Lebanon NH Creates Positive Civic Experiences with Integrated CivicPlus Solution Suite
Saving Time and Enabling Personalized Communications with a CivicPlus Website and Mass Notification Solution
Before implementing CivicPlus’ CivicEngage® website solution, Lebanon utilized a disparate network of software solutions within its digital communication strategy. According to Melanie McDonough, Lebanon Chief Innovation Officer, what makes the CivicEngage content management system (CMS) valuable is its built-in local government administrative features.
“The CMS includes things like an Agenda Center and subscriber notifications all in one place. As a result, people can sign up for notifications on topics of interest and self-manage their alert preferences, saving us time from manually managing subscriptions.”
McDonough cites the system’s ease of use for administrators across departments as the ultimate time-saver.
“As the primary administrator, what has saved me the most time is that our CivicPlus website enables people in all departments to manage and update their content, rather than relying on me to do it. It’s also a comfort knowing we have access to the CivicPlus Technical Support Team. I tell content managers, ‘If I’m out of the office and you need help, click the Help button within the tool to talk to the CivicPlus Support Team.’ It’s like gaining another employee or team member who has our back. Knowing we have that support all the time is key for us. We know we never have to go it alone.”
An Amplified and Personalized Mass Communication Strategy
After realizing the benefits of the CMS’s Alert Center and NotifyMe® subscriber alert functionality, Lebanon upgraded its routine and emergency mass notification capabilities by adding CivicPlus’ CivicReady® solution to its software stack.
“With CivicReady, our residents can subscribe to those notification categories that interest them most, such as updates on construction projects.”
McDonough adds that one of the most seasonally popular categories is the local ice rink operated by the Recreation, Arts, and Parks Department, whose availability shifts based on weather conditions.
“The Recreation Department hangs posters at the ice rinks that encourage people to text to subscribe to alerts when the rink is open and closed,” said McDonough.
The Digital Transformation of Lebanon’s Agenda and Meeting Management
Like many communities, Lebanon followed a simple digital strategy for sharing agendas and meeting minutes online with its residents. It posted PDFs of documents to its website. Realizing CivicPlus offered a much more comprehensive and robust agenda and meeting management solution with its CivicClerk® software, Lebanon upgraded, intending to create an even easier way for staff to manage public meeting records and residents to access the content.
Not only did the process digitally optimize the agenda and meeting minutes compliance process, but it allowed City Leaders to review and streamline its document management processes.
“The way we manage some processes is different from other cities,” said McDonough. “Implementing the agenda and meeting management solution allowed us to consolidate to one set of consistent templates and create a streamlined process for tracking boards and committees. We are looking forward to implementing electronic voting and bookmarks on meeting videos in the near future.”
Lebanon was taking steps toward making more dynamic meeting content available online, in the form of meeting video and audio recordings, when the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the City’s need to enable online meeting access rapidly.
“Before COVID-19, we were working to allow people to watch our meeting proceedings,” said McDonough. “Then suddenly, we needed tools to enable virtual remote participation.” She adds that the technology investment will help Lebanon achieve frictionless resident access experiences and time-saving administrative management.
“With CivicClerk and the integrated CivicPlus Media solution, we won’t need to use multiple tools to stream, record, and post videos to the website. Instead, it can be done automatically through a single integrated solution on the fly.”
A Single Platform and Partner for Creating Positive Civic Experiences
The last component of Lebanon’s CivicPlus software suite is the CivicRec® parks and recreation management solution. Its implementation also represented a digital transformation from paper-based documentation, reservations, and logistics management to an online, resident, self-service solution.
“Now, people can register for sports and programming online as well as purchase reservations and tickets that can be scanned on their phones when they come into our facilities,” said McDonough.
For Lebanon, the result of offering multiple integrated solutions from a single partner with resident and administrative interfaces means the elimination of the password fatigue and functionality training that comes from a diversified tech stack.
“Our staff and the public are so tired of having to sign in to different systems,” said McDonough. “With CivicPlus, we have a platform that offers a single log-in whether you’re signing up for alerts or watching a board meeting, and people really like that. It’s the same for staff. They log into CivicPlus through one interface and can navigate to the different tools.”
Not only does Lebanon value the quality of the technology it receives from CivicPlus, but the people.
“Our customer success manager is fabulous,” said McDonough. “We can go to her and describe a challenge and ask, ‘What tools does CivicPlus have to help us solve this?’ It’s such a time-saver to work with one person who understands what we have in place and our goals and who wants to work with us to achieve them.”