Honored for innovative citizen communication channels
Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, CFA, today announced that his office has been recognized by the Center for Digital Government with a Government Experience Project Award for effective use of online strategies to support meeting constituent needs and community outreach. The Agency was specifically honored for its outstanding website (ocpafl.org), hosting satellite offices during peak citizen engagement months, and for holding Signature Events like the recent “State of Orange County Real Estate.”
“We are deeply honored by this recognition and proud that our ever-evolving outreach strategies continue to reach Orange County’s constituents,” said Singh. “It is important that government keep pace with private industry in communicating through technology to meet and exceed the expectations of our highly skilled users. Specifically, our website has become more and more user-friendly as constituents seek self-service options, our satellite offices allow us to assist them in their neighborhoods, and Signature Events bring groups together for face-to-face networking. And, to communicate these events and offerings to our diverse audiences, we rely almost solely on our robust social media platforms.”
Under Singh’s leadership, the Agency’s website underwent a major overhaul, introducing a new user interface with improved graphics and layout, enhanced features and search capabilities, and with added information such as school zones, elected officials, community/neighborhood information, utilities/services, libraries, and census data. With rich content, market analysis, language translations, and cartographic features, the interactive site has online capabilities for exemption filing, and for determining real estate trends. The landing page of the website also includes a thread of the Agency’s Facebook posts to ensure synergistic communication.
During seasons of higher than average calls and visits to the Agency’s downtown Orlando office, teams of customer service representatives deploy to select public library branches across the county and meet with constituents in their neighborhoods. The opportunity to
discuss their needs closer to home is publicized through traditional and social media. All digital capabilities needed to assist constituents are available to the on-site representatives as they are tethered to the office via the internet.
Since taking office, Singh has hosted large gatherings of interested constituents and business/government leaders in locations throughout the county for his Signature Events. With attendance often exceeding 1000, the content-rich presentation is equaled in value by the networking opportunities the attendees have before and after the actual event. Invitations and updates regarding the event are communicated exclusively through digital means – email blasts, social media postings – and RSVPs are also collected through an online method. The event is live streamed via “Facebook Live” and, after the event, the presentation, recorded video, and documentation photos are housed on the Agency’s website.
“State and local governments are responding to citizen wants and needs with increasingly sophisticated online experiences,” said Dustin Haisler, chief innovation officer for the Center for Digital Government. “This year’s Government Experience Project Award winners have well-designed websites and innovative channels that provide citizens meaningful information and services, robust data integration and an exceptional user experience.”
Singh will receive the award at the organization’s annual meeting later this month.