How to get your residents onboard your community engagement efforts

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The global pandemic means that your community engagement is not only more imperative than ever, but also harder to get right. One thing that has become evident is that web sites by themselves haven’t been enough to be successful, which is why a lot of local governments have turned to end user mobile applications to bolster their community engagement efforts. Applications take advantage of the way your residents now prefer to access information and services online – via their mobile device. And they are far more responsive than websites alone. But what’s the best application adoption approach? Even in the best of times, getting users to install and use an application is not always easy. Typically, a person will decide to download an app in only a few seconds, and then decide to delete it just as fast. Impediments to application adoption include:

Registration: Data helps make more informed decisions, so it’s natural for local governments to want more of it. Requiring registration and gathering the details seems like an obvious thing to do. However, it’s counterproductive when building community engagement. Your constituents are now your customers and users, and they expect – frankly, they demand – convenience and ease of use. And a lengthy and intrusive registration process will make a large percentage of them simply give up.  

Privacy: Intertwined with registration issues are privacy concerns that can wreck your community engagement efforts right out of the gate. Users are more wary now than ever of sharing too much of their personally identifiable information online or elsewhere. And it’s not just identity theft – it’s that personal user information can be bundled and sold to telemarketers, advertisers, and spammers. Your residents are well aware their personal data is harvested now, and will resist providing what they deem unnecessary information because of it.  

Notifications: Push notifications in a time of crisis are a blessing. However, your users do not want to be annoyed. Too many notifications, and they’ll simply delete the app.

However, there is a solution which removes these impediments to adoption and has been proven to be successful in helping local governments improve their community engagement. ITsimple can help you create a community engagement strategy designed for the virtual town square, and one optimally geared to build community engagement during the new normal.  

It’sMyTown, ITsimple’s end user application, was designed with usability and ease of adoption in mind. It has:

No lengthy registration requirements:  All users have to do to be up and running is download the free application from either the Apple or Google app stores and select their location. No registration of any kind is required.  

No privacy concerns: It’sMyTown does not ask for, nor store, any user information. Users can be assured their data won’t be misused because they never have to provide it. And from a data management perspective, liability is a concern. Put simply, if you don’t gather the information, then you aren’t responsible for what happens to it if it’s jeopardized or stolen.

Customizable alerts: Users can adjust the level of alerts they receive from none to critical only. But even when notifications are turned off, the application always provides users with a centralized location to find information and access to services.

It’sMyTown is an elegant solution that pairs with SpotlightCMS, our real-time community engagement platform that enables management of multiple publication channels – mobile, web and  social media presences – from one user-friendly dashboard and single data entry point. And it requires no IT backend which empowers municipalities big or small to onboard the platform quickly and efficiently – allowing you to focus on governing. When you’re ready to meet the communication demands of the times, It’sMyTown can help. And when you’re ready to upgrade your web site or entire communications strategy, ITsimple can already be there with a proven strategy for success in place.