We are pleased to announce the availability of visionPulse, the latest addition to Vision's product family. visionPulse is a community engagement platform that enables local governments to gauge the public's opinion on important issues and turn that feedback into actionable results.
Community or citizen engagement in local government has been getting a lot of attention recently as agencies strive to become more transparent and responsive to the needs of their citizens.
In our What's Next survey last year, 98% of the respondents identified citizen engagement as essential or important to their organization and 100% said it would have a significant impact on local government operations by 2020.
Yet, despite its acknowledged importance, more than 81% cited citizen engagement as one of the top 3 issues needing improvement and only 5% rated their agency “outstanding” in effective engagement.
Why Isn't Engagement Happening?
The fact that agencies almost universally identified engagement as a goal, but also almost universally rated performance poorly was intriguing to us. We set out to understand what challenges they faced and how, if at all, we would be able to help. Through significant research that included meeting with local government officials across North America, we determined two leading causes of low engagement:
- Citizens simply aren’t aware of available engagement opportunities - Too often, discussion forums are buried deep within the website or simply not promoted extensively enough to residents. This significantly limits the exposure of issues and, by extension, the number of people who participate.
- Staff often don’t have time to keep topics updated - Logging into multiple tools to update the website, discussion forums, social media and more is time consuming and makes it difficult for staff to keep messaging consistent. As a result, issues that might have otherwise been opened to the public are forgotten or overlooked.
How Does visionPulse Help?
Because of our role in developing the primary website presence of local government agencies, we found we were uniquely positioned to address these challenges by:
- Maximizing visibility of open topics - Residents typically come to government websites to perform specific tasks, not to seek out opportunities to engage. But, if while they’re performing other tasks, they’re able to easily find out about issues and topics that are relevant to them, they’re more likely to participate. Because visionPulse is integrated with the visionLive CMS, you can tag open topics to associate them with specific departments, projects or themes so they will display alongside related content throughout the website.
- Simplifying administration for staff – visionPulse’s interface allows staff to update the topic, promote it throughout the website, send email notifications and update social media channels with a single publish. Not only does this simplify the process of creating and maintaining a topic, but also ensures accuracy and consistency between all the communication channels.
Ready to Take the Pulse of Your Community?
If you’d like to learn more about visionPulse and how it can help your agency more effectively engage residents, request a demonstration. (Or, if you’re a current visionLive customer, contact us to learn more about how to get started with a free 60 day trial.)
Check out this additional information on visionPulse: