- By Jen Aceto -
Residents of Eden Prairie, Minn., share their feedback on the next stage of COVID-19 recovery through Polco’s COVID-19 Vaccination Survey
Communities around the country are preparing for COVID-19 vaccines to arrive. Local governments are finding innovative ways to engage with residents about this upcoming phase of COVID-19 recovery.
City officials in Eden Prairie, Minn., are using Polco’s COVID-19 Vaccination Survey to gather residents’ opinions about the vaccine, which will inform the city’s plans moving forward. It was immediately clear residents want their voices heard when it comes to this topic as the City saw more than 2,200 responses to the survey in just three days.
We asked Eden Prairie’s Senior Communications Coordinator, Katie Bengtson, and Communications Manager Joyce Lorenz about the survey, the city’s outreach efforts, and the response.
Polco: Why did Eden Prairie decide to use the vaccinations survey?
Katie Bengtson: Many of our neighboring cities have an internal public health department – since the City of Eden Prairie does not, we work closely with our County-wide Public Health agency. By conducting this survey, it is our hope that we will gain insights as to what misinformation or lack of information may exist in our community, or among various populations we serve. It also gives us a snapshot at this moment in time, of how our residents are thinking and feeling about COVID-19 vaccines. Once we have that information, we can better partner with the County and better serve our residents.
How did you conduct outreach about the survey?
Joyce Lorenz: Our strategy is to announce new Polco surveys on the “News” page of our website and, depending on the topic, send an invitation to all residents who are subscribed to our email and text message subscription service. We also post the information on our social media channels.
How do you plan to use the results of the survey?
Katie: The type of information we’re gathering in the COVID-19 Vaccination Survey is priceless to us as communicators. It not only tells us how much we need to focus on sharing the County’s information about vaccinations, but also tells us exactly who our target audience needs to be and what type of messages they will be receptive to.
Joyce: For example, our current results show that 88% of verified users intend to be vaccinated as soon as it’s available to them – so, a majority of our residents don’t need us to push all of the reasons why, they just need to know where and when! And of course, we’ll dissect the remaining 12% to glean any insights about their feelings or concerns as well.
How has Polco helped you engage your residents?
Katie: We’ve had a great experience with Polco, especially compared to some of the other platforms we’ve tried. Our residents respond very well to surveys that are on-topic for what’s happening in their world right now, and Polco is great about putting these surveys together for us, often before it even occurs to us to engage with residents on a topic. Our residents also seem to really appreciate being heard, and Polco is a great way for us to reach out and “listen” to what they have to share.
Joyce Lorenz has been Communications Manager for the City of Eden Prairie since 2006, and has nearly 28 years of experience in the marketing and communications field within the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Lorenz is accredited in business communications by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Kansas State University.
Katie Bengtson has been senior communications coordinator for the City of Eden Prairie since 2007 and has more than 20 years of experience in communications, marketing and public relations. She is accredited by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Cloud State University and a master’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Minnesota.