When the weather turns cold, people start thinking about the holidays, and also about how the season will impact their daily lives. Local government offices start getting questions like “Will my trash service be changed because of Thanksgiving?” and “What can I do with all the leaves collecting in my yard?”
Municipalities across North America share a common goal to increase community engagement, but their understanding of what that means and how to achieve it are less clear. Let’s define engagement as involving citizens in decision-making processes to build policies that benefit the community.
The polls are closed, the votes tallied and the speeches done. The 2016 General Election was a dramatic experience for many, and for local government leaders it was no exception. With all eyes on the polls, many municipalities used a variety of digital channels to support their citizens’ efforts, ensuring residents had everything they needed before, during and after the voting process.
You may know it’s time to overhaul your website, but how do you lay the foundation for improvements – even before a redesign project is approved? At Vision we work with agencies every day that are striving to build the best website experience possible to their residents. After so many opportunities to partner with agencies in this position we’ve gotten a good idea of how to lay the ground work for a successful project.
Traditionally, local government has thought about civic engagement in terms of how many people participated in official meetings, signed petitions or called their representatives. Engagement was, and often still is, used as a buzzword that doesn’t mean much. “We aim to improve engagement,” leaders may say, but this statement is rarely accompanied by a clear definition, reasons why or measurements of success.
If you manage or contribute to your local government website, chances are you have a good idea of what isn’t working. The site may be hard to update. It might have thousands of outdated pages.
Across the United States, cities and counties, big and small, are gearing up for Election Day on November 8th. In addition to the highly publicized national and state contests, local governments must also prepare for a broad variety of political races, measures and propositions.
After a while, it starts to become obvious when a municipal website needs an overhaul. Everyone from citizens to web editors to elected officials make comments that the site looks old, or is hard to use, or is too cluttered. While it’s easy to say your site needs help, it’s more challenging to know how to approach the improvements.
The augmented reality (AR) app that’s riveted the nation has also created new opportunities and headaches for communities across the nation. Pokémon Go has gotten folks off the couch and into the nation’s parks, shopping districts and monuments – not to mention parking lots, alleys and backyards.
It’s not so hard to get social media engagement when you have a great story to tell – a new restaurant opening, an exciting new event – but what about when your update is a little less interesting to citizens? How do you get residents to tune into your reminder about the upcoming census or water conservation rules? We asked our panelists during our recent Social Media Webinar (view a recording here), and they had some great examples of how to liven up government news announcements using video.