How to garner better community feedback

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When it’s harder than ever to meet in person, local governments can often find it difficult to take the pulse of their populace with the ease they once did. Interacting with the community, whether at planned civic events or randomly in restaurants, provided invaluable feedback that is hard to replicate in our current climate. And feedback from residents is extremely important in helping governments and elected officials make informed decisions about the issues that are the most important to their constituents.

Sometimes those issues can be simple. Are scooters a public menace or a handy convenience that helps spur business? Where do they make sense, and where do they not? And other issues can obviously be more complex, such as crafting the right balance of business and health concerns during the pandemic. But regardless of their complexity, each of those is harder to get right without garnering the opinion of your constituents.

However, there is a solution for gathering community feedback that matches both the times and how your constituents already access information. ITsimple can help you get the feedback you need while also increasing your community engagement. First, SpotlightCMS, our secure single point of entry content management platform, lets you simply craft and add polls that you can simultaneously publish across all your social media channels at once. Polls are a proven and reliable method of gathering community feedback. They can help you determine what issues are the most important to your community, gain a sense of what is on residents’ minds, and garner feedback on any topic you desire. 

And for more complex issues, the It’sMyTown end user mobile application includes a directory of all city officials and public facing departments with options for communication. By making it easy for users to contact the individuals and email addresses of your choice, it removes the barriers that make residents give up when trying to dig that same information out of a website or in search results. It simply makes it far more likely that a resident will take the time to make their opinion known to you when it’s easy to do so.

The added bonus of the It’sMyTown user application is that user privacy is protected.  It doesn’t require user registration, only a free download to their mobile device – something they already use to access information and services online. Nor does It’sMyTown collect personal information of any kind, so users don’t have to worry about their information being sold to third party advertisers. Again, knowing their information remains private makes it that much more likely your residents will take the time to offer their opinion, whether via a poll or a message. That same ease of use also applies when residents want to report an issue. With camera and location based reporting, they can simply submit a photo of the problem instead of having to spend time talking to city hall.

Most local governments know how to create the content they need to increase community engagement, but perhaps not the best methods for both sharing that content and garnering feedback from their constituents. With Spotlight CMS and its tandem user app It’sMyTown, local governments can quickly improve their community engagement, shorten the time needed to manage their content and publication, and create the necessary avenues to get the feedback they need to make informed decisions. It’s part of the user first, customer service approach that we bring to everything ITsimple does. And we can help you deliver that same level of service to your constituents.