Communications Procedure

Purpose statement

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the Corporation of the Town of Oakville (town) communication practices are open, inclusive, transparent, effective and well managed (in accordance with the public notice and engagement guiding principles, communications standards, accessibility policy and any other related policies and procedures) to meet the needs of the community.

Scope

This procedure applies to all forms of communication to and from the town with the Oakville community, including but not limited to online, print and verbal communications.

Procedure

The town values open two-way communications that involve working with the community in a co-operative and collaborative way to share information and to provide opportunities for open and constructive dialogue.

The following communication types highlight the town’s commitment to sharing and receiving information, being accountable and transparent, providing accessible channels and involving all members of the community.

Official language

English is the language of business for the town and it is a common link with the town’s diverse communities. The town uses plain language to present information so that it is easy to read, understand and is more accessible.

The town’s Translation and Interpretation procedure complements this procedure.

Corporate logo

The corporate logo identifies the Corporation of the Town of Oakville and is used to represent town programs, services and facilities. The graphic conveys an open and inviting feel that embodies the values of the town in serving its residents, businesses and visitors. The logo has been registered under the Trademarks Act and is permitted for use by the Corporation of the Town of Oakville only.

Use of corporate logo:

  • Electronic files found on the intranet are the only files of the logo that should be used. Logos from previous work or from web pages should not be used.
  • When selecting the centred or horizontal logo, consider which one works best visually. Do not alter the logo; change its colour, the positioning or size relationship of the symbol and word mark. This is critical in protecting the registered trademark.
  • Make the logo prominent on all materials — leave appropriate space around the logo.
  • Use corporate colours when appropriate.
  • Refer to the town’s Corporate Identity Standards (Cid) for detailed information on the corporate logo and brand.

Town Crest

The town crest is the ceremonial coat of arms to be used exclusively for official town business pertaining to Oakville's elected municipal officials such as official documentation and proclamations.

External communications

The town follows corporate identity standards, which outline proper use of the corporate logo, typography and colours. The standards also address proper use of editorial style and plain language.

Online (websites, social media, digital)

The town’s website, oakville.ca, is the town’s primary source of information exchange with the community. Information and services on the website are updated and enhanced regularly. Other online communication channels and features include all other town-owned websites (e.g., oakvillecentre.ca, oakvilletransit.ca), social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), RSS feeds (for public notices, service disruptions, etc.), numerous surveys and e-newsletters. The town also uses push notifications to mobile devices where available.

The town promotes its programs and services and provides information on other non-town websites where appropriate.

The town’s online communications policy complements this procedure.

Email

The town uses email (when appropriate and in accordance with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation) to directly inform and engage the community. The town’s Electronic Messages and Anti-spam Compliance procedure complements this procedure.

ServiceOakville

ServiceOakville is the town’s main point of contact for the community to provide and respond to questions about the town programs, services and initiatives. Information from town departments related to any external issues should be sent to kb.info@oakville.ca as soon as possible.

Newspaper

The Oakville Beaver newspaper is the designated community newspaper for notification as required by legislation.

Other newspapers and magazines may be used to communicate with specific audiences at the determination of department heads and within budget availability.

Digital screens

The town uses digital screens at Oakville Town Hall, community centres and arenas to provide information, meeting dates/times and to promote town programs, services and events.

Media releases

All media releases and community advisories are published on the town’s website and circulated to Members of Council and the town’s senior management team.

Town publications, posters, flyers, brochures

The town uses publications, flyers and brochures to keep the community informed of programs, services and current events of the town.

Oakville Transit buses and shelters

Oakville Transit buses (interior and exterior) and transit shelters are used to promote town programs, services and events.

Mobile signs, LCD screens on pylon signs, outdoor banner signs

Signs may be used to notify or promote town programs, services and events.

Radio and television

Radio and television notification and communication may be used at the determination of the department head and within budget constraints.

Movie and drive-in theatres

The town uses local movie theatres to promote town programs, services and events.

Presentations

Employees of the town make presentations on behalf of the corporation to promote programs and services and engage the community. Presentations made by town employees should be approved by the appropriate department head.

Internal communications

The Strategy, Policy and Communications department will ensure the release of corporate information that connects employees and promotes town strategic priorities through a variety of vehicles. These vehicles include but are not limited to the intranet, e-newsletter, meetings, posters, email and flyers.

Community information

The town supports the community in its outreach of community information and makes available the following resources for such communication:

Bulletin boards

The town has seven outdoor bulletin boards located throughout the community that allow the Oakville community to post information. Posting of information can be done by an individual and does not require prior approval by the town. The town has the right to remove any material that it deems unsuitable.

The locations of the outdoor community bulletin boards are:

  1. Town Square (George Street at Lakeshore Road)
  2. Bronte Boardwalk
  3. Kerr Street at Normandy Place
  4. Central Library (120 Navy Street)
  5. Town Hall (1225 Trafalgar Road)
  6. River Oaks Community Centre (2400 Sixth Line)
  7. Glen Abbey Community Centre (1415 Third Line)

Community pamphlets, posters, flyers and information

Town Hall: non-profit, not-for-profit and community information may be placed in the pamphlet rack located near the main entrance at Town Hall. Requests for posting information should be made to the Manager, Strategic Innovation or designate for approval.

Community Centres: requests for posting of community information at community centres should be made directly to the community centre manager for approval.

Libraries: requests for posting of community information in town libraries should be sent to Information Oakville at the Oakville Public Library – Central Branch for approval. Information Oakville will coordinate the distribution of materials to the appropriate location(s).

Community mobile signs

Members of the public may display messages which advertise charitable or community services or events and which do not promote a business or product on a community mobile sign erected on designated town sites in accordance with the sign by-law.

The town does not advertise on behalf of community organizations or groups, businesses or associations.

Other

The town will, from time to time, promote community events on its website. The town’s online communications policy, web content guidelines procedure and events calendar listing terms of reference complement this procedure.

Responsibilities

Members of Council - the Mayor is the principal spokesperson for Town Council (person speaking on behalf of Council). As the Head of Council, the Mayor will reflect the position taken by Town Council on any specific issue.

When reflecting their own views, Members of Council should take into consideration that they may be perceived as speaking on behalf of Town Council.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) - is the principal spokesperson for town operations. The CAO will work with the Mayor to foster positive and open dialogue with all stakeholders.

Commissioners/Directors - act as spokespersons in their area of responsibility.

All media releases must be approved by the appropriate director and the Strategy, Policy and Communications department.

Strategy, Policy and Communications is responsible for:

  • Administration of and ensuring compliance with this procedure
  • Establishing overall communications to the CAO and departments to support the strategic direction of the town
  • Preparing Members of Council and senior staff to respond to contentious issues by providing communications management advice
  • Developing, monitoring and managing content for communicating town programs, services and events
  • Providing content support and reviewing communications materials to ensure plain language
  • Ensuring all comments made to the news media are accurate and reflect strategic goals and corporate policies
  • Approving media releases in conjunction with the appropriate director
  • Developing and/or reviewing all major published materials and information prior to release
  • Administrating the town’s Corporate Identity Standards (Cid)
  • Developing, monitoring and managing content (and providing content support) for the town’s website(s), social media channels and other forms of online communications

Information Systems is responsible for:

  • Developing, supporting and maintaining the town’s web platform

Departments are responsible for:

  • Communicating program information to stakeholders
  • Reviewing sections of the website and updating new content in a timely manner
  • Preparing public notices
  • Dealing with inquires or forwarding to the appropriate department in accordance with the town’s Customer Service Standards

Procedure details

Procedure Number: G-COM-001-002
Parent Policy: G-COM-001
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: Communications
Author: Strategy, Policy and Communications
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2010 Aug 30
Review by Date: 2021
Last Modified: 2016 Nov 14