The City of New Brunswick has received a special award for its information and communication efforts during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The award was presented by Rutgers University’s Center for Government Services, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities and the New Jersey Municipal Management Association in recognition of the City’s sharing of current and accurate information of the coronavirus outbreak as part of an annual statewide Municipal Public Information competition.
At the start of the pandemic, the official City website (cityofnewbrunswick.org) was modified to include special sections and pages all exclusively dedicated to local COVID-19 news and information. It was then shared across the City’s social media platforms where additional content was also posted. Digital assets were made available to schools, hospitals, and other City entities to assist in content-sharing efforts like critical health and safety information. As testing became more widely available, New Brunswick also assisted Middlesex County in promoting COVID-19 screenings in the City through its Nixle alert system, sending valuable and timely information straight to subscribers.
The coronavirus messaging was bolstered by a daily radio show and podcast, “The New Brunswick COVID-19 Report,” hosted by Mayor Jim Cahill and Public Information Officer Bert Baron. Through a special partnership, the half-hour program was aired each weekday morning on 1450 WCTC-AM through the Spring and Summer months, and presented reliable and hyper-local content of interest and importance to residents and business owners in and around the City as well as special guests. The podcast continues to be produced each Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is posted to the City’s website with an accompanying Spanish-language transcript.
“As we move into the next critical phase of the pandemic, our residents will continue to look to us for information and guidance,” says New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill. “As the vaccine becomes more widely available, we’ll be sure to keep our residents fully updated on how, when and where to be vaccinated. We are committed to continuing to provide credible news as we go forward.”