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How the City of McAllen Strengthened Communications in the Face of COVID-19

The Challenge

Like other cities and counties across the United States, the City of McAllen, TX dramatically adjusted its daily operations in response to the new reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As public health guidelines evolved, city officials needed to quickly respond to emerging resident concerns while effectively sharing and explaining the city’s decisions. For example, when the CDC began to recommend that everyone wear a mask, the Mayor of McAllen released a message reinforcing this recommendation to residents. Despite this active communication with the community, residents still had many questions about the rationale behind this recommendation. The City needed to be able to quickly identify these questions and frame messaging according to residents’ top concerns.

The Zencity Solution

The City of McAllen used Zencity’s platform to identify residents’ public online questions regarding the recommendation to wear a mask. With Zencity’s AI capabilities and insights, city officials followed resident concerns and opinions in real time from public social media channels (those managed by the city and non-city-owned sources). Specifically, the City’s team wanted to track residents’ questions and concerns about wearing masks in order to efficiently address them.

The City was also able to recognize that some residents did not understand that the mask recommendation was in fact from the CDC, and not simply the Mayor’s standalone recommendation. The City was able to issue a formal clarification,  thereby addressing residents’ questions and concerns while reinforcing better compliance with the instruction and overall safety in the city.


By leveraging Zencity to analyze resident feedback toward official city announcements, the City of McAllen is able to effectively manage crisis communications during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure compliance and safety within the city.



Zencity's AI capabilities helped us quickly identify resident confusion at such a sensitive time as the Coronavirus outbreak. The platform detects important discourse across multiple channels, allowing us to directly address residents' questions and concerns and ensure their safety.

Michelle Rivera, Assistant City Manager, McAllen, TX

Michelle Rivera, Assistant City Manager, McAllen, TX


Join hundreds of local government organizations already leveraging community feedback with Zencity.

Join hundreds of local government organizations already leveraging community feedback with Zencity.

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