St. Cloud marketing and public information plan for citywide Wi-Fi

As many of you already know, St. Cloud (Florida) is rolling out the first free citywide Wi-Fi network (assuming they launch before Mountain View, CA) in the US. Even before the city council voted on the deployment of the network, the city organized meetings where residents and local businesses could find out about the proposed network and make their voices As many of you already know, St. Cloud (Florida) is rolling out the first free citywide Wi-Fi network (assuming they launch before Mountain View, CA) in the US. Even before the city council voted on the deployment of the network, the city organized meetings where residents and local businesses could find out about the proposed network and make their voices heard. Indeed, at the Muniwireless September 2005 conference in San Francisco, Mayor Glenn Sangiovanni spoke about St. Cloud’s efforts to get the entire community involved in the planning process.

The municipality believes it is critical to keep their residents informed about the network and to devote sufficient time and effort to “market” the new network. I am posting the St. Cloud Cyber Spot Marketing and Public Information Plan (September 2005) drafted by Jonathan Baltuch of MRI (consultants to the city) for the City of St. Cloud. The plan contains MRI’s recommendations and I am making it available for the benefit of other municipalities that are planning and deploying these networks so they can see an example of one city’s public information program.

The Cyber Spot marketing and public information plan includes:

– a brief history of St. Cloud Cyber Spot

– the City’s goals and how it measures success

– who is the target market

– how can the City bridge the digital divide

– public relations

– online technical support

– marketing budget

Click here to download the document.

Comments

  1. If there is a place where government tends to lag sorely behind private industry it is here. They generally do not understand the critical nature of communication and public information and usually make either none or a half hearted effort at it.

    Here is a piece of information you might find interesting. We have begun holding the public information workshops in St. Cloud educating the public about how the system works and how they can use it.

    So far we have had 4 workshops. Each was standing room only (over 100 people) with the audience being 100% unanimous in there excitement and appreciation that the city is doing this.

    In two of the workshops where the Mayor attended (he was standing in the back of the room) he got unsolicited standing ovations………funny when you do something really positive for the citizens of a community and take the time to educate and involve them they really do appreciate it.

  2. I would agree wholeheartedly with Jonathan’s post when he states that government tends to lag sorely behind private industry. I have found that to be very true where I live and work, Corpus Christi, Texas.

    With all due respect to the efforts taking place in St. Cloud, I would like to make one correction to the original article. St. Cloud might be able the first town to provide complete town-wide coverage, but it is important to remember that Corpus Christi has operated a free Wi-Fi network for over a year now. Corpus Christi’s Wi-Fi Hot Zone covers approximately 26 miles with an additional 120 square miles built out by June 2006.

    In addition, the City of Corpus Christi has joined with Del Mar Community College and the Small Business Development Center and has created a public information workshop for our citizens, as well as has developed several workshops designed to help our businesses understand how they can use the network to enhance their businesses.

    While it is exciting to see that other towns and cities are beginning to grasp the benefits of the Wi-Fi community, I believe that it is important to realize that Corpus Christi, Texas is one of the first pioneers in this effort. To be perfectly frank, our citizens and businesses are already reaping the benefits of having a community Wi-Fi while most of the other communities are still in the dream stage.