Three Myths About Local Government Communications
You work hard for your community, and you work equally hard to communicate with citizens all that your administration is doing to impact their lives in meaningful ways. As with all private and public sector entities, despite the best efforts for transparency, some myths prevail. As an organization that has partnered with local governments for over 20 years to help them engage with citizens, we’ve heard plenty of myths about local government communications, and we’re ready to help bust them. Read on for our list of three myths about local government communications, and the truths as we see them.
Myth: Local Governments Aren’t Able to Address Individual Suggestions for Community Improvements.
Fact: We have worked with thousands of local governments that have implemented citizen request management workflows and software solutions solely to respond (and respond timely), to individual requests. From suggestions such as pot holes, to barking dogs, to excessive litter, we’ve seen concerned local governments across the nation commit to receiving, reacting, and responding to a wide variety of citizen requests.
For example, the community of Anaheim, California utilizes our CivicEngage® Citizen Request Tracker (CRT) solution to allow citizens to report dozens of administrative concerns, such as the appearance of graffiti, streetlight problems, and abandoned shopping carts.
Myth: Local governments only communicate with citizens using traditional methods, like postal mail and media interviews.
Fact: Local governments are going social. With an understanding that citizens are expecting immediate and engaging news and information from their administrations, local governments are developing active social media presences to keep citizens informed about breaking and routine news. For example, take a look at the beautiful and inspiring photography shared on Instagram by the Canadian Town of Banff.
Many of our CivicPlus® communities utilize tools like our CivicEngage® Send communication creation and distribution module to draft messages and then send to citizens via multiple channels, including email, text/SMS message, and social media.
Myth: You Should Only Expect to Hear from Local Government Staff Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Truth: Local governments understand that their communities run 24/7, and we’ve seen the communities we work with adapt their communication methods to ensure they are able to connect with citizens any time, from anywhere. To accomplish this goal, local governments are going mobile. For example, the community of Royal Oak, Michigan has utilized our CivicEngage® Mobile solution to provide its citizens with a convenient and mobile-optimized channel for accessing local information anytime, from any mobile device.
As a further step toward optimizing its communications, the Township of Cranberry, Pennsylvania, utilizes our MobileAdmin app to allow multiple departments to access key features of its CivicEngage content management system (CMS) from a smart phone or tablet, including the Calendar, News Flash, and Alert Center features.
Click here to learn how The Township of Cranberry is utilizing the MobileAdmin app to keep citizens informed of potential traffic hazards.
Stay Informed with the latest news and best practices by filling out the form below. If you’re one of the many communities across the nation looking to bust myths and keep citizens informed, sign up to receive our CivicPulse monthly newsletter. Full of the latest local government communication trends, and best practices, we have everything you need to continue setting the highest standards for citizen engagement.