Reference Desk Include

Survey results show that people like our communications but there’s room for improvement

Survey Results A communications survey conducted from March 7 to April 13 received 234 responses. The reason for the survey was to learn whether people are reading City News, a weekly e-newsletter; and Northville Matters, a quarterly print newsletter mailed to all city residents; and whether people are following us on Facebook and Twitter. Of each of these formats and platforms, we asked respondents what they liked about it and how we could improve.

The Boil water advisory drew the most comments. While this wasn’t a question on the survey, the situation occurred while the survey was underway. Due to changes in the day, time and duration of the boil water advisory, the start/finish time of the boil water advisory changed over the course of two days, which was confusing. We apologize for lapses in communicating the event.

The advisory was a fast-changing story. Here’s how we communicated it:

  • Sent a press release to the media, who reported it throughout the day, while it was in effect and when it was over. (This was our priority and meant that social media posts came after.)
  • Put a notice on our website’s home page.
  • Posted to our Facebook and twitter feeds.
  • Put out a special bulletin of City News and also had an update in the weekly issue.
  • The DDA and Parks and Recreation put out their own bulletin to ensure we were reaching a wide audience.
  • Had a recorded line at City Hall with up-to-date information about the advisory for after-hour calls.
  • Had one point of contact internally, acting DPW director, who returned all calls promptly.
  • DDA’s Lori Ward visited several business owners to keep them up-to-date.

Onto our publications. Many did not know that City News existed. We need to do a better job of promoting that. You can sign up on the home page of our website. Here is the link:

Nearly 90 percent of respondents want to read about Northville businesses. Of city services, respondents most want to read about police dept. news, roads and sidewalks, garbage collection and election news. For feature articles, respondents ranked special event recaps as their favorites, followed by City Council recaps and environmental news.

Those who read profiles most want to read about business owners, the mayor and City Council members. Of those who read about civic organizations and places, most want to read about Northville District Library, Maybury State Park and the Chamber of Commerce.

Regarding photos, respondents want to see more photos of people at events. We will try to do this on social media and City News. Other photos that people want to see are neighbors and friends, community leaders and city leaders – in that order. Ninety percent of respondents said they read photo captions.

Northville Matters, the print quarterly newsletter mailed to residents, drew mostly positive responses. Survey-takers said they read it and like the way it’s organized. Respondents most prefer reading about downtown Northville, followed by garbage and recycling, and neighborhood services. More than 60% like reading about the Historic District and the arts.

On social media, only 40 percent follow us on Facebook and most respondents don’t follow us on Twitter. If you do use this platform, let us know how we can improve our posts.

Most people who do follow us on social media like to read about community events (85%), and city services (63%), followed by 50% who want to read about their neighbors and friends. Most of our followers say they learn about city services and events from our posts.

One respondent said Facebook was too restrictive. We recently changed the settings to allow tagging posts and photos. We have always allowed comments and direct messages. We invite you to engage with us by posting comments and questions on social media.

Thank you to all who took the time to answer the survey. If you made a comment on the survey and expected a response, please note that the survey was anonymous so there was no way to directly respond to you. However, if you want to speak to us about your concerns or suggestions, please contact Liz Cezat, communications manager, at 248-305-2703 or



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