Engaging with citizens can be challenging. Not all citizens are interested in the same things, and not every current issue is relevant to every person. Automating citizen engagement requires careful attention to organizing your tools to ensure that people receive the correct information. Citizens also need to be updated on policy or events that are important to them. A solution like this requires advanced tools that won’t swamp the city officials with cumbersome or expensive combinations of tools.
Usually, citizen engagement might be restricted to a newsletter. However, this does not have to be the case. Citizen engagement can take many forms, from vote reminders to announcements to service interruptions and more. Numerous varied apps or solutions can be applied to make a patchwork engagement system, but this ultimately does little to help staff or citizens, as things frequently tend to fall into gaps between solutions.
Now, these solutions get the job done. But they have limitations too. One of the primary limitations is that if one tool goes down or requires maintenance, any kind of engagement can grind to a halt. A single, centralized solution that can manage these requests and ensure that the correct engagement messages reach the public at the correct times. Setting something like that up probably sounds complicated and technical.
We have a better solution, however, that doesn’t require technical knowledge or long training periods. Using a SimplyCast use case, users can learn as necessary and rely on pre-built solutions to solve specific problems one at a time until they have a comprehensive, multi-case platform built.
To mitigate the issues that normally come with building something like this, a digital solution should be adopted so the engagement process can operate seamlessly and without having to handshake with other applications. For that purpose, you’ll need:
- A means of collecting contact information of citizens
- A way to send emergency alerts, informational surveys, or general engagement messages
- A system that logs citizen engagement data to refine engagement efforts
In this blog, we are presenting a four-step strategy to set up an automated citizen engagement solution that allows hundreds of citizens to be engaged with at once. This solution will also help cities to keep their finger on the pulse of their citizenry, addressing the most urgent needs while also being aware of developing situations.
Step 1: Collecting Citizen Data
In this step, the city can collect citizen information for engagement purposes. This can be done with an online form that can be accessed online or by scanning physical QR codes. When the form is filled out, automation tools will review the criteria provided and correctly organize citizen data to ensure that the right messages can be sent to the right individuals. Accuracy of messaging is important, as even in casual engagement the city needs to maintain a level of authority.
Step 2: Set Up Engagement
From alerts and surveys to newsletters and SMS messages, engagement can take many forms. In order to ensure that engagement is effective, the right types of messages need to be sent to the right people. Messages have to be timely and as much as possible, without error. Communication also needs to be consistent. In order to achieve all this, messages need to be templated ahead of time. This is relatively easy to do when your automation tools are all seamlessly integrated with one another in a single solution.
Step 3: Reports and Dashboards
When engagement is sent to citizens, reports will be generated with information detailing all of the message interactions. This message interaction can be used to improve further engagement and understand how the public engages with city leadership. Dashboards can also be set up to enable the city to send certain urgent engagement such as emergency alerts or traffic issues with the click of a single button. Doing this speeds up engagement further. This can increase efficiency and speed of response. Maximize the ability of the city to respond to dynamic situations as they unfold by combining report data with rapid-deployment messages.
To implement this solution, you’ll need the right digital tools to ensure that all the steps in this strategy are executed perfectly. For that, you will need a digital form builder, email marketing software, SMS marketing software, voice broadcasting software, and a CRM. These applications should work together seamlessly, and issues should not result in a loss of service unless the entire solution is unavailable. Furthermore, you need to be able to expand your services at a moment’s notice to deal with unforeseen circumstances. You also want to be able to add new capabilities without too much trouble. A versatile, secure and consistent solution goes a long way to ensuring the city leadership is consistent, engaging and accessible.
This might seem like a lot of work, especially if you feel like you need to build something in-house. It can feel like an insurmountable task to achieve all these results on a timeline that often only includes a few years at a time.
Fortunately, SimplyCast anticipated the growing demand of a digital citizen engagement solution and brings you a complete platform which is 100 percent ready to go. Using our internal resources, digital engagement tools and marketing automation technology, we have built a solution that can take care of every task involved in your citizen engagement strategy. You can even expand this platform to help deal with other issues you may be facing in the future, only having to learn as much at one time as you can manage.
The SimplyCast platform is a no-code platform that allows anyone to build and edit their solution. As a result, this solution is fully customizable, it can be tweaked or altered to meet the exact needs of every institution.
Don’t worry about scalability and security! SimplyCast is an ISO 27001:2013-certified company with data centers in the USA and Canada. This means we can assure you that your confidential data is safe on our secure server and the messages you transmit are completely encrypted. Our platform has the capacity to send 100,000+ messages every hour and allows 10,000+ concurrent sessions. We can also acquire additional gateways and servers if you need them.
Most importantly, we have a 99.5% minimum uptime. With our solution, you can have peace of mind.
Don’t wait! Our experts are ready to give you a one-on-one demo to explain how this solution works.
Simply request a personalized demo of the solution with our account management team today. Click the button below and let us know you’re looking at UC0000189 Citizen Engagement.
We can further help you develop automated city support features to improve quality of life. Together we can build cities that are more efficient and helpful to everyone that lives in them.