A new online subscription service has been launched by the Regional District of Central Okanagan to communicate more directly with the residents it serves. (Contributed)

A new online subscription service has been launched by the Regional District of Central Okanagan to communicate more directly with the residents it serves. (Contributed)

Regional District of Central Okanagan opens up lines of communication

New online information subscription service offered

Freedom to choose is not an issue under the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s new subscriber information initiative.

Launched on Friday (Feb. 18), the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) has developed a new online subscription tool that enables taxpayers to receive directly public bulletins and news releases of their choosing.

This format will be the basis upon which all information from the regional district is publicly distributed.

Bruce Smith, communications and intergovernmental affairs officer for the RDCO, said it represents how technology is providing new options for how local government can communicate with its constituents.

“We are trying to be more accommodating and letting people choose what they want to get,” Smith said.

“We are living in an era where the individual is determining what they want to consume and how they want to consume it.”

He said the categorization of the subscription service options is a reflection of the deluge of information dropped in people’s inboxes on a daily basis and giving at least some editing options on what people receive from the regional district.

“We are letting them make the choice rather than the government making the choice for them,” Smith said.

Smith said various municipal government agencies have adapted to technology to more directly communicate with people, whether it be city halls in Kelowna, Lake Country or West Kelowna, or the Central Okanagan School District.

“We still see where traditional media has an extremely important role to play…in what has become an expanding media universe,” Smith said.

“Many people still rely on it but we are also aware that our toolbox for raising public awareness has grown as well.”

Justin Schneider, communications advisor for Central Okanagan Public Schools, said technology development has opened up pathways for the school district to communicate with families in timely and relevant ways to maximize engagement and increase opportunities for students.

“Whether it’s for consultation on large strategic priorities or alerting specific grades to career-building opportunities, software and technology allow us to directly engage those who need information,” Schneider said.

“Direct electronic messaging and digital environments such as Thought Exchange complement our public engagement on issues, allowing us to inform the public and hear what people have to say, in addition to more traditional conversations at events like gallery walks, public board meetings, or when people directly contact their elected trustees.”

For more information on how to subscribe to the information service, check out the RDCO website at rdco.com.

READ MORE: Communications plan developed to connect with Indigenous communities by RDOS

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Central Okanagan Regional District