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Key West, Fla., Leverages CivicPlus® Civic Experience Platform for Integrated Communications Management

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In July 2021, Tropical Storm Elsa hit Key West, challenging the city's software stack. Read how CivicPlus technology helped Key West's storm-response communication efforts and kept residents informed.

Millions of tourists travel to Key West, Fla., annually to experience the white sand beaches of the United States’ southernmost subtropical paradise. Yet, year-round, 25,000 people call this seven-square-mile island home. The diverse population loves its historic community, creative legacy, and living in a place that can only be reached by bridge, plane or boat.

The leaders of Key West are committed to maintaining all that is beloved about their island and creating positive civic experiences for their residents at every municipal touch point. Part of how they accomplish their goals is by using the integrated solutions they’ve implemented with the help of their technology partner, CivicPlus.


The first component of the CivicPlus Civic Experience Platform that Key West implemented was a new CivicEngage® website. Angela Budde, city of Key West web specialist, recalls that when the city was searching for a new website provider, it wanted a system that provided integrated functionality designed to fit the needs of local governments, but that also allowed for some flexibility and custom configurations presented with a modern, easily navigable interface.

“We wanted more online capabilities for applications and communications with the public,” said Budde. “Before CivicPlus, applications were only available on our website as PDF forms. So a key factor in a solution partner was the ability to convert them to digital forms and help us improve our ADA compliance.”

Upon launch of its new website, Key West’s residents immediately noticed and appreciated the aesthetic and functional improvements.

“People loved how beautifully it was laid out and how easy it was to navigate,” said Budde.

Key West’s CivicPlus website also helped the city meet its communication goals by using its CivicEngage Send newsletter functionality and NotifyMe® subscription tool.

“The core group of citizens who live here year-round are a tight-knit community,” said Budde. “Our long-term residents have been here for generations. They are the unspoken stakeholders in our community. Our newsletter helps us send targeted messages and gather feedback from citizens and make the changes they want to see.”


To further its ability to give Key West residents a way to share ideas, feedback and requests with their civic leaders, the city implemented CivicPlus’ SeeClickFix 311 and citizen relationship management solution. Before the software addition, the city used a more time-intensive, manual process to track resident requests.

“When a citizen submitted a request, whether through the website or to their district manager, whether it was a phone call, email or text message, we would have to forward it to the appropriate department. It wasn’t always easy for people to know where to send requests.”

David Monroe, Key West director of information services, calls the implementation of SeeClickFix, which the city branded as Key West Connect, an immediate success.

“Angela and I worked with each of our department leaders to help them configure the system to meet their needs,” said Monroe. “We feel that contributed to the early success. Externally, we received great guidance and citizen marketing materials from CivicPlus.” To date, the city has resolved over 1,100 requests via SeeClickFix.


Key West is known as one of the warmest and sunniest places in the United States, but it is not without risk of dangerous tropical storms. So to ensure city leaders can communicate storm warnings, weather alerts and instructions to residents, it added CivicPlus’ CivicReady® emergency and routine communication solution to its software suite.

“At the time we implemented the software, we needed something with more enhanced capabilities, and that was more GIS-driven that we could use when communicating about tropical weather, road closures and big accidents,” said Monroe.


The integrated capabilities of Key West’s CivicPlus software stack were challenged in July 2021 when Tropical Storm Elsa touched down in the Keys. First, city leaders used its CivicPlus emergency notification solution to notify employees and residents about office closings. It further posted alerts to its website. Finally, to give residents a way to report issues and repairs, it temporarily disabled all its routine 311 software categories and replaced them with storm-related categories.

“We used all our CivicPlus solutions to communicate with employees and residents during Tropical Storm Elsa,” said Budde. “We appreciate the convenience and consistency of having a single integrated technology partner.”

“There are similarities in the look and feel of all our CivicPlus solutions,” added Monroe. “They integrate and share data, and we only have to manage one invoice.”

Budde adds that she appreciates CivicPlus’ regular product enhancement updates and user engagement activities.

“CivicPlus has done a fantastic job of engaging customers, soliciting feedback and using that feedback to enhance its products.”

CivicPlus® delivers technology solutions that enable local governments to optimize the experience they deliver when interacting with residents. Over 7,500 local governments use our solutions when serving their 340 million residents. We deliver the industry’s first and only Civic Experience Platform. It enables local governments to drive more revenue, operate more efficiently and generate positive recognition for the many services they provide every day. For more information, visit