While the calendar has turned to a new year, one thing that has continued is uncertainty around the pandemic. That’s not to say there isn’t light at the end of the tunnel, or at least the vaccine needle. There is most definitely room for optimism. But there are still a lot of things local governments will need to do well to ensure their best possible COVID outcomes. One of the areas local governments can focus on that brings immediate benefit is improving their communications strategy and making sure it is optimized for the current COVID environment. After all, even good news needs to be communicated.
The reality is that a lot of decisions about COVID related issues are going to be made on the local level simply because that is where they are being implemented. In turn, that means local governments need to be able to communicate with their constituents much more efficiently, especially when information like vaccine locations and availability can change. Local governments need a COVID communications strategy that can:
Quickly communicate updated information
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself with more doses of COVID vaccine than you had anticipated? How would you let your community know? Local governments need to be able to connect their constituents to updated vital information rapidly and efficiently. They need to not only be able to send emergency alerts when necessary, but also cover the nuts and bolts of pandemic management by communicating information about testing sites, vaccine locations, and more.
Implement consistent messaging
When your web site is updated, do those changes ripple across all your messaging platforms? Local governments need to make sure their messaging is consistent across all their communication methods and that their social media accounts and websites don’t offer conflicting information. This helps not only ensure that you communicate to each resident via their preferred method of communication, but also that they can trust they are receiving the latest and most accurate official government communication.
Centralize information and access
Providing excellent customer service is another method of enabling community engagement. Local governments need to make it easy for their citizens to access information and services, not harder. Even providing resources like directory listings for government entities like the Department of Health makes a big difference. And local governments need to ensure their constituents have a place to offer direct but private feedback.
Work with existing resources
A loss of tax revenue due to COVID means local governments of all sizes will have to deal with constrained resources. With a new federal government coming soon, there should be more funding available to local governments – at least in theory. However, even if more resources are coming, they won’t be delivered immediately. In the short term, local governments need to be able to communicate more efficiently, but to do so effectively and while preserving resources. Most local governments will simply lack the finances to invest in new hardware or staff, and if possible need to find solutions that work with their existing infrastructure.
COVID means that now more than ever local governments need a cost-effective communications solution that gives them broad communication coverage, lets them effectively and efficiently convey updated information, and also streamlines their content publication and management processes. ITsimple works with you to provide a cost-effective community engagement solution that protects your bottom line while also helping you increase your productivity. 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. It gives you the power to publish what you want, where you want, and when you want. SpotlightCMS pairs with a free end user 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. 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.
When you’re ready to meet the communication demands of the times, ITsimple can help. And when you’re ready to upgrade your web site or entire communications strategy, ITsimple can be there with a proven strategy for success in place.