Key West, FL: Integrated Communications with CivicPlus®
City:Key West, FL
Replace outdated technology with integrated functionality designed for local governments.
Implemented CivicPlus's website, 311 and citizen relationship management, and emergency mass notification solutions.
The City successfully leveraged all three integrated tools to help manage communications during Hurricane Elsa.
Millions of tourists travel to Key West, Florida, annually to experience the white sand beaches of the United States’ southernmost subtropical paradise. Yet, year-round, 25,000 people call this seven-square-mile island home. The diverse population loves its historic community, creative legacy, and living in a place that can only be reached by bridge, plane, or boat.
CivicPlus has done a fantastic job of engaging customers, soliciting feedback, and using that feedback to enhance its products.
City of Key West Web Specialist
The leaders of Key West are committed to maintaining all that is beloved about their island and creating positive civic experiences for their residents at every municipal touchpoint. Part of how they accomplish their goals is by using the integrated solutions they’ve implemented with the help of their technology partner, CivicPlus.
A CivicPlus Website as the Foundation for Civic Communications
The first component of the CivicPlus Civic Experience Platform that Key West implemented was a new CivicEngage website. The City of Key West Web Specialist recalls that when the City was searching for a new website provider, it wanted a system that provided integrated functionality designed to fit the needs of local governments, but that also allowed for some flexibility and custom configurations presented with a modern, easily navigable interface.
“We wanted more online capabilities for applications and communications with the public,” they said. “Before CivicPlus, applications were only available on our website as PDF forms. So a key factor in a solution partner was the ability to convert them to digital forms and help us improve our ADA compliance.”
Upon launch of its new website, Key West’s residents immediately noticed and appreciated the aesthetic and functional improvements.
“People loved how beautifully it was laid out and how easy it was to navigate,” they said.
Key West’s CivicPlus website also helped the City meet its communication goals by using its CivicEngage Send newsletter functionality and NotifyMe® subscription tool.
“The core group of citizens who live here year-round are a tight-knit community,” said the Web Specialist. “Our long-term residents have been here for generations. They are the unspoken stakeholders in our community. Our newsletter helps us send targeted messages and gather feedback from citizens and make the changes they want to see.”
Streamlining the 311 and Citizen Relationship Management Process
To further its ability to give Key West residents a way to share ideas, feedback, and requests with their civic leaders, the City implemented CivicPlus’ SeeClickFix 311 and citizen relationship management solution. Before the software addition, the City used a more time-intensive, manual process to track resident requests.
“When a citizen submitted a request, whether through the website or to their district manager, whether it was a phone call, email, or text message, we would have to forward it to the appropriate department. It wasn’t always easy for people to know where to send requests.”
The Key West IT Director, calls the implementation of SeeClickFix, which the City branded as Key West Connect, an immediate success.
“[We] worked with each of our department leaders to help them configure the system to meet their needs,” they said. “We feel that contributed to the early success. Externally, we received great guidance and citizen marketing materials from CivicPlus.” To date, the City has resolved over 1,100 requests via SeeClickFix.
Keeping Residents Safe from Tropical Weather with CivicPlus’ Emergency Mass Notification Solution
Key West is known as one of the warmest and sunniest places in the United States, but it is not without risk of dangerous tropical storms. So to ensure City leaders can communicate storm warnings, weather alerts, and instructions to residents, it added CivicPlus’ CivicReady emergency and routine communication solution to its software suite.
“At the time we implemented the software, we needed something with more enhanced capabilities, and that was more GIS driven that we could use when communicating about tropical weather, road closures, and big accidents,” said the IT Director.
Leveraging the Full Capabilities of the Civic Experience Platform During Tropical Storm Elsa
The integrated capabilities of Key West’s CivicPlus software stack were challenged in July 2021 when Tropical Storm Elsa touched down in the Keys. First, city leaders used its CivicPlus emergency notification solution to notify employees and residents about office closings. It further posted alerts to its website. Finally, to give residents a way to report issues and repairs, it temporarily disabled all its routine 311 software categories and replaced them with storm-related categories.
“We used all our CivicPlus solutions to communicate with employees and residents during Tropical Storm Elsa,” said the City’s Web Specialist. “We appreciate the convenience and consistency of having a single integrated technology partner.”
“There are similarities in the look and feel of all our CivicPlus solutions,” added the IT Director. “They integrate and share data, and we only have to manage one invoice.”
Key West’s Web Specialist adds that they appreciate CivicPlus’ regular product enhancement updates and user engagement activities.
“CivicPlus has done a fantastic job of engaging customers, soliciting feedback, and using that feedback to enhance its products.”
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