The City of Newton, Iowa is the recipient of the 2015 Program of the Year award from the Iowa City Manager’s Association (IaCMA). Newton was recognized the City’s work on the Get to Know Newton community outreach project.
IaCMA’s annual awards program honors creative contributions to professional local government management and increases public awareness of the value of professional management to the quality of life. The Program of the Year Award is presented to a local government and its chief administrator in recognition of an innovative and successful program.
“‘Get to Know Newton’ is more than just a new logo,” said Natalie Umsted, City of Newton Management Analyst, “The purpose of the brand is to create a positive identity for Newton citizens to take pride in and to help Newton gain positive regional attention throughout central Iowa.”
The team that has implemented Get to Know Newton has worked to use creative strategies to reach citizens and the region in new and innovative ways. Projects completed in the past year include: “Newton VS Newton,” a contest in which Newton, IA competed with Newton, KS in a variety of community engagement challenges, the “Newton Postcard Project,” a project in which residents filled out postcards with positive things about Newton that were mailed throughout the central Iowa region, and “Newton Fest,” a four day town festival featuring kids activities, live music, and other family-friendly activities.
The Get to Know Newton campaign also has an active social media presence, publishes quarterly magazines, has a weekly radio show, and does local and regional advertising on behalf of the community.
“Creativity has been the key to creating a successful outreach campaign in Newton,” said Nicole Lindstrom, Public Services Librarian, “The team behind ‘Get to Know Newton’ works to have fun while getting the message out there. It’s been satisfying to see the community have fun with ‘Get to Know Newton’ as well by coming out for events and following us on social media.”
Get to Know Newton has been widely supported by the Newton community, with thousands of community members participating by volunteering, attending events, and following the campaign on social media.
To find out more about Get to Know Newton, visit GetToKnowNewton.com.
Pictured with the award, left to right is Jackie Boat, Nicole Lindstrom, Natalie Umsted, and Craig Armstrong, who work on the Get to Know Newton campaign.