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New Orleans Recognized for Excellent Covid-19 Communication Strategies Utilizing Charleston-Based AI Solutions



Press Release

Citibot, the leading provider of interactive chat solutions for local government, announced today that Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) received the coveted Silver Anvil award from the New Orleans Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter. The organization recognized OPCD for its excellent social media communications strategy, “JAZZ” AI Chatbot Launch, a branding, awareness, and behavioral change campaign promoting Citibot’s AI-powered web and text chat solutions. 
“When we were seeking new ways to provide simple and easy access for our residents to connect with NOLA-311 during the pandemic, the Citibot team came with the winning solution,”  said OPCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris. “To say their AI software made an immediate and lasting impact on our ability to meet the people of New Orleans where they are would be a serious understatement.”

Dubbed “JAZZ” to honor the city’s unique culture and history, Citibot’s AI solutions were implemented in OPCD’s communication plans in June 2020 to help increase citizen engagement and make city services more accessible to New Orleans residents. In addition to building the AI chatbot platform, Citibot worked closely with the OPCD Public Engagement Team to design and create the entire marketing campaign to coincide with the launch of JAZZ. The campaign was shared across OPCD and NOLA-311 websites and social media channels so New Orleans residents and visitors could learn how JAZZ can help them instantly and easily connect with the city for information and services.
The New Orleans PRSA’s annual gala – Fleurish Awards – honors the best public relations efforts and industry leaders in Greater New Orleans. The Silver Anvil Award is considered the highest honor and is awarded to organizations that showcase their unique skills, creativity, and resources in undertaking and solving problems or meeting unmet needs. Since its inception in 1944, the award considers entries in 19 categories and evaluates entrants’ initiatives that utilize insights and analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation.
“Earning the Silver Anvil Award for the JAZZ AI chatbot campaign is an incredible honor,” stated OPCD Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Marcus Creel. “One of the most amazing things about winning an award as prestigious as this is sharing the revelry with those who supported our efforts to ensure the success of the entire endeavor. Our team could not have accomplished this without the superb guidance of Director Morris and OPCD Chief of Staff, Domonique Curry, the dedication and conviction of NOLA-311 Operations Director, Erica Mercadel-Hayes who consistently seeks new ways to help the people of New Orleans, and finally, Alexandria Cottingham, Citibot Director of Marketing and Communications who tirelessly continues to ensure the resources and information we need are available to us.”
With a strong mission statement, “Getting the right people to the right place at the right time, better than anyone else in the world,” it’s no wonder that OPCD has been granted the Silver Anvil along with nine other communications awards. Their constant dedication to residents and visitors and their ongoing passion for utilizing the latest technologies and methods to serve their city has not gone unnoticed by citizens and industry professionals alike. OPCD sought out Citibot’s services when NOLA-311 – the city’s non-emergency communications department – expanded their services to support residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. OPCD determined Citibot’s AI-powered chatbot would provide quality communications solutions for their residents to receive services while simultaneously reducing the call volume to NOLA-311.
“Since Citibot’s partnership with OPCD began, it was evident that the public engagement team consists of incredible communicators who are integral to creating a brand that captures the heart and desire to serve,” said Alexandria Cottingham, Citibot Director of Marketing and Communications. “It was important the JAZZ campaign resonated with citizens, was informative yet unique, and we were clear and consistent in our call to action. The citizen engagement is a result of those efforts and confirms we made the right decisions. Now, residents trust and know JAZZ will show up for them every day. To win this award is really the cherry on top. It means the world to share this recognition for something we created together.”

From its initial launch in June 2021 through October 2021, JAZZ saw over 6,650 interactions with New Orleans residents, 67% of which were text messages and the remaining 33% occurred with the chatbot on and 51% of these resident inquiries were questions about services, 15% were submitting service requests, and 34% were informative city service request messages.
For more information about Citibot’s services or to schedule a demo, visit
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