Doing more with less: How to improve your Community Engagement on a budget

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Community engagement on a budget

COVID-19 changed everything for local governments, from an immediate need to implement effective crisis management and communications to the ongoing impact of addressing reduced tax revenue and a consequently shrinking budget. Put simply, local governments not only need to do more with less, but to do it better and faster. Constituent needs don’t go away during a crisis – they become greater. And frankly, so do their expectations. A recent Atlas survey revealed 54% of citizens now expect government services to be offered online and 30% expect those processes to become simpler. Your constituents are now customers who demand the same level of service from their local governments as they do their internet provider. They want to be able to access information and services online without having to hunt for it, be able to rely on service that is dependable, and get issues resolved with talking to a human reserved only as a measure of last resort. It’s not only a matter of convenience but also of safety.

Local governments understand the struggle because they have been living it, and their priorities have shifted accordingly. Community engagement, public health, and small business support all are going to play more of a fundamental role going forward than they might have in the recent past because now those things are no longer a choice. Local governments need to be able to create a reliable and trusted method of crisis communication for their citizens that allows them to update their community in real-time with urgent information regarding the pandemic and the changes it causes, provide online access to government services and billpay opportunities, and support local businesses by communicating their availability and status.

For budget conscious local governments, ITsimple’s SpotlightCMS is a cost-effective investment that can help you implement effective crisis communications on a budget, streamline your content publication processes, and improve your community engagement and support. ITsimple helps you implement a full communications solution geared to match the needs of the ‘new normal.’ With Spotlight CMS, you can simultaneously publish all your content updates across your website, app, and social media presences when information changes rapidly, saving you both time and money. ITsimple enables you to communicate in real-time with urgent information, centralize local government information and make it easy to access, and provide support for local businesses by sharing their information and integrating with delivery applications. ITsimple helps you localize your crisis communications and better reflect the needs of their unique circumstances and constituent needs, and build community engagement while doing so.SpotlightCMS pairs with a free end user mobile app, It’sMyTown, that puts information and services in one location for your residents and makes it far easier for them to engage and find the information they need. As efforts and information continue to evolve, It’sMyTown and SpotlighCMS work in tandem to communicate those changes to residents directly and immediately. It enables local governments to leverage technology to provide world class customer service to their residents and improve their community engagement across the board. It’sMyTown is freely available from Apple and Google app stores, has no privacy concerns or social media dependency because no registration is required and no personal information is gathered or stored, and helps build a sense of community and support local engagement. And it’s fully compliant with all privacy regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act.