There was a time when social media, websites, and apps that while fun and interesting didn’t really have a place in everyday life, much less local government. However, now to engage your community local governments are expected to spend time at community events, put stories in the local paper, and stay active on various social media channels!
Local governments are now expected to have the latest and greatest web features and use tools like GIS to improve the efficiency and transparency of service delivery. This can all feel very daunting, especially if you are updating your digital strategy for the first time in a few years. A lot has changed recently but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch up and start getting the most out of the newly available technologies!
Engaging people the old fashion way is still one of the most effective forms of civic engagement and one that your local government should still be using today. However with Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instigram, Linkedin, Pinterest, and more you should also create a comprehensive social media strategy.
Has your local government considered using cloud-based technologies? If so check out this informative blog post that includes information on what “the cloud” can do for your local government and the best cloud related resources on the Knowledge Network.
Have you seen the interactive maps on some local government websites and thought that might be an interesting feature? Well then you need to read this blog post “Discover What GIS Can Do For Your Community.” Geographic Information Systems can now do so much more that just display static maps, they can allow you to track services in real time and for citizens to see what is going on in their community. This increase in transparency can be very beneficial to your local government and community!
Even apps are starting to be used by some especially tech savvy local governments! There is no reason your local government should be left out of the app revolution. Even if you don’t have an app developer or someone in the local government who knows how to code you can engage community members with coding talent. This is a great way to build community and allow citizens to use your open data to create apps that they believe will be beneficial.
While you may feel that your local government’s website is fine and functional it may be time for a revamp. It is easy to underestimate the power of a good website but think of your favorite websites and think of how visually appealing and easy to use they are and how awesome it would be if your local government website was a little more like them! Good news is there are web design RFPs on the Knowledge Network along with tips on design and hosting if you are taking a do it yourself approach.
Get inspired by these links and make making the most of technology your summer project! If you have any questions as your embark on your path to a more tech savvy local government please feel free to ask! If you are thinking it there are likely 10 other local government officials out there with the same question.