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Digital Engagement Playbook

The City has put together this playbook to outline guidelines and strategies for consistent engagement across digital platforms, including website, email marketing, and social media. 

  1. Roles and Responsibilities 
  2. Publishing Workflow 
  3. Reaching All Audiences (Equity and Accessibility) 
  4. Promotion & Support  

Roles and Responsibilities 

We rely on all Departments to manage content and support engagement throughout the City. Each Department is supported by the Communications team, City Manager’s Office, and Digital when additional support is needed to get the word out.  


  • Draft and review/approve content* 
  • Publish to website 
  • Promote to Email audiences (except Snapshot or Press Releases) 
  • Post to Nextdoor 
  • Department-specific social media 

Communications Team 

  • Review upcoming news and events 
  • Escalates high-public-interest articles 
  • Coordinates publication, promotion, and resources 
  • Highlights challenges and troubleshoots solutions 

City Manager’s Office 

  • *Reviews and approves high-public interest articles (homelessness, major developments) 
  • Publishes Snapshot and Press Release email blasts 
  • City of San Rafael social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X) 
  • Website support for high-interest web pages 

Digital Service and Open Government 

  • Convenes Communications Team 
  • Supports and coordinates engagement strategy and best practices 
  • City website Administrator (new users, training, best practices) 
  • Supports website content strategy, audits, special projects, and webpage design 
  • Website support for high-interest web pages 
  • Process improvement and new software solutions 

Publishing Workflow 

publishing workflowDraft Content 

Department subject matter experts are responsible for outlining and drafting content. The City may also deploy outside consultant support when needed to draft high-public interest press releases. The Communications teams can be a resource to support the editorial process and help in directing the best resource when needed. 

Review & Approval 

Department Manager or Director approves content in most cases. If the subject matter is of high public interest (homelessness, major developments), the City Manager’s Office should review it. 

Note: If the article requires City Manager approval be sure to give ample time for review. 

Publish to Website 

The website is the central location for all City news and events. Post here first before you promote any City news or events elsewhere.   

Department website team members are responsible for publishing articles to the website. When publishing an article, make sure to check the proper category for the news article so it populates sections of the website related to that content. All news articles should include the “City News” category. News items should have a featured image uploaded. 

Email Marketing (MailChimp) 

Department MailChimp leads are responsible for promoting Department-specific news to email newsletter audiences when warranted. The City Manager’s Office manages Snapshot and Press Release promotions to local media agencies. 

Social Media 

  1. Nextdoor—The department Nextdoor lead publishes to the appropriate neighborhood or entire City service area depending on the proximity of the news article's impact and public interest. 
  2. City of San Rafael Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X – The City Manager’s Office will promote on main City social media channels. The Department should coordinate with the City Manager’s Office (Senior Management Analyst) when articles/events/programs need to be promoted via these accounts. 
  3. Department Social media – In some cases, Departments manage Department-specific Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter/X accounts. Those accounts are managed by Departments and should be used to amplify City accounts during critical emergencies or high-interest topics when it makes sense for the channel. 

Reaching All Audiences (Equity & Accessibility) 

Consider all the audiences who should be able to read the information you are creating. Here are some guidelines to help ensure your article or event is accessible to all audiences. 


Who is the audience of your article, program, or event? The City does not currently translate all news articles and events, but targeted press releases and events should be translated where it most benefits the intended audience. The website includes an auto-translate feature and internet browsers will also default to the primary language setting on the browser.  

  • How to get your article translated? - The City currently relies on a combination of staff and third-party services for translation support. Check with your Department to see what resources you have on hand. If your Department does not have a translation solution, contact the City Manager’s Office for direction on translation support. 
  • What needs to be translated?  - Articles/programs/events specifically targeted to the Spanish speaking population, the Canal neighborhood, and tenant protections/housing-related information.

ADA accessibility 

The website includes built-in tools to support ADA accessibility for screen readers and devices. Here are important considerations when publishing content to ensure accessibility of content. 

  • Images – Do not include text on images unless that text is also published in the article or on the web page. Screen readers cannot read text on an image so that content is not accessible. Be sure to use “alt text” feature when uploading an image so screen readers can describe what the image is displaying. 
  • PDFs – Be selective in how you rely on PDFs for conveying information to the public, including forms, flyers, or news content. Information should be published directly to the website and PDFs can be supplemental tools to be offered as a print resource.  
  • Colors – Be considerate of the fact that 7% - 8% of the world is colorblind. Use high contrast colors in flyer designs and be aware of colorblind accessibility. 

Promotion & Support 

If you want your news article, event, or program to reach a wider audience please reach out to the Communications Team for support. We can help you develop a strategy to reach a wider audience and ensure that your information is distributed to the right channels. 


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