“Oakley In the News” Needs An Overhaul

If the City of Oakley wishes to send out emails to its residents, it might want to consider adding some meat and potatoes to the information it provides to its residents. Its vital that the City create a buzz, not bore people with useless information. I hate to be blunt, but this email today was a complete waste of time for staff to put together, but more importantly a waste of time to the people reading it.

The City can do better than this email it sent out today. It has to do better because it has wonderful things going on but those writing this garbage have no idea how to build interest.  This really isn’t “Oakley In the News”, but rather “Oakley Announcements” or something along those lines.

There appears to be no dedicated person that readers can reach with questions about this email as opposed to simply plopping down the (925) 625-7000 number. I would urge the City to pick a dedicated staff person for questions when these types of releases go out.

Let’s take a look at the email they sent out today shall we? The City text is in bold, mine is in normal font.

The City of Oakley website www.oakleyinfo.com offers a great way for you to reach the City Council and Staff.  While our website has kept a vast archive of documents and information for years, the Twitter feed, gives you the opportunity to follow us and easily stay informed of new content, materials, and events. Through our website, you can also become a fan of the City of Oakley on Facebook or become friends with Val E. Oak, our City’s mascot. Staying connected via social media is a great way to receive information.

I disagree with the City’s statement that the City website is a great system to get information and reach City Council. The website’s archive system is terrible and it’s not very easy to find information while some information is outdated. If I have a hard time finding old documents in order to bring to the attention of the council, I know others will as well. If the city really wants to promote its website, it might want to update its information first.

For example, the Fire Services page highlights 8-stations plus the district office.  Station 93 has its old address while two other stations were closed last year. It’s news section has not included any new articles since 2008 while the site does not show any archived Press Releases as it appears to be a broken link.  The Oakley Leaf has not had an issue created since January 2010.

As for the promotion of Social Media, I’d encourage the City to stay consistent with their postings if they want to promote their social media postings, before the last few weeks, there was very little posts published in 2011 with large gaps. It appears the City now has 3 Facebook pages (City of Oakley, Val E. Oak and Oakley Recreation) but fails to provide a link to each account.

Have you recently attended a City event? If so, look for our Flickr feed, this always displays photographs and is accessible at the bottom or our webpage. Find yourself in the pictures or learn of events you would like to attend in the future.

This was some very lazy writing. Does the City realize its own stupid statement? They ask if you have attended a city event without naming the events then suggest to view its Flickr feed without providing a Flickr link. The irony of their statement is silly because does it mean people who did not attend do not get to view?  More importantly, its an opportunity to name drop the last few City events where pictures were taken–simply state them!

For example, photographs have been posted from the Holly Creek Park Grand Opening and World of Discovery—people will not check it out unless they know what they are looking for. The email could have also included a “teaser” photograph to make it more interesting.

By the way, how does Flickr promote future events? I’d like to be educated on that feature.

If you are a member of a community group or organization you can also submit to have your event listed on our Community Calendar. To do so please click on “About Oakley” on our homepage and you will be able to send in your event for inclusion on the Calendar.  Please also use the Calendar in planning your events to avoid any potential conflicts.  

Again, this was done very lazy. Since this is in an email, the City might want to include a direct link to an event to the community calendar.  Here is the link to the submit form, it was not hard to include it.

Other interactive features include the City Council Meeting Comment Form, which allows you to submit your comments on a City Council Agenda item. This is a great tool if you are unable to make it to a City Council meeting, but would like to have the City Council members made aware of your opinion. Please note that City Council Meeting Agendas, Staff Reports, and Minutes are updated regularly and easily accessible on the City Council Agenda portion of the website. Lastly, following the direction of City Council, Staff has explored cost-effective ways to post recorded meetings online. While we are still working out some bugs, this page will soon be the home to your link to view City Council meetings online.

Again, why not just post a link to the City Council Agendas as well as City Council Comment Form? It makes it easier on the reader and they can see firsthand what staff is trying to explain. Staff could have even taken an extra step and included each council members email in the message if residents did not want to submit a form, but simply send an email with a message–it’s all about providing customer service!

Finally, the city promotes their recorded council meetings online is coming soon but says there are still bugs? Why even say that when you are promoting this feature with bugs still occurring? It would have been better to tease this feature and “talk it up” before its release while the City works behind the scenes to work out the “bugs”. They also give no timetable as to when this online video will be available.  I think its also import if the city mentions “cost effective” and “soon” that they define what each is.

Here is a copy of the email in its entirety:

 City of Oakley Web ResourcesThe City of Oakley website www.oakleyinfo.comoffers a great way for you to reach the City Council and Staff.  While our website has kept a vast archive of documents and information for years, the Twitter feed, gives you the opportunity to follow us and easily stay informed of new content, materials, and events. Through our website, you can also become a fan of the City of Oakley on Facebook or become friends with Val E. Oak, our City’s mascot. Staying connected via social media is a great way to receive information.Have you recently attended a City event? If so, look for our Flickr feed, this always displays photographs and is accessible at the bottom or our webpage. Find  yourself in the pictures or learn of events you would like to attend in the future.If you are a member of a community group or organization you can also submit to have your event listed on our Community Calendar. To do so please click on “About Oakley” on our homepage and you will be able to send in your event for inclusion on the Calendar.  Please also use the Calendar in planning your events to avoid any potential conflicts.Other interactive features include the City Council Meeting Comment Form, which allows you to submit your comments on a City Council Agenda item. This is a great tool if you are unable to make it to a City Council meeting, but would like to have the City Council members made aware of your opinion. Please note that City Council Meeting Agendas, Staff Reports, and Minutes are updated regularly and easily accessible on the City Council Agenda portion of the website. Lastly, following the direction of City Council, Staff has explored cost-effective ways to post recorded meetings online. While we are still working out some bugs, this page will soon be the home to your link to view City Council meetings online.Go to www.oakleyinfo.com  and check out some of the new features.
http://www.oakleyinfo.com
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About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
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