The City of Victoria Communications & Public Affairs recently launched a variety of new communication platforms, including a new website on May 25, to better keep Victoria residents informed, and the public is encouraged to access them.
“We’ve worked hard to integrate City content across new and existing channels to enhance the availability of City information to the public,” said Ashley Strevel, director of Communications & Public Affairs. “We have to think about meeting all residents where they are, which, in addition to traditional means, is increasingly becoming online. We always keep Victoria residents in mind as we develop new ways to communicate with the people we serve.”
At the May 19 City Council meeting, Strevel presented the City’s website redesign, new social media platforms, livestreaming efforts and podcast revamp amongst other new technologies intended to reach as wide of an audience as possible. The full presentation to Council can be viewed at www.victoriatx.gov/vtv15.
The City’s new website launched May 26 with the new domain name www.victoriatx.gov. The Communications team spent months collaborating with City Information Technology to develop a more user-friendly site, which serves as a central hub of city information. The website redesign allows visitors to easily navigate with a homepage that features visible links to commonly requested services such as permitting, utility bill pay and meeting agendas. Residents also have access to the latest news releases, social media feeds and calendars for City events and public meetings.
“We want to be a 21st-century organization, and improving our technologies and the advanced manner in which we communicate with the public helps us reach that goal,” City Manager Jesús A. Garza said.
Communications also has worked to expand the reach of its content by redistributing it across different channels and on new social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For example, the department broadcasts video content through its cable TV channel, Vtv15, as well as on YouTube and through Facebook Live. Content broadcasted to the cable TV channel now is available online and vice versa so that residents who watch one or the other will have access to important information. The City has even reached Snapchat users by creating branded filters for landmark locations, such as Pebble Beach and Riverside Park.
In February, the City launched a weekly email newsletter, The City View, which features breaking news, upcoming events, Council agendas, spotlight videos, podcasts and more directly from the City. TOWNtalk, the team’s latest new venture, will spotlight aspects of City government and Victoria life in a fresh, new podcast talk show format. The new podcast will include a video element and on-location recordings to take listeners and viewers behind the scenes, and the first episode will launch June 8. Residents can visit www.victoriatx.gov/communications to subscribe to the newsletter and catch the latest episode of the podcast.
“Making City information available to the public is important,” Strevel said. “But just as important is making it appealing and relatable. At the end of the day, that’s what we want to do – create content that Victoria residents will find informative and enjoy.”
To learn more, contact Communications at 361-485-3110 or visit www.victoriatx.gov/communications.