States, counties and cities around the world have been forced to reconcile with responding to COVID-19. Parks and Recreation departments, specifically, have been faced with tough choices. Cancelling programming, closing facilities and postponing activities are just a few of the many decisions local government officials have had to make. Montgomery County, Maryland began making these decisions a few weeks ago. Michelle Bean, senior information technology specialist at Montgomery County Recreation, shared some best practices to help your organization process through and execute on responding to COVID-19 within your community.
Bean says communicating often is key. Utilizing technology, like ACTIVENet, can help streamline these communications. Keeping communication clear and concise will limit confusion. The best way to guarantee your communication is to the point is by determining the purpose of the communication first. For instance, consider if the communication is about facility closures, memberships, refunds, activities or something else. Once you determine the purpose, keep the message tied closely to that goal. Clarity is of the utmost importance.
Utilize Your Technology
Technology is an essential part of Montgomery County's crisis response. Internally, technology has allowed their team to meet and communicate while adhering to the CDC recommendations and public health regulations. Externally, ACTIVENet has enabled a quick pull of reports to ensure accurate lists for refunds, cancellation announcements and postponements. Bean mentioned that their ACTIVENet technical account manager and ACTIVENet support were instrumental for refunding customers in a timely manner and providing their community peace of mind.
Continue to Work with Experts
The environment is changing rapidly. It’s essential to stay aligned with state, county and local health officials. Base your decisions on expert advice. When your department is informed and educated, it’s easier to communicate the changes to programming, facilities and activities to your community.