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Granicus Announces 2017 Digital Strategy Award Winners

Granicus, the largest provider of cloud-based software solutions to government, today announced the recipients of the 2017 Granicus Digital Strategy Awards. These individuals and organizations are being recognized as those that have clearly demonstrated effective and innovative approaches to digital strategy and excellence in key areas including transforming access to services, creative and innovative use of digital tools, and improving citizen engagement.

“The Granicus Digital Strategy Awards honors organizations leading the digital transformation within the public sector,” said Mark Hynes, CEO of Granicus. “From launching a worldwide interactive text platform to keep travelers informed of risks associated with the Zika virus, to revamping local government web platforms to allow citizens to easily apply for permits, these organizations are changing the relationship between government and the people they serve. We are proud to celebrate this year’s Digital Strategy winners and elevate the important work they do for their communities.”

In its eighth year recognizing public sector organizations and individuals, the Granicus Digital Strategy Awards has three new categories including the Environmental Stewardship Award, the Modern Leadership Award and the Transformed Access to Public Services Award.

All government organizations were eligible for participation in the Granicus Digital Strategy Awards. This year’s outstanding organizations and individuals selected for recognition include:

Digital Achievement Award (Capstone) – Granicus’ highest honor of excellence for organizations leading the way in public sector digital outreach and engagement. These organizations are dedicated to cohesive and integrated digital engagement with citizens.


  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC has undergone a vast digital transformation in recent years. A major component of that transformation included updating old computer systems to modernize this critical agency.
  • Independence Township, Michigan: Independence Township’s Geospatial Information and Solution Office (GISO) introduced a new mapping platform to help save time and money across the services provided to citizens and those managed internally.
  • Hurst, Texas: This past year, the City launched a new digital tool to connect with citizens called the “Where We Live” mobile app. Through promotion of the app through the GovDelivery Communications Cloud, the app has been downloaded nearly 1,000 times since its launch in February 2016.
  • Stockport Council, U.K.: The objective of Stockport’s Digital by Design program, to help more people access council services online, is supported by an impressive multi-pronged campaign incorporating the full marketing mix and a schedule of “DigiKnow” skills-enhancing events.

Communicators of the Year: Recognizing the communicators making a difference in the way their organization interacts and communicates with citizens.


  • Karen Collins, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics: Karen Collins is the Chief of Communications and over the last year, Collins chaired a national Integrated Project Team to develop a communications plan and conduct the rollout of MyVA Access – Same Day Services an initiative to improve Veterans access to care when they needed it.
  • Stephen Schatz and Lauren Mitchell, Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

Communications Director Stephen Schatz and Design and Publications Manager Lauren Mitchell have revamped the Maryland DNR’s approach to digital communications.

  • Kathleen Woods-Richardson, Miramar, Florida: Through a full-scale communications campaign involving website updates, digital communications and media relations, the City elevated its profile to new levels and increased citizen engagement. The campaign is credited for garnering 8,000 new email subscribers as a result of Kathleen’s efforts.
  • Rob McCleary, Gedling Borough Council, U.K.: Despite managing a small team that delivers all communications, design, web development and administration, already Rob has led several outcome-focused projects with tracked financial savings and other positive impacts resulting from his strategic communications support.

Creative Use of Digital Citizen Engagement: Recognizing organizations using digital engagement in creative ways including a unique campaign purpose, unusual and effective content, or exceptional method of connecting with citizens.


  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) implemented a digital overhaul and revamped the way they communicate with subscribers of email communications – one of the primary methods used to connect with their audience.
  • County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency: Live Well San Diego is the County’s vision for a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving. Through digital promotion and daily notifications, emails and text messages, the County communicated and connected directly with thousands of citizens to promote positive behavior change and encourage active and healthy lifestyles.
  • Louisville, Kentucky: Integrating with the GovDelivery Communications Cloud digital messages to citizens, the City implemented an API (Application Process Interface) that allows the City to automatically generate text and email messages to citizens with junk pick up dates and times. So far, 27,000 opt-in subscribers have signed up so far (Louisville has 180,000 total GovDelivery subscribers), and they’ve managed to reduce calls to their 311 service by more than half.
  • Exeter City Council, U.K.: Exeter City Council demonstrated great resilience in the face of adversity when they found themselves dealing with the Royal Clarence Hotel fire last year. The communications team’s swift and coordinated communications response helped to keep the city “moving” and minimize the impact of a major city fire that threatened to bring ongoing disruption to residents, businesses and visitors.

Enhanced Public Awareness: Recognizing organizations achieving success informing and engaging citizens with their digital strategy to drive changes in behavior or inspire action.


  • The National Health Service Corps (NHSC):. In October 2016, the NHSC celebrated its mission and members with the Corps Community Month campaign, which aimed to create awareness of the NHSC in order to recruit health care providers to serve in communities of need.
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation: In 2016, three Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) workers lost their lives in the line of duty, all killed by distracted drivers. Following the deaths, the department felt an urgency to ramp up awareness of highway worker safety and to make a plea to drivers to avoid future tragedies.
  • County of Kaua’i, Hawaii: The Office of the County Clerk revamped its access to information and now has all agenda, meeting minutes, and legislative process documents available digitally. Additionally, the County communicates automatically with 800+ citizens when these pieces of information are available – increasing visibility and awareness of County priorities.
  • Central Bedfordshire Council, U.K.: The council recently consulted citizens over an eight-week period, using a multichannel communications plan with a focus on digital (including video and social content) to turn heavy jargon subject matter into manageable chunks of engaging content to increase public participation in the consultation and to myth-bust.

(New) Environmental Stewardship: Recognizing government agencies that implemented environmentally conscious office policies through the use of software, such as reducing paper use and distributing agendas electronically.


  • Pinellas County, Florida: By going digital, Pinellas County Government saved millions of dollars, paper, time, and resource hours, as well as streamlined internal work processes, implemented the use of electronic signatures, and improved agenda and meeting material access to our staff and its over 1 million citizens.
  • Oceanside, California: The City of Oceanside’s Development Services Department has launched an online permitting system that allows citizens to apply for Residential Solar permits online.
  • San José, California: With over 23 active boards and 235 seats, San José began accepting electronic (paperless) applications for all boards and commissions in 2016. After several decades of managing many pages of applications, San José was able to fully utilize and condense 23 different applications into one application.
  • Kirklees Council, U.K.: Kirklees used an email campaign to target residents in two particular bin collection rounds, where contamination rates were high. This intervention targeted households the evening of their recycling bin collection, and the key messages were included in subsequent collection reminders too.

(New) Modern Leadership Award: Recognizing the individual leaders demonstrating use of modern digital trends and initiating a meaningful change in the relationship between a government organization and its citizens.


  • Dwight Boddorf, Department of Veterans Affairs: The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Dwight Boddorf spearheaded a communications initiative utilizing email to enhance communication with its community and veterans. As a result of his efforts, Butler Healthcare saw an increase in email subscriber reach from 4,000 to 26,000 over a six-month period.
  • Dana Berchman of Gilbert, Arizona: From implementing coding contests for teenagers to launching an open data platform, Berchman has been rethinking how to emphasize the use of digital tools to connect with the public.
  • Lucinda Williams, City Clerk in Fullerton, California: City Clerk Lucinda Williams led the City’s implementation of new digital technologies that have helped the city better manage processes like agenda management, committee recruitment for available public positions, and handle day-to-day operations at the clerk’s office.
  • Ashley Banks, South Staffordshire Council, U.K.: Ashley is committed to delivering citizen-focused communications and has recently worked hard to ensure seamless integration of South Staffordshire Council’s public email bulletins service with Good Life Deals (software that connects residents to local businesses), helping the public save money and support the local economy.

(New) Transformed Access to Services: Recognizing organizations that made significant service improvements to enhance the citizen experience with reduced wait times or new records management to improve internal processes.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): During the 2016-2017 emergency response to Zika, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified international travelers as a critical population to reach with timely and accurate information about Zika risk and prevention and used text messaging to connect with over 20,000 travelers within 6 months.
  • Arizona Department of Transportation: The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) launched efficiency measures designed to significantly reduce the amount of time customers spend in line at the various MVD locations from 58 minutes to 33 minutes.
  • Leon County, Florida: Using lessons learned from Hurricane Hermine, Leon County Government took coordination and preparedness to the next level by sending over 1 million emergency notification messages and increasing the number of informed and prepared citizens for future emergency-related events.
  • Buckinghamshire County Council, U.K.: Buckinghamshire County Council’s innovative digital waste permits system removes the need for 18,000 paper letters, is projected to save the taxpayer £35,000 annually, and significantly improves the customer experience of acquiring a waste permit by eliminating permit waiting time, providing the service immediately online.


About Granicus
Granicus provides technology that empowers government organizations to create better lives for the people they serve. By offering the industry’s leading cloud-based solutions for communications, meeting and agenda management, and digital services to more than 3,000 public sector organizations, Granicus helps turn government missions into quantifiable realities. Granicus products connect more than 150 million people, creating a powerful network to enhance government transparency and citizen engagement. By optimizing decision-making processes, Granicus strives to help government realize better outcomes and have a greater impact for the citizens they serve.