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The second most famous man in Wrexham uses GovDelivery to engage citizens

Last Thursday in London, hundreds of public sector communicators gathered for the annual GovDelivery Public Sector Communications Conference – a full day of presentations from digital communicators and service designers about how digital tools can be used to improve citizen engagement and the success of government initiatives.

Attendees left with some practical examples of how organisations are using digital engagement tools to make a difference in their communities. These included insights into which platforms can be most impactful for enhancing the customer experience, informing large populations about critical service updates, and encouraging more citizens to take positive action – or simply the “right action”. For example, presenting their recycling bin for collection on the right day, thus improving service efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Huw Ap Dewi is the Performance and Development Officer at Wrexham County Borough Council in Wales, and at the event he talked about how digital tools (specifically, the GovDelivery Advanced Package for Communications Cloud) are helping Wrexham reach their target audiences and engage people effectively. Huw also pointed out that he is “the second most famous man in Wrexham” – after Mickey Thomas, that is. So we were pretty lucky to book him!

Wrexham is in north-east Wales and has a population of around 135,000 people. In 2015, the council sought a new way to reach communities on issues like winter preparedness, contingency plans, and roadworks.

They selected GovDelivery’s Communications Cloud and launched with a small number of subscribers and just 10 topics.

In just over a year, Wrexham has grown its subscriber base to 23,000 people – 17 percent of the population – and communicates on 34 different topics. The slide below highlights this topic growth, to provide citizens with more detailed and targeted information.

Wrexham expands its e-bulletin topic options for citizens (2015 > 2016)


With a growing subscriber base and an increased level of engagement, Wrexham set out to solve an issue that was taking up much of the organisation’s valuable time and resources: recycling bin reminders.  

According to Huw, “If you want an example of our dedication to customer care, this is it”. Previously, Wrexham was manually scheduling 477 bulletins a week to remind residents about their recycling bin collections. This took a day of someone’s time at the council.

Two months ago, Wrexham implemented GovDelivery’s Advanced Package for the Communications Cloud, which allows organisations to schedule bulletins in bulk.

With the Advanced Package, the council was able to streamline this process, scheduling campaigns for recycling bin reminders in two large bulk campaigns. Huw said, “We had a job that previously took us one day, and we turned it into a job that now takes us two minutes on Friday”. 

As a direct result of the email reminders sent via GovDelivery, Wrexham has seen a 43 percent reduction in calls relating to bin collections.

This is great example of how using digital tools can help streamline services and processes, while informing and engaging citizens on the things that matter most to them. This example highlights how automating communications online can save government organisations a significant amount of time and resources.

Want to see photos, slides, tweets and more resources from the Annual GovDelivery Public Sector Communications in London? See the web page here.