City Website Proves Central to Rumor Control, Citizen Engagement
When Tom Lorenz, a 30-year police veteran and former SWAT team leader, assumed the top communications job in the City of Glendale, California, he drew on his experience in community relations, conflict resolution and crisis intervention to map out plans for use in a new website.
Lorenz, along with other members of the organization, recognized the power of a city website to build community support and maintain calm in the face of hostility and misinformation. However, Glendale, located on the outskirts of Los Angeles with a population of 200,000, had a website that lacked the interactive capabilities and advanced technology needed to engage its tech savvy population. The site could not link to social media and appeared disjointed because the webpage of each of the City’s 14 departments had its own look and feel.