Let's talk about communications in Meaford!

The Municipality of Meaford is updating our Communications Strategy to ensure we continue to provide the information you want – when, where and how you want to receive it.

Input from business leaders, full-time and seasonal residents is critical.

Communcations Strategy Process

Stakeholder Engagement and Public Consultation

During the months of November and December, The Letter M Marketing engaged with the community to gather feedback from stakeholders, residents, Council and staff. This input and data will guide the recommendations of the final Communications Strategy to make sure they align with community needs.

While this provides a high level summary of the feedback that was received through the public engagement, a full report of feedback will be included with the final Communications Strategy document.

Over a period of three weeks, The Letter M completed 15 one-on-one interviews with stakeholders that included residents, community leaders, members of Council, and Municipal staff. Interviews were set at 30 minutes, but often extended beyond the allotted time because of the enthusiasm of the participants. Some of the findings from the stakeholder interviews include:
  • High community pride and commitment to meeting the needs of residents
  • The importance of timeliness of delivering communications when they are most needed
  • The importance of making information easier to find and with greater accessibility
  • A need to provide more education on how Municipal processes and operations work
  • Better utilization of both council and staff as subject matter experts in communicating on Municipal business
  • Strengthening the Municipality’s identity for representing the entire geographic area
 Public Engagement
A public engagement survey was available from November 16 to December 7, 2020 to receive resident feedback on our Municipal communications. COVID-19 restrictions limited our ability to do traditional in-person engagement, so in an effort to generate interest in participating, the project offered a chance for one participant to win a $100 Visa Gift Card. The survey was promoted through news releases, the Meaford website, social media and newspaper advertisements.

In total, the 10-question survey received 431 responses with the majority of respondents (77.49%) being located within urban Meaford, and (22.49%) representing the rest of the geographic area of the Municipality and elsewhere. The highest level of responses received were from those 55-65+ years of age while the least engaged respondents were those 18-24 years of age. The survey asked specific questions on the Municipality's communications that included:

  • How would you like to receive information?
  • When looking for information, what source(s) are you most likely to turn to?
  • What frequency would you like to receive information?
  • When there is a public engagement project, how would you prefer to participate?
  • How satisfied are you with the Municipal communications overall?
 What We Heard

Through this process, survey feedback identified that email, social media and the website are preferred communication tools for receiving information from the Municipality. It is anticipated that these online tools will gain greater traction as internet connectivity expands in the region. The Municipality’s website, social media and a general online Google search are the primary resources that respondents use most often to find Municipal information.

While there is interest in receiving Municipal communications, respondents were almost evenly split on their preference to receive information weekly (slightly higher preference) versus on a monthly basis.

Municipal topics that generate the most interest to be in-the-know about include:

  • Service disruptions
  • Community events
  • Recreation facilities
  • Budgets/taxes

When providing input on Municipal projects and initiatives, respondents preferred online tools such as completing a survey, sending an email, commenting on social media or through the website.

Overall, of the 431 survey responses, there was a 3.1 out of 5 level of satisfaction on the Municipality’s current communication process, providing opportunity for improvement. 


Some of the written comment feedback included an appreciation when Council connects with residents through social media platforms, and the convenience of the online waste app. The survey results also highlighted areas of improvement that included the need for timely responses by staff to voicemail messages, and providing more information on certain topics, with the TC Energy proposal being highlighted multiple times. There were also several suggestions to update the website, making it easier to find information and keep the content relevant.

Newsletters and printed information received a mix of input that included being considered a useful resource for some, and less useful by others. Written comments included the concern about the cost to produce hardcopy materials and the timeliness of receiving the information.


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