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Why aren’t your constituents engaged and how can digital solutions help solve the problem?

Introduction.

Local governments need to make engaging with their constituents a top priority, however, in order to understand how to better connect with them, it is important why you are having trouble connecting with them in the first place. When you are able to understand the reasons, you are struggling to connect, you will be able to consider all the possible solutions to the problems you are having. We are going to take a look at three reasons why.

1. You’re not reaching out to them enough

If you want to connect with your constituents, you need to reach out to them on a regular basis. This means more than just sending them an occasional email or posting something on social media. You need to make a concerted effort to engage with them and build relationships. Digital solutions can help by making it easier to connect with constituents and collect their feedback. Things like message portals, digital town halls, and digital surveys are all great tools to help you reach out to constituents. The more you are able to reach out, the more likely constituents will be to get involved, and digital solutions can help make that happen.

2. You’re not listening to them

If you want to connect with your constituents, you need to listen to them. This means paying attention to what they’re saying and taking their concerns seriously. Too often, governments fail to do this and as a result, lose the confidence of constituents in their community. If you want to build trust, you need to listen to what people are saying and make an effort to address their concerns. Digital solutions can help by making it easier to collect feedback and track the issues that are most important to constituents. It also helps show you which issues are bothering multiple members of your community and gives you an idea of which issues to correct first. Digital solutions also help keep submitted concerns organized so they don’t get lost or forgotten. Finally, digital solutions help local governments keep track of progress. Let’s look at an example. Let’s say there is a pothole in your community that numerous constituents have reported needs to be fixed. After receiving the reports, you decide to assign the task to the road maintenance department. After a few weeks, you find that you are still getting notified about the same pothole. Now, you need to follow up with the road maintenance department. When you follow up, you will be able to easily show them when the original notifications came in when it was first assigned to them, and the new notifications still coming in. You won’t need to dig through paperwork or look for anything, it is all stored in your digital solution ready to go. It also helps you give updates to the community. For example, you could tell and prove to the new people reporting the pothole that is going to be fixed as it has been assigned to the right department. This helps show them that you care about their concerns and prove that you are doing your best to fix them. This is just one example, however, there are many instances where having a digital solution in place for constituent communication helps both the local government and the constituents get the results they are hoping for.

3. You’re not making it easy for them to get involved

If you want constituents to be more engaged, you need to make it easy for them to get involved. This means providing multiple avenues for engagement and simplifying the process as much as possible. For example, digital solutions can help by allowing constituents to submit their concerns through an online portal or email instead of having to fill out paper forms, mail them in, and wait for a reply. You can also set up things like digital town halls or digital surveys to help collect feedback from a larger group of people. It is also important that these digital solutions also make things easier for the government as well as the constituents. Instead of hosting a live town hall which would require a lot of planning and work, you can introduce digital town halls which require less work and time so you have more time for other things. It also helps keep your office procedures organized so you aren’t constantly taking two steps forward and one step back. Digital solutions also help you move digital transformation projects forward so you can focus on other important things.

Conclusion 

By understanding these three reasons why you might not be connecting with your constituents, you can start to make changes in your community. Remember, digital solutions can help you overcome some of these obstacles and make it easier for everyone to get the results they are looking for. When your constituents feel engaged, listened to, and have the opportunity to get involved, their faith in their local government grows, they become more willing participants, and your community will become and better place.
If your local government is looking to improve the way they communicate with constituents, or digital solutions to help them better engage with their constituents, MyGovLinks is a great option. MyGovLinks is powered by MuniLogic and can help you with everything we mentioned in this article and more. If your local government is ready to embrace digital transformation and begin its journey, MyGovLinks is a great place to start. Visit us today at www.mygovlinks.com to find out more and get started today.

 

About the authors:  

Hannah Hillier

Hannah is a professional content creator and writer. After graduation from the Public Relations program at Cambrian College, Hannah has gone on to start a successful freelance writing career. She is passionate about bringing words to life in a way that makes complicated topics more approachable. From website content to full articles, Hannah loves to find ways to communicate with any audience effectively. She currently lives and works in Sudbury Ontario.

Joseph Edward

Joseph founded INVORG focusing on a client-centric service delivery platform for innovating local organizations, not-for-profits, home and community support organizations, and small to medium-sized businesses. Joseph holds a Chief  Information Officer Certification from Carnegie Melon University, USA, and from the US General Services Administration. He is an IT veteran with over 20 years of leadership in technology, including four years as CTO for the city of London.