Oakland County unveils email subscription collaboration with municipalities to improve communication

The county is now offering e-mail and digital subscription services to its municipalities to improve communication with its 1.2 million residents and businesses. This first-of-its-kind collaboration was announced by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson during his State of the County address on Feb. 3, 2009. This service works across all levels of local government and enhances collaboration for better information sharing with the public.

To provide its municipalities with e-mail and digital subscription services free of charge, the County is expanding its partnership with GovDelivery, the world’s leading e-mail and digital subscription services provider for the public sector.

“Expanding this service to our municipalities is a great way for Oakland County to promote regionalism with local cities, villages and townships,” Patterson said. “This service is also a great way to save taxpayer money by eliminating significant printing and mailing costs during these difficult economic times.”

Offering municipalities the service will allow government agencies to cross-promote content from other networked sites. Government entities using GovDelivery Web 2.0 Collaboration Network to ‘link’ related agencies have seen a daily increase of 300 percent or more in the number of citizens signing up for information updates. While there are more than 50 federal agencies using Collaboration Network, this is the premier launch of a county-to-municipality network launch.

Residents, businesses and visitors in Oakland County, Mich., can access nearly 140 subscription options on the county’s Web site, and receive up-to-date information on topics that interest them from the county or local municipality, including information on events, beach closings, flu shots and pet adoption. The County plans to roll out the e-mail subscription service to nearly 70 municipalities to assist them with communication efforts.

Oakland County residents who subscribe will receive timely information from all levels of local government. From a single sign-up page, citizens can erase geographic boundaries and get a clear picture of available government information and services. This cross-promotion among municipalities will make it easy for citizens to subscribe to the information that interests them, regardless of where they live.

“E-mail subscription provides our residents with time-sensitive information in a quick and cost-effective manner, and we are happy to expand this service to our municipalities,” said Phil Bertolini, Oakland County CIO/deputy county executive. “This offering enhances services to residents and businesses throughout the County, enabling government transparency. Information is now easily available to the public with no boundaries.”

Oakland County’s use of GovDelivery’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform will increase visitors to county and municipality Web sites and provide more current, relevant information to Oakland County citizens, businesses and visitors. Since its partnership with GovDelivery began in June 2008, Oakland County has sent more than 61,000 messages to more than 21,000 subscribers.

“We are excited to provide Oakland County, Mich., with an instant communication platform to reach the public,” said Zach Stabenow, executive vice president and co-founder of GovDelivery. “Oakland County and its municipalities need to get their information out to the public, and we are proud to help them do it in a faster, more efficient manner.”

GovDelivery currently works with 36 counties across the United States to provide government-to-resident communication through proprietary personalization, automation and delivery technology. Individuals choose topics based on their interests and then receive e-mails or wireless alerts for each topic.

GovDelivery’s platform allows government entities to more easily manage their electronic communications and is up to 50 percent less expensive than in-house options.

To learn more about GovDelivery’s services, Oakland County municipalities can visit www.oakgov.com/egov/ or call (248) 452-9846.