Connecting to the Modern Citizen

Connecting to the Modern Citizen
Posted on 08/24/2017
CivicLive Blog - Connecting to the Modern Citizen

Connecting with today’s modern citizen is one of the most important goals for every local government. While it’s incredibly important, being successful in engaging city residents is a constant struggle. How do you encourage and maintain engagement with busy, on-the-go citizens? It might seem impossible, but it’s actually quite simple if you make connecting easier.

Let’s look at three guaranteed ways to connect to today’s modern (and busy) citizen.

Polls & Surveys

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; in order to connect with your residents you must involve them in your municipality’s decision making. The best way to do this? Polls and surveys.

Polls and surveys are a great way to collect data. Even better, they make it easy to connect to every citizen on their time. Polls are effective for gathering consensus on important topics. Surveys can provide more detailed insight into your constituents needs. Best of all, if your government operates using a modern CMS you can digitize both forms of communication, making it easier for citizens to respond to them on their computers, tablets and phones.

Move Your Town Halls Online

Town halls are one of the oldest forums used to connect with citizens (they date back to colonial times!) And while the general set-up of providing a public space wherein citizens can speak directly to government officials to voice concerns and make requests remains the same, some modernization is now possible. Specifically, moving town halls online.

Today’s residents are busy. Finding the time to go to a town hall isn’t always a possibility. Your citizens may be required to work late, or have other commitments (taking the kids to soccer practice, volunteering, etc.). If you stream town halls, they become infinitely more accessible. Moreover, accessibility is a major part of running a successful government. When citizens can access and take part in forums like town halls online, you’re making your government that much more inclusive.

Streaming your town halls makes it easier for your constituents to engage by simplifying how they interact with your government.

Boost Your Social Media Presence

An active social media presence encourages engagement. Social media makes accessing news, particularly breaking news and information, easier than ever. Twitter and Facebook remain the most popular social media accounts for government use as both sites have wide-ranging demographics. You can have dedicated accounts for the various departments within your government — Parks & Recreation, City Council, Public Works, etc. Dedicated channels make finding information and answers to frequently asked questions that much easier. Even better, social media makes asking questions a faster process. Residents following you on Twitter or Facebook can ask questions through those channels.

While not as popular as Twitter and Facebook, an Instagram account can help you show off your city. Encourage citizens to send in the photos they take, and recognize them for the great photos. Social media makes it easy to have fun with your residents. Its fast pace and easy access make connecting and communicating easier for your municipality.

Make it Easy

When you take the onus off your constituents to reach out, and instead provide a variety of easy ways they can express their needs, ask questions and obtain information and news, you’ll find it much easier to focus on what they want. Today’s modern citizens live in a digital world, it’s important that their governments do too.

At CivicLive, we know how important connecting to the modern citizen is and this is reflected in our websites. Learn More.

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