This study expresses the need for a communications model created specifically for government communications that is centered on the concept of transparency. However, it also recognizes the previous research done pertaining to government communications and public relations. Importantly, the study recognizes the lack of trust in American government at city, state and federal levels and the need to improve trust, which is very closely related to transparency. The study focuses primarily on a model created in 2007 called the three-dimensional model for government communications. The model has four parts: the base of the model is the need to value transparency; the other three parts are communication practices, provision of resources, and organizational support. This study seeks to test and quantify the three-dimensional model through the creation of a survey based on the four parts of the three-dimensional model. The study seeks to determine if by following the guidelines established in the three-dimensional model a city will be more transparent. The findings come from the point of view of city communicators. Over two hundred city communicators from the largest cities in America participated in the study. The findings show that following the tenets of the three-dimensional model does in fact lead to greater transparency. Although the study only surveyed government communicators at the city level, the findings are important to government communicators at all levels of government. The study illustrates the importance of creating a communications plan that is based on transparency and the three-dimensional model. It also illustrates that the frustrations found at the federal level are similar to those faced at the city level. The study also sheds light on the need for future research pertaining to government communications.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





transparency, city governments, communications



Included in

Communication Commons