The State of the County
To stay ahead of the extensive demands of a vibrant region comprising 21 townships, five villages and nine cities, with one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S. and nearly eight percent population growth in under 10 years, Kent County leads a collaborative, strategic, inclusive and sustained effort to deliver on its mission.
Kent County provides a range of services across 25 departments, offices and agencies, from courts, public safety and public health to waste management and parks and trails. While county government has a direct and daily impact on residents’ lives, most people don’t understand the scope and scale of county services.
In early 2019, Kent County set out to change that and called on Truscott Rossman to assist in planning and orchestrating its first-ever State of the County address.
In February, our team partnered with county communications and administrative staff to first develop project goals, identify target audiences and develop key messaging. Next we began the meticulous task of inventorying and then winnowing the myriad services, functions, partnerships and initiatives to be highlighted.
In multiple meetings and interviews with elected and appointed leaders over the next two months, we looked for more than just data. Together, we sought to uncover the stories that exemplified the true human impact of the county’s work. Care had to be taken to acknowledge community partners and recognize accomplishments of multiple departments and individuals, while weaving together the numerous story lines that comprise Kent County.
We framed out the run of show, worked with the Chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners and the Kent County Administrator to draft their remarks, and teamed with county staff to provide content direction to the contracted videographers as they produced a complementary video presentation to kick off the event.
Finally, we provided executive coaching and refined remarks in several rehearsals leading up to the event.
On May 2, 2019, the Kent County board chair and administrator jointly presented the first-ever State of the County to an audience of more than 300 public and private sector community leaders.
The theme – Join Us – told a story of service, adept leadership and collaboration and invited all in attendance to join Kent County in meeting the needs of this diverse and growing community.
Community response was overwhelmingly positive and affirmed Kent County’s decision to press ahead with plans for 2020.