The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (NHDRA) recently received the 2020 Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA) Award for its strategic approach to public outreach. NHDRA developed and coordinated a 12-month communications plan, which is customized annually, to deliver its core messages to its key stakeholders.
"Prior to 2018, our outreach to our constituents was essentially limited to just notices and reminders. Over the past three years, we have completely shifted to a strategic, proactive approach, which has allowed us to further succeed in our mission to fairly and efficiently administer the tax laws of New Hampshire," says NHDRA Commissioner Lindsey Stepp. "We are honored to be recognized on a national level and excited to be a resource for other states looking to expand or reimagine their public outreach initiatives."
The FTA Awards create an opportunity for best ideas and practices to be shared with other state tax administrators, and NHDRA will present its public outreach concept as part of a webinar series later this year. NHDRA is one of six states honored nationally through FTA’s 2020 Awards.
Based on a successful tax amnesty public outreach program in late 2015, NHDRA engaged the same strategic communications agency, Manchester-based Montagne Communications, in 2017 to conduct a audit to identify opportunities for ongoing communications.
The audit recommendations led to a 12-month plan with specific initiatives, timing and tactics for communicating with key stakeholder groups, including taxpayers, media, tax preparers, elected officials and professional associations.
According to the FTA award judges, "It is easy to see how many other agencies could use this. It’s easy to just keep doing the same things over and over and over again, especially in the way we communicate. It was clever and special that they were willing to evaluate the old ways and see if their messages or channels could be improved upon."
Pictured above, NHDRA Commissioner Lindsey Stepp (right) and NHDRA Assistant Commissioner Carollynn Lear celebrate the win with the FTA Awards plaque.