This project team worked with the City of Hartford’s Office of Community Engagement to improve communication between the city government and Hartford city residents. The team investigated how residents currently received information about city services, what city services people were most interested in hearing about, and how residents experienced the process of trying to contact the city. Students conducted in-person qualitative interviews with 25 residents and distributed an online survey through social media. From the in-person interviews, the team found that the majority of participants noted word-of-mouth as their primary channel of information about city services. While 67% of residents interviewed were “satisfied” with the information they received from the city, less than half of the participants contacted the city directly. Preferred methods of communication about city services included an email letter, texting service, and a newsletter. From the online survey, the team found both residents and non-residents used phone calls over any other form of communication to contact the city. However, more Hartford resident’s utilized the city’s 3-1-1 app. Students suggested implementing a city-wide texting service, an email newsletter, and a print newsletter posted in public places central to the community.
Asfalg, Victoria; Foote, Lillian; and Khalid, Sulemaan, "Neighborhood Communications" (2020). Liberal Arts Action Lab. 15.