It’s safe to say the pandemic made 2020 a uniquely challenging year for local governments and their citizens alike. After closely working with local governments over the past year to improve their community engagement efforts and publication processes, here are some of the things we think local governments should consider during the upcoming year when selecting their community engagement solutions.
Less spending at local restaurants and businesses also means less tax revenue for local governments to collect. And it’s far from certain yet that any federal money will be allocated to help out on the local government level. Any community engagement solution needs to not only be cost effective, but also be able to deliver on what it promises in value and features. Local governments should remember that holistic solutions that can work across departments without making additional support requirements often wind up being more cost effective than a hodgepodge of publication management tools that don’t communicate.
At a minimum, local governments will not only need to be able to do more with less, but also to do it better. Community engagement solutions will need to seamlessly work across multiple departments from HR to IT without impacting any of them. Local governments need solutions designed with ease of use and speed in mind that save them time, conflicts, and headaches.
Providing digital services:
The local governments who achieved the best community engagement results in 2020 relied heavily on technology to do so. That shift will only increase in 2021 as the services and information that local governments started offering during the pandemic are not only going to be expected to be provided permanently, but also to be improved. Your citizens are now your customers with their own sets of demands and expectations.
Privacy and Image:
Privacy concerns are only going to increase, both from the perspective of protecting any data that is stored or gathered, and from meeting compliance initiatives. On top of that, users do not like handing over any personally identifiable information and find it annoying. Conversely, local governments and elected officials both need to worry about their public image. No matter the position you take, somebody will disagree with it online. When you are an elected official or government representative, you have first amendment responsibilities as far as leaving the comments section open on a web site.
ITsimple is a solution designed for 2021
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 offers SpotlightCMS, a 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. And it gives local government a means of message control, with a centralized place for publication of announcements and blog posts and a method of controlling comments.
SpotlightCMS pairs with a free end user app, It’sMyTown, that puts information and services in one location for city residents and makes it far easier for them to engage and find the information they need instead of giving up out of frustration. 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 trust 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.