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DPW Outreach Guide

In alignment with the City’s Community Engagement Action Plan and commitment to improving government transparency, the City is dedicated to involve and inform San Rafael departments and residents of ongoing capital improvement projects and traffic modifications in order to:

  1. Increase interdepartmental awareness and cross collaborations of capital improvement projects;
  2. Increase local awareness of capital improvement projects taking place in the City;
  3. Enhance the City’s name by improving communication between City and San Rafael residents.
Public outreach process



The first step in project management is identifying stakeholders. Stakeholders will vary from project to project; they are a person or group of people who can affect and or be affected by the project. It is important to understand who needs what information and when or how often they need it.

A communication strategy will gain continued support from those in favor of the project, while winning over those opposed. Poor stakeholder management can easily cause a project to derail.


How is this project being funded?

Project Webpage

Creating a project webpage before the project design phase will create a home for all information regarding the project. Having a centralized location for the project description, construction timeline, and updates will assist in streamlining this information to project stakeholders.

Project Description – The project description will highlight how and why the project was selected, a set of goals for the project, overall objectives for the project, as well as a project plan, and all project efforts to date (surveys completed, etc.).

Construction Timeline – The project timeline is the beating heart of every project. It captures the essence of what the project will accomplish and how it will be done. The size and structure of a project timeline naturally depends on the project it is describing. A project timeline can be highly detailed, with hundreds of tasks and sub tasks, or very simple, listing only a few deliverables and deadlines. Regardless of how it is constructed, a project timeline needs to capture the following key pieces of information:

  • The list of tasks to be completed; the dates on which the tasks need to be complete
  • The expected duration of each task
  • Project start and end date





Project updates are a critical part of an effective project communications and management strategy to update your project team, your agency or stakeholders. Objectives of status updates:

  • Improve communications across organization
  • Simplify communication process
  • Keep stakeholders informed
  • Deliver key messages to intended target audience
  • Improve organizational and community support for your projects or your team

What should be included in an update?

  • Project Summary - Include a short summary of the forecasted completion date and costs of the project. Be sure to include the tasks that are facing issues, how those problems might impact the deadline and costs, what you’re planning to do to resolve these issues and what the results will be once you have fixed the problem.
  • Milestones - Milestones are major phases of your project. They’re a good way to break up the larger project into more digestible parts
  • List of tasks that have been completed
  • Pictures of construction, workers, picture worthy project milestones, etc.
  • Tasks to be started or completed by the next update


DPW Notification timeline

Updates should be shared through:

  • Department and Citywide!
  • Friday Memo
  • NextDoor
  • Project webpage, news post
  • CMS Board directing travelers to
  • Twitter
  • Facebook


  • HOA meetings and/or their news letters
  • Marin IJ - In Your Town section
  • Mailers to residents and businesses directly impacted by the project
  • Hold meetings near project sites or within impacted neighborhoods and after normal work hours so people have an opportunity to attend. If possible, provide snacks and childcare.

Roadway Contruction

Road/Lane Closures—Notify two weeks, one week, and a day in advance.

  • Nextdoor
  • Project page (news post)
  • Variable Message Board (if applicable)
    • Travel time information
    • Road Closures
    • Potential hazards in and around the work zone.
    • Use to direct travelers to the project webpage
  • Facebook

Outreach Models to Follow



Mailers, Letters, & Flyers

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