City of Evanston Wins Award for Web Communication
EVANSTON, IL - The City of Evanston, Illinois was one of only four cities in the nation to be recognized as a 2012 Web 2.0 winner by the Public Technology Institute (PTI). PTI also recognized the cities of San Francisco, Boston and West Palm Beach, as well as four states and two counties. These 10 governments were named the country’s leaders in the innovative application of Web 2.0 technologies and civic/social media tools. According to PTI, these awardees “achieved impressive results in citizen engagement, government accountability and operational efficiencies.”
“As residents change the way they obtain their information and news, it is critical that the city adapt as well, so residents stay engaged with their local government, said City of Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. “The City of Evanston is tremendously proud of this coveted designation.”
Web 2.0 technologies and social media tools for government are increasingly affecting how public institutions function and deliver services. In this second year of the PTI awards program, the Institute found that top agencies provided centralized access to data, created one-stop citizen service, increased interagency collaboration and were innovative in their use of social media, such as Facebook™ and Twitter™. The city now has 4,125 Facebook “likes” and 3,209 people follow its tweets to find out about breaking news, such as street closures and water main breaks. Social media renders city government and its operations more accessible than ever with initiatives like the “Police Tweet-along”—for which the city received the Web 2.0 award. This innovative application of social media served as an educational opportunity for the community to learn more about Police and emergency operations and to engage residents with the department in a new and unique way.
Bobkiewicz said, “Just a few years ago, it was unimaginable that some people would use the Internet as their primary source for news and information. At the City of Evanston, we take pride in providing information to residents through the medium they desire. Whether it’s sending street sweeping text reminders or informing teens about a free beach party via Facebook,™ we are improving our residents’ lives.”
Created by and for cities and counties, the not-for-profit Public Technology Institute promotes innovation and collaboration for thought-leaders in government, and advances the use of technology to improve the management and delivery of services to the citizen. “Being associated with other governments which are leading the way in innovative digital communication, such as San Francisco and Boston, is truly an honor for the City of Evanston. We will continue to be innovative in the way we deliver information,” Bobkiewicz concluded.
PTI website - http://www.pti.org/index.php/ptiee1/more/816/