Communities of all sizes are now expected to offer online access to services and information as a matter of course. But for years, smaller communities haven’t been able to match their larger counterparts in what services and information they could digitally offer to their constituents. Like most software, community engagement and content publication solutions have been designed for larger communities with the budgets capable of purchasing enterprise grade software that could scale to whatever number of users is needed. That left a lot of smaller communities dependent on ‘free’ website frameworks like WordPress that require manual updates and extensive IT support, among other things. Conversely, it also left many larger communities with huge purchases that didn’t always come with a return that matched the investment.
Regardless of size, many communities now find their solution simply doesn’t fit their needs. If nothing else, the pandemic proved that community engagement is not something any sized city can afford to fail at. But as things return to normal, local governments now have an opportunity to improve their community engagement strategy to take advantage of what the pandemic revealed. Those lessons include:
Digital community engagement must happen on your residents’ terms. They want to be able to access information and services the same way they access everything else – via their mobile device. And they don’t want to register or hand over any private information.
Cities are now required to be more transparent in their decision making than ever before, including legally mandated postings of city meetings, etc.
Solutions can’t come with as many problems as they solve. Manual updates, maintenance impacts, and cyber risks all have costs, both in what it takes to prevent issues and then correct them once they occur.
Social media can only supplement a communications strategy, not be the totality of it.
A unified engagement platform can save communities of all sizes significant time and money while increasing their productivity.
The technology gap is no longer just about affordability, but what can be offered online with the most benefit to your constituents and the least amount of impact to your productivity. ITsimple helps communities of all sizes revamp their communications strategy to best meet the needs of their constituents. ITsimple provides quality solutions at a fraction of the cost of prior solutions, ensuring that there are scalable options for small towns looking to update their technology and resident communications and ways for larger communities to offer more online options while paying less for them.
ITsimple offers a complete community engagement and content management ecosystem that includes new secure and ADA compliant modern websites, easy publication of content, and end user mobile applications that all work together to create not just a strategy but a solution. With Spotlight CMS, one person can simultaneously manage all content publication across your web site and social media channels like Facebook. And because it’s a cloud based zero code solution, they can do it with no IT support required. SpotlightCMS pairs with free end user apps like It’sMyTown and CityGuards that put information and services in one location for residents and make it far easier for them to engage and find the information they need. The apps are freely available from Apple and Google app stores, have no privacy concerns or social media dependency because no registration is required and no personal information is gathered or stored, and help build a sense of community and support local engagement. It’sMyTown and CityGuards gives residents information access options and perfectly complements your web site by enabling notifications and the ability to save events with ease.
Any sized local government looking to upgrade their website and improve resident communications and engagement with real online presence should consider ITsimple community engagement solutions. When you’re ready to improve your digital communications, ITsimple can help. And when you’re ready to upgrade your website or entire communications strategy, ITsimple is available with a proven solution for success in place.