The District of Sparwood hosts a variety of public consultations on a diverse range of local and community-wide subjects

We value the public's opinion and we look forward to having informative discussions with residents, businesses, and other key stakeholders from all areas of Sparwood. Proactive communications planning and implementation will help to ensure the District engages with key stakeholders at the right time, in the right manner, and with the right responsiveness to achieve Council’s communication objectives. The District of Sparwood's Corporate Communication and Public Engagement Plan is the culmination of community consultation during the development and adoption of the District of Sparwood Communications Strategy and Official Community Plan, Citizen Satisfaction Survey results, citizen feedback provided during the Town Hall meetings held in 2015, and best practices.

Good quality communication supports our democratic system, helps improve delivery of services, manages expectations, informs policy development and enhances community participation. The Communications Strategy, as endorsed by Council on October 7, 2013, identified the principles for all communication initiatives and processes to:

  • Consider all audiences;
  • Be open and honest;
  • Be factual relevant and accurate;
  • Be linked to the Corporate Strategic Plan and/or Official Community Plan; and
  • Be timely, responsive and proactive. The Strategy recommended that communication and consultation requirements be included in all project plans, be early and ongoing, and consistent with the Sparwood Brand Book.

The Corporate Communications Policy, adopted by Council on November 7, 2016, is intended to:

  • Engage citizens, ideally through a two-way dialogue, about the District’s policies, programs, services and initiatives;
  • Consult and inform stakeholders when establishing or developing priorities, policies, programs and services in a timely, accurate and consistent manner;
  • Ensure that District staff and Council are visible, accessible and responsive to the citizens they serve;
  • Anticipate the needs of the community, Council and Administration for timely and relevant information; and
  • Engage in a proactive communications program that uses a variety of formats and resources to accommodate diverse needs.

The Corporate Communication and Public Engagement Plan adopted by Council on August 21, 2017, governs that a citizens satisfaction survey is to be conducted every four years. The data that is gathered from these surveys will assist the District in identifying important local issues facing the community; assessing the community's perceptions of their quality of life; measuring the importance of and satisfaction with District services and infrastructure; determining the perceived value for taxes and preferred funding options; identifying opportunities for improvement; measuring satisfaction with the District’s customer service; and determining the importance of community engagement and consultation. The next survey is scheduled to be conducted in 2021.

  • 2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey results
  • 2017 Citizen Satisfaction Survey results
The District of Sparwood’s communication approach incorporates the following steps:
  • What do you want to do?
    1. Define and clarify strategic goals and objectives for communicating.
    2. Assess current communication practices.
    3. Benchmark communication practices of comparable organizations and identify best practices.
  • Who do you want – and need to – reach?

    Identify and prioritize internal and external stakeholders. What does staff know about them? What are the risks and rewards for communication with this audience? What barriers do they have? What benefits does the District offer?

  • What do you want to tell them?

    Message should be crafted clearly and succinctly in terms the target audience will understand. The message will include responses to the following questions and anything else that they will potentially ask:

    1. What is the District doing?
    2. Why is it better or necessary?
    3. What is staff’s call-to-action?
  • How will you reach them?
    1. Determine communications channels well-suited to the target audience.
    2. Develop key themes and messages that resonate with each stakeholder group.
    3. Identify and prepare change champions (partners) that can help spread the word.
  • Who will do what by when?
    1. Establish the frequency and timing of message delivery.
    2. Implement the communications plan.
  • How did it go?
    1. Evaluate the effectiveness of communications activities (messaging, channels, timing). Were the objectives met?
    2. Revise and retool the communications plan based on feedback and celebrate successes.