongoing discussion about whether the city should form an electric utility. The group set the following communication goals: 

  • Keep the general community informed about the steps the city is taking to explore municipalization, while providing strategic points of engagement to receive feedback before critical decisions are made.
  • Invite and encourage robust participation from a diverse set of key stakeholders, including activists, members of the business community, individuals with specialized areas of knowledge and technical expertise, and representatives of large customers and interest groups.
  • Ensure the city is striking the right balance between informing and overloading the community.
  • Build on the progress made last year in terms of going to where people already congregate, but in ways that use limited staff resources as efficiently as possible.
  • Using an active process for public engagement, position City Council to be able to make informed decisions.

Timeline

The group met monthly from November 2012 through March 2013. 

Meeting Notes

Group Members

Community Members

Craig Cox – Lyghtco LLC
Angelique Espinoza – Boulder Chamber
Chris Hoffman – Organizational Development Consultant
Robert O’Herron - IBM
Jennifer Pinsonneault – Boulder Economic Council
Julie Zahniser – Clean Energy Action

Consultants

John Egan – Egan Energy Communications, Inc.
Robb Shurr – WaldenHyde

City of Boulder Staff

Sarah Huntley – Media Relations/Communications Manager
Andrew Barth – Communications Specialist
Kristen Hartel – Program Coordinator


Contact Us

Address Phone Email Executive Director

1101 Arapahoe Ave.

Boulder, CO 80302

303-441-3274

[email protected]

Heather Bailey

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