How Pasadena, CA, used Zencity Data to Relieve Pressure on the City and Public Health Department during its COVID-19 Vaccine Roll Out
In January, the City of Pasadena began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to community members. The City’s public health department launched a comprehensive webpage at the outset to help disseminate vaccine information. Although the City tried to anticipate and address questions residents would have when drafting content for the webpage, multiple departments throughout the City soon found themselves overwhelmed by resident inquiries.
Pasadena is one of only four cities in California with its own health department, meaning the City has been managing its own vaccine distribution and notification processes. Despite its dedicated webpage receiving thousands of page views per day, the City’s call center found itself fielding hundreds of phone calls every day—peaking at over 800 calls in a single day. Council members, the City Manager, and the City’s social media accounts were also flooded with questions from community members seeking guidance and asking for clarification regarding vaccine distribution. Despite best efforts to direct residents to the Health Department’s website and provide clarification via social media and other communication channels, the City struggled to triage inquiries.
Zencity’s platform identified a citywide spike in discourse about the COVID-19 vaccine and a steep rise in engagement with the City on its official channels. In the first 2.5 weeks of January alone, Zencity aggregated over 11K social media interactions about the vaccine—almost the same amount of vaccine-related discourse as the entire month of December.
Zencity’s expert team of data analysts dove into the resident discourse and transformed the data into an actionable insight that addressed sentiment and misinformation so that the City could better manage vaccine operations and relieve some of the pressure. With its AI and analyst team, Zencity was able to prioritize the questions and topics that residents were discussing.
The City Manager’s Office had been asking the Health Department to publish an FAQ list to the webpage since its launch. Zencity’s insight provided the impetus to finally do so. The insight confirmed the need and bolstered the Public Affair’s Decision request, as well as distilled the vast outreach by email and social media into manageable components. After sharing the insight with the Public Health Department, the Department was triggered to published a fluid, 21-question FAQ section, which is continuously updated by the City based on trending questions and resident concerns. Following the publication of the new FAQ page, the City Manager’s Office saw a significant dip in the volume of vaccine inquiries on its official channels, and particularly social media, including a drop from a peak of 6,200 vaccine-related interactions in a single day to an average of 500 interactions per day in the weeks following – a 90%+ drop in vaccine-related discourse.