Local governments are now expected to be digital

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As the pandemic changed the world, it put enormous pressure on local governments to perform. What had been a gradual transition to offer more digital services and communications suddenly became a race of necessity. When buildings were closed during the shutdown, local governments quickly found out community needs didn’t stop but only increased. Thankfully, the pandemic numbers are improving and will continue to allow for safe re-openings of businesses and government offices alike. However, that doesn’t mean the services and strategies that local governments employed during the pandemic can go away. In fact, they are now expected. In essence, the pandemic served to reset expectations for what local governments could deliver virtually. Local governments need to understand it’s no longer about confronting the pandemic as much as it is doing what’s best for their constituents.

In 2021, a lack of modernization is no longer tolerable for local governments or their residents. To be successful in their community engagement efforts, local governments will need to embrace a communications strategy that blends their pandemic approach with what’s coming next. Local governments need to be able to deliver information in a clear, consistent, secure and structured manner. They need to be able to build trust with their constituents via transparency into decision making by sharing meetings and providing safe access to provide officials with feedback. Conversely, they also need to understand that while their citizens want more online functionality and flexibility, they want to offer less of their personal information. Much less. Finally, they need to embrace solutions that support accessibility, both in terms of ADA requirements but also in terms of how citizens access information. In other words, solutions must be able to reach your residents in the ways they already use to access information and services – via their mobile devices.

Local governments need to understand their digital infrastructure is now as important as their physical infrastructure. 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 transition back to normal and beyond. With ITsimple, local officials have a safe place to share announcements, report on achievements, and publish blog posts via an end user application. ITsimple makes publication of content easy, efficient, and effective via SpotlightCMS, ITsimple’s turnkey community engagement solution. SpotlightCMS is a real-time community engagement platform that enables management of multiple publication channels – mobile, web and all social media presences – from one user-friendly dashboard and single data entry point that requires no code or technical skills. It gives you the power to publish what you want, where you want, and when you want. And since it’s cloud based, it has no IT backend requirements which empowers municipalities big or small to onboard the platform quickly and efficiently – allowing you to focus on governing.

SpotlightCMS pairs with free end user apps like It’sMyTown and CityGuards that put information and services in one location for your 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.

When you’re ready to meet the communication demands of the times, ITsimple can help. And when you’re ready to upgrade your website or entire communications strategy, ITsimple is ready to help with a proven solution for success in place.