Submitted by City of Evanston
The City of Evanston’s comprehensive efforts to inform and engage community members during the COVID-19 pandemic have earned it top honors from the national City-County Communications and Marketing Association.
The association recognized Evanston with its first-place “Savvy Award” for 2021-22 in the “Digital Interactive COVID-19 public relations” category at its annual conference in Portland, Ore. earlier this month. The Savvy Awards recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing and resident-government relationships.
“Throughout the pandemic, the city has worked collaboratively with our community partners and elected officials to provide residents with timely information and resources to protect their health and the health of our entire community,” said City Manager Luke Stowe. “I’m proud that [the association] has recognized these outstanding efforts, which helped Evanston achieve a more than 90 percent vaccination rate while also increasing public trust and understanding during a very challenging time in our history.”
The city launched its campaign in January 2021, when COVID-19 vaccines were only recently approved and coveted vaccination appointments were scarce. Working with elected officials, including then-Mayor Stephen Hagerty and current Mayor Daniel Biss, as well as local health care providers and community organizations, the city’s Communications Division and Health and Human Services Department employed a variety of tools to inform and engage residents. These included live “Coronavirus Q&As” broadcast on Facebook and the city’s Channel 16 broadcast medium, weekly Situation Reports distributed through the city’s e-Newsletter, periodic “Messages from the Mayor” providing situational awareness and insight into the city’s pandemic response, interactive vaccination and case data dashboards, digital infographics and flyers and much more.
In addition to receiving recognition for its COVID-19 communications campaign, the city was also awarded the association’s second-place “Silver Circle Award” for its weekly e-Newsletter, which provides a roundup of city and community news and events. Community members can subscribe to the city’s e-News and other notifications at cityofevanston.org/newsletter.