Responding to the public in 5 easy steps
1. Thank Them
- Example: “Thank you for taking the time to email us your thoughts.”
- Example: “Thank you for your note. The City Council shares your concerns about X.”
2. Explain if and why the message was routed to you for a response.
- Example: “The City Council received your note and asked me to provide you some information about what the City is doing to address X.”
- Example: “I just read the email you sent to X and she asked me to respond on her behalf because one of my responsibilities is X.”
3. Be specific and acknowledge any concerns they have.
- Example: “I’m very sorry to hear what you encountered when X. I can assure you that X.”
- Example: “I understand your frustrations with X. Here’s what we’re doing: X”
4. Provide resources and information about their topic (websites, upcoming public meetings, etc.)
- Example: “For more information about X visit www.cityofsanrafael.org/X.
- Example: “On Monday, the City Council will be discussing X. You are welcome to attend the meeting or watch online at www.cityofsanrafael.org/meetings.”
- Example: “If you have any additional questions, please contact me and we can discuss this further.”
5. Let them know what you will do with their message.
- Example: “Your comments will be provided to the City Council for their consideration during their deliberations of X.”
- Example: “We track new ideas and initiatives for our ongoing goals and objectives process. Thank you for submitting this topic.”
- Example: “Thanks again for writing. I will talk to X about your concerns.”
- Example: “I will pass along your concerns to X. To stay up-to-date on this and other city news sign-up for the City Manager’s newsletter at www.cityofsanrafael.org/snapshot.