Meet the Community Engagement and Public Information Director

colton dale
Contact Information

Colton Dale
Community Engagement and Development Specialist

City of Oak Park
14000 Oak Park Blvd.
Oak Park, MI 48237
(248) 691- 7589

What Does a Community Engagement and Development Specialist Do?

The central mission of the Community Engagement and Public Information Department, or CEPI,  is to serve as an effective communication and engagement conduit between the City of Oak Park and its community members, including residents, the business community, community stakeholders, and the media.  CEPI creates a streamlined process that opens and invites lines of communication and interaction through the creation, development, implementation and evaluation of community engagement initiatives.  Objectives of the Department of Community Engagement and Public Information Department include:

  • Strengthen the City’s brand.
  • Effectively manages and maximizes the quality of the City’s existing communications.
  • Increase engagement, support and participation in City initiatives, programs, services and activities.
  • Earns favorable and supportive media coverage.
  • Earns exceptional customer service ratings in providing communication support.

CEPI uses effective community engagement principles and practices to:

  • Inform the public – gain awareness, interest and knowledge of the City’s programs, activities and services through the efficient dissemination of information that is accurate, relevant, easy to understand, appealing, timely and appropriate. The ultimate goal is to foster an informed, supportive and knowledgeable public.
  • Encourage engagement and participation – seek to open dialogue, create communication networks and build relationships with the community. The ultimate goal is to create greater involvement and improved two-way communication between the City and its constituency that not only builds more support for government policy, process and initiatives, but builds more supportive service to the community at large.
  • Mobilize resources – increase participation, volunteerism, sponsorship and support through individuals and businesses that wish to become more active in the City’s initiatives, economic development, boards and commissions, events, activities and sponsorships.

CEPI uses communication tools, opens networks and builds relationships through five community engagement channels:

  • Print Production and Publication – Produces and disseminates print materials such as the City’s annual report, calendar, newsletter, flyers, Community Resource Guide and Resident Handbooks.
  • Online Production – Manages, builds and promotes the City’s web site content, online communications, social media communities, and marquee announcements.
  • Broadcast and Video Production – Produces, airs and promotes the City’s municipal broadcast programs, including City Council meetings, Meeting with the City Manager programming, broadcast communications, video productions, Comcast OPTV 15 and 16, scala and video-sharing channels.
  • Media Relations – Builds relationships with the media; serves as frontline triage for media inquiries and crisis communications, and disseminates press materials.
  • Community Relations – Actively participates in the planning, promotion, implementation of City initiatives, programs, services and events. Serves on key boards and commissions, including Arts and Cultural Commission, Communication Commission and the Emergency Services Council. Actively participates in community events and block club initiatives.