Residents need look no further than the city of New Albany's communications mission statement to understand the importance placed on providing information, engaging residents and facilitating transparency: New Albany "staff will increase public awareness, interest, understanding of and participation in city-related programs, services and issues. Staff will conduct themselves with patience, courtesy and respect for others, actively listening with a genuine intention and desire to understand the communications needs of those they serve."

City staff members routinely work with the ThisWeek New Albany News and other traditional media outlets while creating multiple community channels for engagement.

Probably the easiest way to stay up to date on a daily basis is by following us on social media. Our little town of 3,500 households has almost 9,500 in combined Facebook and Instagram followers. Thus far in 2019, thanks in large part to residents, we've generated 1.8 million impressions on these two platforms alone. (Don't forget to use #NewAlbanyOhio and #MyNewAlbany when posting pictures or information about your hometown.) We're also on Twitter and Nextdoor, so there are lots of options for joining the online conversation.

In May, we launched the "New Albany Minute," a flash briefing for Amazon Echo (Alexa) devices. These updates occur twice a week, each Tuesday and Friday, to highlight a program or event occurring within New Albany. To subscribe to the "New Albany Minute" and add it to your flash briefing, tell your Amazon device, "Alexa, open the New Albany, Ohio skill," and follow the provided prompts.

If your preferred method of receiving information is email, join more than 1,400 of your neighbors by subscribing to our (nearly) weekly LIST e-newsletter at newalbanyohio.org/subscribe.

Online, newalbanyohio.org is a great place to start for service-related information. Head to newalbanybusiness.org to learn about our different industry clusters and New Albany International Business Park assets, or try innovatenewalbany.org to  explore our community resource for entrepreneurs.

We also use direct mail on occasion, be it the annual report sent to households each spring, an update from New Albany City Council or the recent charter changes that were voted on by the New Albany electorate this past November.

We regularly survey a random sampling of our residents for feedback on a myriad of topics, from police and public service to development services and communications.

Lastly, don't forget that our City Council and board and commission meetings are open to the public, with opportunities to provide feedback on any number of topics. Council agendas may be found at newalbanyohio.org/answers/government-101, and information about board and commission meetings may be found at newalbanyohio.org/answers/boards-commissions.

Your city strives continually to improve in all of our services.

If you have an idea or would like to provide feedback about any of our communications services, I can be reached at smcafee@newalbanyohio.org or 614-939-2256.

Scott McAfee is chief communications and marketing officer for New Albany.