Your Councillors

Communications and Engagement Action Plan 2018 – 2019

The Communications and Engagement Action Plan (CEAP) has been drafted, following conversations with each service area, to help identify the key messages that they wish to convey to external audiences. The CEAP will introduce a clear, focused, budgeted, effective and measurable communications campaign for each overarching message. For the purposes of the CEAP, audiences identified are all ‘external’ facing.’ A specific ‘internal’ CEAP is outlined to be delivered to employees within the Council for ease.

The Communications and Engagement Campaigns:

Each overarching communications campaign links to an overall objective, as set out in the adopted Communications and Engagement Strategy 2016 – 2020, as well as linking to one or more of the Corporate Strategic Action Areas as listed:

Corporate Strategic Action Areas:

1)    Safe, Clean and Green Environment

2)    A Home for Everyone

3)    Regeneration of the Town Centre

4)    Health and Wellbeing (prevention)

5)    Keeping Maidstone Borough an Attractive Place for All

6)    Securing a Prosperous Economy for Maidstone Borough

7)    Promoting a range of employment opportunities and skills required across our Borough

8)    Respecting the Character and Heritage of our Borough

 

Measurability and effectiveness of campaigns:

Each campaign will be evaluated using statistics that measure output, outtakes and outcomes. Objectives, anticipated outcomes and suitable metrics to measure (e.g. press coverage, social media return, downloads, increased revenue) will be decided upon with the service directly. A full report will be delivered to each service to look at the campaign’s delivery, timing and overall return on investment - taking into account budget or staff resources used.

Budget for each campaign:

Each service area will discuss available budget with the Communications team before embarking on the individual campaign. A plan for how funds are to be allocated will be agreed upon and worked to.

Objective - Encourage Pride in Our Borough (encouraging behavioural change)

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Waste Crime

 

Priority: 1 & 5

Fly-tipping

·          Fly-tipping – prevention, behavioural change in community

 

·          Highlighting successful prosecutions and vehicle destruction

 

·          Waste Carrier Licence – dangers of using a non-registered waste carrier

Residents, fly-tippers, Facebook fly-tippers and commercial enterprises.

 

 

Mixed media channels including:

video, signage, data intelligence from service, press releases, social media, engagement and outreach opportunities, Borough Insight and website.

 

Opportunities to engage with media for radio interviews and TV - KMTV.

March 2018 onwards

Service

Increased visibility of prevention measures.

 

Resident knowledge regarding fines – up to £5,000.

 

Reduced number of fly-tips across the borough.

Waste Crime

 

Priority: 1 &5

 

Throwing waste from moving vehicles

·          We’re watching and will prosecute

·          Fines – how much

Visitors, residents.

Improved signage, press releases, social media, outreach opportunities, website.

Sept 2018 onwards

Service

To decrease amount of litter thrown from moving vehicles on rural and high speed roads.

Waste Crime

 

Priority: 1 & 5

Litter Enforcement

·          Keeping your streets clean and tidy

·          Tackling problem areas fairly

Don’t drop litter it is a crime!

Perpetrators of litter crime,

school education outreach, residents, specific areas affected.

 

Mixed media channels including:

social media, website, press releases, Borough Insight, face-to-face engagement.

Ongoing

Service

Reduction in penalties needed to keep the borough clean and tidy.

 

Community responsibility.

Waste

 

Priority: 1 & 5

Recycling

·          What goes in each bin?(food, green and black bin)

·          Why we should recycle

·          Contamination  - why it costs the Council and residents

·          Christmas collection dates and recycling dos and don’ts

Residents (in particular non- users of current services).

 

Mixed media channels including: video, social media, roadshows, targeted messages in areas of low uptake, Borough Insight, 365 Days of Great News content.

July 2018

Service

To increase knowledge of residents and their use of recycling services.

 

Increase overall recycling rate to 50%.

 

Claim number one spot across Kent for best recycling rates. Current position - number two.

Waste

 

Priority: 1 & 5

Litter picks

·          Support us and love where you live – community involvement

·          Why not join your community litter pick group?

Residents,

volunteers groups,

established litter picking groups.

 

Mixed media messages:

face-to face (already established litter groups),

social media – spread the word and visual proof of improvement, Borough Insight, 365 Days of Great News content.

 

 

 

Spring (March)

Autumn (October)

Service

To improve areas chosen for litter picks.

 

Increase pride in the area where people live.

 

Increase community cohesion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Community Protection

 

Priority: 1 & 5

Dog Waste

·          Bag it and Bin it!

·          Raise awareness of fines for irresponsible dog owners

·          Dangers of dog fouling

 

Irresponsible dog owners,

community - to name whistleblowing in areas where perpetrators are known, Parish Councils and Councillors.

Mixed media channels including:

video, signage, social media, Borough Insight, 365 campaign content, press releases (successful fines).

 

Media engagement to talk about topic and problem areas.

 

 

Ongoing

Service

Decrease in reports and presence of dog fouling.

 

Community satisfaction and whistleblowing.

 

 

Community Protection

 

Priority: 1

Safety in the Borough

·          Working with key partners (police) to keep everyone safe in the borough

Residents and visitors of the borough.

Borough Insight, social media, service newsletters, website updates, case studies, info videos, 365 Days of Great News content.

 

Media engagement on specific projects.

March onwards

Service

Improved sense of safety reflected in resident survey percentages.

 

Raised awareness of joint schemes with MBC and police and any other third party agencies.

 

Objective:  Satisfaction with Borough as a place to live

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Economic Development

 

Priority: 3 & 7

Phase 3 of Regeneration of the Town Centre – Gabriel’s Hill and Week Street

·          Enhancement of the town

·          Respecting the heritage of the borough – history trail

·          Encouraging prosperity and inward investment in the town centre

·          Visitors welcome to Maidstone, The County Town of Kent

·          Business Capital of Kent

·          Great place, to live, visit work and play!

·          Time frames

·          Benefit to community and visitor experience

Residents, visitors and businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed media channels including:

vision boards, signage, website – FAQs,

press releases, social media, specific 365 Days of Great News content, video updates/blog on progress.

June  - Feb- 2019

Service

Awareness of project and the investment undertaken by the Council to invest in area.

 

Media impact and positive coverage from local and national press.

 

Increased footfall to town centre.

 

Positive sentiment expressed across channels - viewed as a good use of public money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Economic Development

 

Priority: 3 & 7

Maidstone East

·          Investment in town centre

·          Mixed use site including office, resident and commercial

·          Improving the gateway to the town

Residents, businesses and media

Press releases, MBC website, Business in Kent website, interactive map, social media, Borough Insight, industry trade press.

 

Working in tandem with Quantum PR company recruited to deliver marketing campaign specifically aimed at inward investment.

Ongoing

Service

Awareness of project as it develops.

 

Encouraging inward investment and relocation of businesses.

 

Securing Maidstone as the Business Capital of Kent.

 

Parking Services and Economic Development

 

Priority: 3

Promote  Sandling Road car park

·          Central town parking

·          Cheaper than competitors

·          Conveniently located

·          Long stay car parking options

Visitors, commuters, retail businesses and residents.

Signage, social media campaign, Borough Insight and press releases

Ongoing

Services

Increased revenue to Sandling Road Car park.

 

Raised awareness about car park and viable option for commuters over other centrally located car parks.

Economic Development

 

Priority: 1 & 3

 

Mote Park Adventure Zone

·          £4.3 million investment in Mote Park over 3 years

·          Securing the parks sustainable future

·          Visitor Centre – room hire

·          Adventure Zone, Mini-golf, High Ropes, Skate park, play area, Segway.

·          Improved access routes to park

·          Improved facilities including toilets and car parking.

 

Residents, visitors, event organisers, business for corporate hospitality, schools and community groups.

Mixed media channels including:

press releases, video, project pages on MBC website, public consultation, signage, Borough Insight, parks newsletters (digital), social media, 365 Days of Great News stories, crisis comms as needed ( for example - sewer collapse)

January 2018 -March 2019

Services

Increased awareness and interest in Mote Park.

 

Knowledge of commercial offer when Serco take over the management of the facilities.

 

Increase in visitor numbers by 10 %

 

Increase use and revenue for café.

 

 

 

Economic Development

 

Priority: 3 & 7

Business Capital of Kent

·          Maidstone is a great place to relocate your business

·          Quality of life

·          Transport links

·          Great schools

·          Vibrant economy and nightlife

·          Multiple specialist  industry  sectors

Businesses, Councillors, SMEs, investors, trade press, sectors specialists, (medical)

Press releases, MBC website, Business in Kent website, interactive map, social media, Borough Insight, industry trade press.

 

Working in tandem with Quantum PR company recruited to deliver marketing campaign specifically aimed at inward investment.

June –December 2018

Business Retention Pilot Scheme

Increased positive coverage in local media.

 

Attract inward investment.

 

Brand  - Business Capital of Kent to be recognised and adopted

 

Maidstone on the map for first choice destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Environ-mental Protection

 

Priority: 1

Clean Air for Schools

·          Turn off your engine at the school gates

·          Walk on Wednesday

·          Clean Air project to get schools to test air pollution where they are and reduce it by walking or cycling

Schools, teachers, pupils, parents and Councillors

Mixed media channels:

radio, press releases, video, website project/event page and social media

June 20 18- Sept 2019

Service

Schools across the borough signed up to scheme.

 

Fall in pollution around school grounds.

 

Increased number of parents and children walking to school.

 

Reduction in number of idling engines at school gates

 

Improved and sustainable relationships with local schools.

 

Increased awareness of dangers or air pollution.

 

Commitment from third party groups to spread the message about ways in which they can reduce air pollution.

 

 

Parking Services

 

Priority: 1 & 3

Park & Ride

·          £2.50 to park

·          Up to 6 people can car share and travel

·          Cashless Parking

·          Viable option for commuters

Residents, commuters,  visitors and businesses

Mixed media channels:

video, social media, Borough Insight, website, flyers, billboard, bus advertising, commercial poster sites, press releases and  media  interviews

 

Jan 2018 – Jan 2019

Service

Increased use of Park & Ride service.

 

Increased revenue generated from service - improved sustainability.

 

Increased car sharing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Objective: Restoring Faith and Trust in the Council

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Corporate

 

Direct link to objective

Brand

·          Vibrant and fresh new MBC

·          Trustworthy

·          Cost effective

Residents, visitors, businesses

Mixed media channels including:

Borough Insight, corporate vehicle branding, customer facing staff uniform, digital and letter templates, stationery, website, logos (Tab and Wave).

January 2018 onwards

All service areas

Positive branding and repositioning of a fresh look and feel MBC within the minds of all external stakeholders

 

Reduction in costs for vehicle production for branding.

Corporate

 

Direct link to objective and All Priorities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the Story?

365 Days of Great News

·          Great news each day about the organisation’s success and any community impact that the work of the Council may have.

Residents, visitors, businesses

Social Media  - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Borough Insight

1 May 2018 – 1 May 2019

Commun-ications

Improved knowledge of areas of service in the Council for residents

 

Positive news stories in the media

 

Positive engagement across all channels 2.5% average across measured channel

 

Increased social media reach  including shares, likes, retweets, impressions, followers, engagement rating

 

 

 

Direct link to objective and All Priorities

Borough Insight

·          Services key messages

·          Councillors – who are your Councillors

·          Mayoral news

·          Leader’s Viewpoints

·          Spot light on one ward

·          Community news

·          Businesses in Maidstone (Business Terrace)

Residents, visitors

Printed version to 68K residents, online option via website

March, July and November 2018

Commun-ications

Improved communication between the Council, residents and local businesses

 

Increase awareness of public consultations and opportunities to feedback.

 

Improved perception of services and awareness

 

Pride in the Borough

 

Cost neutral channel of communication

 

Improved trust in Council

 

 

 

Objective:  Residents influence decisions affecting their local area

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Elections/ Democratic Services

 

Direct link to objective

Local elections (May) and any ongoing Ward Elections

·          Have your say  - vote

·          Your voice matters

·          Know your ward Councillor and what they can do for you

·          Which ward do you live in?

·          Love where you live, pride in your area

·          How to report issues to your Councillor

·          Democratic process – get involved

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residents, Councillors, Parish Council, agents and media.

Mixed media channels including:

social media, Borough Insight, HEF forms, press releases, face-to-face engagement, video content and  Borough Insight.

February – onwards

Service

Increase participation in local elections across all wards.

 

Current average from May 2018 local election is 30% across all 26 wards but target is 35%.

 

Increase of 5%

 

 

Elections/ Democratic Services

 

Direct link to objective

Household Enquiry Form/ Annual Canvass – response

·          Don’t ignore your HEF form.

·          It can help with your credit rating

·          Acts as a register to vote/

if you are not registered you can’t vote

·          If you don’t register you could face £1,000 fine

·          Quick and easy  - takes less than 5 minutes to register

·          Ways to register/online/by post

 

Residents,

specific groups: non- registered, unemployed,  24yrs – 35yrs, social housing.

Mixed media channels including:

face-to-face, drop in sessions, posts, social media and Borough Insight.

June  - October 2018

Service

HEF first time response increases.

 

Spend decreases on follow-up communications.

 

Increase in numbers eligible to vote.

 

Improve online return  - reduces Council’s spend.

 

 

 

 

Objective: Community Engagement

Service Area and Corporate Priority

Campaign

Key Messages for Campaign

Audience (external )

Delivery method

Time frame

Budget

Outcomes

Museum

 

Priority: 5 & 8

Planning the future of your local Museum - consultation

·          20 year vision – explaining the plan

·          What the museum could look like

·          What do visitors like?

·          What  exhibitions would you like to see

 

Non-users, existing visitors, schools, Maidstone Museum Friends (MMF), CUR8 (12 – 24 years) and community groups.

Mixed media channels including:

survey -  online, website (museum), MBC website, social media, focus groups with BME, community groups, Councillors, roadshows (selected areas to include rural outreach/ events)

July- Sept 2018

Service

Evidence to support improvement to Maidstone Museum.

 

Increased awareness of facility.

Planning

 

Priority: 2 & 7

Local Plan Review

·          What does the local plan mean?

·          How does it affect your community?

 

Residents, developers, businesses, Councillors and Parish Councillors.

Mixed media channels including:

direct mail, opens sessions, website, face-to-face consultation, Borough Insight and workshops.

August to 2021

Service

Improved participation in consultation process.

 

Stakeholders feeling better informed.

 

 

Policy and Information

 

Direct link to objective

Consultations –service led and statutory

 

 

 

·          Promote key aspects of any Council consultation

Residents, businesses, other interested key stakeholders depending on consultation.

Online, focus groups, face-to- face (events)

Ongoing*

 

*(Individual campaign as indicated below with respective time frames)

Service

Increase awareness of public consultations and opportunities to feedback.

 

Increase respondents to consultations for each survey.

 

Better understanding of budget spend, issues that matter leading to better decision making processes.

 

 

Policy and Information

 

Direct link to objective

 

 

Borough Insight

·          Feedback on Council’s magazine

·          How would you like to receive Borough Insight?

·          What do you like and don’t like?

·          How can we improve the magazine?

Residents, businesses and advertisers.

Online survey

Promotion of the survey via magazine, social media and third party engagement

July – Sept 2018

Service

Using most appropriate method of delivery for customer: pick-up points, digital version, and printed copies.

 

Streamlined magazine – more targeted content.

 

Improved engagement with residents – trust and perception of the Council.

 

Improved awareness of services and projects

 

 

 

Increase in satisfaction rating for Residents’ Survey – ‘how well informed do you feel about the services the Council offers?’

Policy and Information

 

Direct link to objective

Customer Services

·          Evaluation of customer services and access to them.

·          Online services promotion, range of services available self-service

Residents

Online survey

August – Sept 2018

Service

Improved performance.

 

Improved customer satisfaction.

 

Perception of the Council – improved.

 

Streamlined channels of contact.

 

 

Policy and Information

 

Direct link to objective

18yrs- 24yrs

 

·          Awareness of relevant services

·          Encourage democratic process participation

 

18-24yrs

Online, website, face-to-face consultation and third party engagement

Ongoing

Service

Improved participation in consultation process.

 

Stakeholders feeling better informed about all service areas.

 

Raised awareness and interest in democracy.

 

Sense of belonging and community.

 

 

 

Policy and Information

 

Direct link to objective

Over 75yrs

·          Awareness of services that are relevant

Over 75yrs

Face-to-face consultation and third party engagement

Ongoing

Service

Improved participation in consultation process.

 

Stakeholders feeling better informed about all service areas.

 

Raised awareness and interest in democracy.

 

Sense of belonging and community.

 

Policy and Information

 

Direct link to objective

Black, Minority and Ethnic groups  (BME)

·          Awareness of services

·          Encourage democratic process participation

·          Your voice matters

·          Encouraging involvement

·          Representation of  cultural views and beliefs within the community

BME

Online, website, face-to-face consultation, third party engagement.

Ongoing

Service

Improved participation in consultation process.

 

Stakeholders feeling better informed about all service areas.

 

Raised awareness and interest in democracy.

 

Sense of belonging and community.

 

Corporate

 

Priority: All

Strategic Plan

·          New strategic priorities

Residents, Councillors, businesses and Parish Councillors

Online

Sept 2018  

Service

Central and unified vision for the Council.

 

Clear strategic direction and core themes for key stakeholders to act upon.

Corporate

 

Direct link to objective

Budget Consultation

·          Financial priorities

·          Where money is to be divided and how?

 

Residents and businesses

Online

Sept 2018

Corporate

Improved participation in consultation process.

 

Stakeholders feeling better informed and able to voice opinion.

 

Knowledge about how public money is being spent.