Municipal governments communicate with their residents in a variety of ways: paper newsletters, social media channels, digital newsletters and website announcements. Sometimes it’s a coordinated effort and sometimes not.

The importance of a coordinated municipal communication plan becomes self evident during a crisis and unfortunately, this is also a time when municipal administrators are stretched to the limit.

Crisis updates from county, state and federal agencies are being sent to municipal employees with intense frequency while municipal departments that are essential still need to need to function normally. Municipal employees find themselves attempting to keep up with normal daily activities while managing a robust crisis communication plan.

While assisting our clients with their communication efforts during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve come up with some solutions that help make communication efforts both coordinated and more efficient. Here are some things we’ve found have worked as we navigate crisis communications:

  • Keep your website updated. Update event cancellations, trash and recycling schedules and meeting cancellations.
  • Set up a Coronavirus landing page or pages on your municipal website. This can be used as a repository for information as you receive it from local, county, state and federal government.
    • The first page content should be general information about COVID-19 with links to more information from reliable government sources.
    • The second page of your Coronavirus micro-site (the “Latest Updates” page) can store your news flash/alert RSS feed. When you receive government updates regarding the crisis, post to your news feed with a category (ex. coronavirus) and embed that category’s RSS feed on your updates page.  This will enable you to post once and list twice on the website (on your news alert section and your coronavirus updates page). Most website developers would be able to help you with this.
  • Post updates to social media often – now is a good time to subscribe to a social media posting software like Hootsuite. It will make your job easier.
    • Link back to the information on your new Coronavirus micro-site or to the source site (county, state or federal).
    • Pin posts to the top of your Facebook page if they are important announcements.
    • Boost posts if you would like more people to see it. We suggest setting your audience at your municipality plus 10 miles for all ages and genders. You don’t need to spend more than $25 to $50 on a boosted post and we suggest running it for 2 to 5 days.
  • Keep Digital or Paper Newsletters on schedule. If you have a newsletter, residents are accustomed to receiving it regularly. Even though the latest crisis news will probably take precedence, you can still include other news and event cancellations.
  • Try not to over-email. Emailed News Alerts are a great tool but try not to overuse them. It’s important to keep  your email lists intact. Over-emailing can cause opt out. Posting to the website and social media sites are the best tools for frequent communication.

We know from working with our clients that municipal employees and officials work hard every day and are working harder during this crisis. We also know that every single one of them serves to keep government running and for the good of their local residents.  Please keep them in mind as we all weather the coronavirus crisis.

Arlington, VA – 06/26/2019 – The Media Borough Monthly eNews has been named a Second Place Winner in the eNewsletter category in the National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards program. The award recognizes superior government communication products and those who produce them. NAGC named the 2019 award winners at the NAGC 2019 Communications School in Sterling, Virginia (, the only event of its kind that provides invaluable networking opportunities and practical educational sessions to help government agency communicators enhance engagement with citizens and stakeholders. The Media Borough monthly eNews is an emailed newsletter with a reach of over 16,000 people per month. 

In 2018, Media Borough recognized a need to enhance communications with residents and visitors. They needed a better way to share information about borough improvements, news, and events. For many years, the borough distributed a twice-yearly newsletter while maintaining a website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. These tasks seem small but can sometimes be overwhelming for smaller organizations. While local municipal information was shared in earnest, it was often difficult for residents to find and failed to reach much of its intended audience. With its current rate of growth, the Media Borough Council knew they needed to inform a growing population more effectively.

Recognizing this need, the council contacted Dandelions Digital to help them organize a communications plan, the keystone of which is the monthly Media Borough eNews. Since the implementation of Dandelions Digital’s upgrades, the borough has noticed an increase in user traffic to the website by 55%. The subscription rate to the digital borough newsletter has increased by over 500% percent, and social media reach for the digital newsletter is 16,000 to 20,000 views per month.

In addition, with the advertisement of Borough events, participation in community events has increased. Most importantly, the Media eNewsletter gets government news out on time so that residents can stay updated on the happenings in Media Borough. 

“This annual national awards program recognizes superior government communication products and those who produce them,” said NAGC President Chris O’Neil. “The Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards honors the creative excellence of federal, state, and local government communicators and demonstrates to those who use our services we produce high quality and effective products,” he added.

The Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Awards competition opens at the end of November each year. Professional communicators are judges from around the country who volunteer their time and talent to team up and judge the categories. Award winners and Communications School participants are recognized during a special banquet at the annual school.

Photographs of the award winners can be found online at


The National Association of Government Communicators is dedicated to advocating, promoting and recognizing excellence in government communication. NAGC is dedicated to providing opportunities for individual professional development and career advancement, enhancing effective communication with constituents, and advancing the profession of government communication. The principal purpose of NAGC is to advance communication as an essential professional resource at every level of local, state, tribal and national government. The NAGC has members from coast to coast, Canada and Europe, at all levels of government. Moreover, the NAGC is vigorous and vital, and continues to grow, both in membership and prestige as well as in its ability to speak for and work for the interest of government communications and government communicators, supporting the interests which all constituents have in honest, open and effective government communications. Click here to visit their website and learn more:


Dandelions Digital specializes in a different type of clientele in the belief that digital marketing can especially enhance communication and engagement for municipalities and nonprofits. Dandelions Digital provides very personal and comprehensive digital marketing services that center on the client’s branding and messaging; working closely with their clients to ensure content is timely, on point and relevant to their audience. Dandelions Digital’s goal is to reach and engage audiences through content creation, emailed newsletters and social media posts that spread the brand’s voice across all channels. Dandelions Digital informs the client’s already engaged audience, helps grow their audience and provides a full service experience with sound digital measurements of growth from website analytics, to social media likes, followers and comments. To learn more about Dandelions Digital visit:

Audible, Twitter, Etsy, Facebook, realclearpolitics, Moore Brothers Wine Company, SoulCycle, and Bed Bath and Beyond. What do all of these companies have in common? They are flooding my inbox with unread and most importantly unnecessary emails, 7,746 to be exact. But besides these 7,746 unnecessary emails, I have several important emails among them that are filled with information I could not do without. One of them being the Media, PA eNewsletter, my hometown newsletter.

How often do you view your inbox and see emailed newsletters that you immediately delete or unsubscribe to? It happens often. Some marketing experts have been signaling the end of the eNewsletter era and have been blogging about new and very creative ways to digitally market in today’s world using new social media platforms and digital tools like videos, gifs and creative photography. However, email marketing still has its place and purpose in conjunction with social media. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, in the #deletefacebook era, it’s become a way to fight back against the algorithms that try to dictate what people see. Unlike on Facebook, with emailed newsletters, readers receive everything they signed up to receive, in neat chronological order, alongside missives from friends, family and their various communities.

Email marketing has its perks for sure. An email reader’s ready access to the “unsubscribe” button is largely a good thing for all involved, since it nudges email content creators to produce authentic, high-quality experiences rather than superficially engaging ones, and to connect in ways that are deeper than what advertising-first mediums like Facebook generally allow, says the Wall Street Journal. In addition, Email still has the highest return on investment per marketing dollar spent, according to the Data & Marketing Association. As digital marketers, we love learning about new and creative ways to market for our clients but in some industries, the monthly mailed newsletter is still the king of all digital marketing methods.

Consumer email services have been around for almost three decades, but to hear email’s most ardent fans talk about it now, it’s an undiscovered country too long neglected by those who could benefit from it the most. Municipalities, schools and non profits benefit greatly from emailed newsletters. Why you might ask? Because they all already have an engaged audience!  Residents and visitors to municipalities want to know what is going on. Schools can push information out to parents, alumni, and donors who will look forward to learning about what is going on at school.  Education World notes how Newsletters are an essential tool for schools as they can inform, educate and promote to your audience and can be a cornerstone strategy for your communication plan. Non-profit organizations, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, already have a captive audience with donors. St Jude Children’s Hospital has a consistent newsletter that keeps different constituent groups updated and informed on all of their nonprofit organization’s endeavors, campaigns and volunteer opportunities so it promotes its brand, while supporters feel personally engaged. All of these types of organizations have audiences that are already engaged in one way or another.

Newsletters can ultimately be the most successful communication strategy for your targeted and already engaged audience. BtoB companies and some BtoC organizations might not see it as a crucial piece of their digital marketing in this day and age, but for non profits, schools and municipalities newsletters can be your bread and butter!




“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”-Ansel Adams

Scrolling through Instagram, it is quite easy to tell the difference between a professional photograph and one taken on the newest iPhone. Even with the newest portrait mode, there is truly no comparison to a professional photographer . Hiring a professional photographer can benefit your business in several ways.

As the saying goes “A picture is worth a thousand words” and having a professional photographer can clearly relay the truth of who your brand is. With the professionalism of the photographs your brand can become immediately desirable. According to MDG Advertising, 67% of online shoppers rated high quality images as being “very important” to their purchase decision, which was slightly more than “product specific information”, “long descriptions”, and “reviews & ratings”. In addition, As Small Business BC mentions, having a professional photographer tells potential clients that you are operating with a level of professionalism and dedication to quality. Your professional message through photography can make your brand that much more appealing!

The correlation between images and social media has been examined and posts with photos have clearly higher levels of social engagement than other types of posts. In this way having professional photos can help spread your brand’s message.  As the infographic explains above, total online views are directly related to the number of multimedia elements within; therefore, having a cache of professionally taken photos can create free publicity for your business and have the added benefit of building effective brand recognition.

So when you are choosing between using stock images, doing it yourself, or hiring the real pros, go with the pros. In comparison to stock photos when Marketing Experiments tested a real photo of their client against their top performing stock photo, they found that nearly 35% of visitors would be more likely to sign up when they saw the real deal. Although the outright cost of hiring a professional photographer may seem daunting, the benefits are certainly worth more than the price!



Who Needs a Digital Marketing Consultant? Chances are your answer is mostly likely yes…but first things first what the heck is a digital marketing consultant?

We get this question all the time and to put it simply – we don’t do paper. Digital marketing consultants do everything digital from websites and social media to email marketing and analytics. You might already have a great brand with fantastic people in your marketing and communications department who have phenomenal skills at brochures, branding, letterhead and all things fit to print. Or, if you are a small business owner, you’ve come up with a great logo and tagline and you do your own social media. Maybe your website is a Facebook page you created! Whether you have a marketing department or you are doing it all yourself, you’re off to a great start either way,  Digital marketing consultants can help you take your brand further and good ones will provide constant feedback (or what we like to call analytics) on customer engagement, list growth, and followers from blogs, email campaigns, social media and website visits.

So now you are asking yourself – how can a digital marketing consultant help me? Whether you are a small business or larger organization, your business can see huge growth using a good digital marketing consultant. Small business owners are very busy people. We know from experience that small business owners wear many hats – sales person, bookkeeper, website administrator, social media manager, marketing expert – the list goes on and on. A digital marketing consultant can take some things off your plate and will offer creative ideas to increase your customer base: more customers = more sales and more sales = more income for your business! See you probably can afford to have someone else handle social media, online sales and email marketing!

In our experience, larger organizations, most especially schools and municipalities, often can’t afford to hire a marketing and communications specialist with the unique skills required in today’s digital world. Digital marketing consultants can fill the gap in your marketing department for less than a part time salary! That’s right – instead of hiring someone full time with benefits you could enlist the services of a digital marketing consultant for the price of an intern or part time employee and we come with software! We are equipped with various different softwares that help us get your messaging in front of more people than you could on your own. We use the latest technology for email marketing, social media posting, content management, embedded online forms and blog sites.

Today’s digital world is fast – news comes out in nanoseconds. We are bombarded with it. Digital marketing consultants can help you cut through the constant chatter and reach the people you need to reach, the people who are interested in what you have to say. A good digital marketing consultant will get to know you, what you are passionate about and what your business is and then craft your messaging to make sure the right people hear it. It’s all about making your life easier so you can get back to the business of well – business!

Contact us today to see how a Digital Marketing Consultant can help you advance and grow your business. We look forward to hearing from you!