Hallandale Beach, FL Uses CivicEngage to Publish Quick Communications
The City of Hallandale Beach marks the southernmost point in Florida’s Broward County. The vibrant beach community, which is home to 40,000 residents, including many part-time residents looking to escape the winter months back north, is also home to the famous Gulfstream Park Race Track. Thanks to its warm Atlantic waters, beautiful beaches, and diverse population, it boasts one of the fastest-growing areas in Broward County.
For this bustling community, when it comes to maintaining a vibrant website that reflects the city’s commitment to progress, innovation, and opportunity, it has chosen the civic engagement and website security experts at CivicPlus® and their reliable CivicEngage® website content management system (CMS).
Prior to partnering with CivicPlus, the City of Hallandale Beach relied upon a CMS that was not easy to maintain. According to Greg Chavarria, City of Hallandale Beach Assistant City Manager, the difficulty of the CMS system led to administrative inefficiencies and delays in citizen communications.
“Prior to CivicPlus, to use our CMS, you had to have a certain level of expertise, training, and knowledge,” said Chavarria. “You had to know HTML to style posts and it bottlenecked our ability to quickly update content.”
An Efficient Implementation Process
Once the decision was made to transition to CivicPlus, the city’s focus shifted to the implementation process, which, according to Chavarria, was very well-managed.
“We had a great plan and a great project manager from CivicPlus,” said Chavarria. “We launched our new website in three months, which was remarkable. The process was seamless. We had a clear understanding of what we wanted from a visual perspective, and our CivicPlus design team understood our goals. They were very easy to communicate with, to relate to, and they were great about following-up on requests, which allowed us to create a clean, updated website that is mobile responsive and has updated features.”
The Value of Training
To further its strategy to decentralize its content update workflows, the city has implemented a cross-training program to ensure every department has access to knowledgeable internal staff who can confidently utilize the CivicEngage CMS.
“We initially trained six people, but after our training with CivicPlus, we cross-trained 14 resources across the city,” said Chavarria.
According to Chavarria, the ease of use of the CivicEngage platform has improved the city’s ability to communicate important information in a timely manner.
“With CivicPlus, the CMS is very easy and intuitive and it offers resources that enable departments across the city to be self-sufficient,” said Chavarria. “They no longer rely on IT to make their website content updates.”
When asked if the CivicEngage system helps make his job easier, Chavarria responds, “It makes a world of difference. We have a team of two people who manage our public relations, so our staff is limited. That’s why having a CMS that is so intuitive and easy to manage is important to us. It allows us to be agile in publishing and it allows information to be updated by other departments, rather than us having to make all of the website updates.”
Valuable Civic and Administrative Features
According to Chavarria, with the city’s current CivicEngage website, citizens benefit from the ability to easily search to find the information they are looking for.
“We are able to direct citizens consistently and seamlessly using redirects,” said Chavarria. “The CMS also offers features that help us ensure that our message is getting across. We have great support staff from CivicPlus that alert us proactively about ways to improve our website, and we have a great account rep that alerts us to opportunities to help us improve our operations.”
From an administrative perspective, for Chavarria, the greatest benefit in the CivicEngage CMS is in its ability to allow him and his staff to keep citizens apprised of news and information timely.
“What’s important to me is that information is published quickly, and that it’s fresh and not stale.”
According to Chavarria, unlike other websites he has managed, with CivicPlus, he has never been concerned about the security of the City of Hallandale Beach’s website.
“It’s one less worry. It’s isolated from our other systems, so we have the ability to focus on other threats to our community, rather than the fear of suffering from an intrusion on our community platform.”
For the City of Hallandale Beach, not only does CivicPlus offer a functional CMS and a secure platform, according to Chavarria, it offers a basis for the city’s citizen engagement efforts.
“CivicPlus is the foundation of our engagement strategy. If it wasn’t for our CivicPlus partnership, we would not be anywhere near where we are today with our outreach efforts.”
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