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8/13/2020 - Somerset County Launches Communications Study

Somerset County Launches Communications Study

Public Input Sought Using Online Survey To Improve Awareness and Expand Use of County Services

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County is asking residents to provide feedback on its communications tactics and strategy in an anonymous and informal online survey facilitated by the Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

“It is always vital that the government communicate effectively with the people it serves, and that has never been more true than during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Freeholder Director Shanel Y. Robinson. “We will use the report from this study to help improve our already expansive communications efforts to help more people know what services are available to help them through these trying times.”

The survey, which residents can fill out and submit at until Sept. 30, is available in five languages including English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Gujarati, and Hindi. The majority of questions have multiple-choice answers, making the survey quick and easy to complete in about 10 minutes. Residents who provide contact information will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift card.

Somerset County is conducting the communications study to determine how well the county keeps residents informed about programs, services and resources. The goal of the initiative is to identify strategies that will help to increase public awareness and engagement under the ‘new normal.’

“Communication and customer service with residents is critical. Somerset County has always done a good job of reaching out to the community with information on our services, facilities, and programming. We are always looking for new technologies and techniques that we can use to improve,” said Freeholder Brian Gallagher. “The Rutgers study is another step forward in how we communicate with and serve our constituents.”

The county contracted with Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy to conduct the study. As part of the agreement, representatives from Rutgers University’s Public Outreach and Engagement Team (POET) will analyze survey results, conduct focus groups with residents and county employees, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop a strategic communications plan for the county. The plan will be used to enhance Somerset County’s communications efforts throughout every department and agency.

Residents who do not have internet access or need assistance completing the survey can contact Rutgers at 848-932-2376.

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