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 | The Right Smart City Communication Strategy

The Right Smart City Communication Strategy


In order to ensure the continuous progress of the digital urban development process, the commitment of every stakeholder is invaluable: from city hall management teams via the staff of public authorities to the general public. Clear values and objectives must be communicated in order to bring everyone on board. Instead of merely seeing the challenges associated with such a process of transformation, the underlying potential must be emphasized. This can be achieved at two different levels:

Internal communication is essential …

Right from the start, it is essential to formulate a concise smart city vision which every city hall employee and administrator can identify with. After all, their commitment will be needed in order to ensure the successful implementation of a digital transformation. This will require transparent presentation and explanation of the necessary measures at every level in an organization’s hierarchy. Managers must therefore appropriately prioritize this issue and reflect it in their behavior. It may also be helpful to train digital navigators and to assemble innovation teams.

… while external communication must be appropriate for the given context

On this basis, a coherent picture can be outwardly presented and a dialog initiated with media representatives, organizations and the general public. Here again, it is essential to consistently present a uniform set of arguments via the appropriate communication channels for the relevant target group and for the topic in question. This communication strategy should appeal to every age group. This is the only means of ensuring the public’s long-term backing for the digital transformation process.

After all, Smart City is a marathon rather than a sprint – and the related communication activities are no exception. The goal must therefore be by means of careful groundwork to develop a long-term strategy which factors in all of the above-mentioned points and stakeholders. Information should always be presented as clearly and as simply as possible and in a style which is tailored to people’s needs. If all of these factors are taken into consideration, this will speed up the process of smart urban development and enable it to become a reality while working in concert with the city’s residents.