Communicating with Your ConstituentsThe ability to reach out and communicate with citizens in new ways is vitally important for state and local governments. Technology is growing at a rapid pace and the demand for real-time information is at an all time high. In order for governments to keep up with these demands, they must adapt and communicate frequently through multiple channels for maximum impact.

It is crucial to remember that each government has different needs. Governments must emphasize their individual services and programs – promoting public meetings, community events, and online town hall meetings is a great way to engage constituents.

Information for these events must be readily available, especially via the Internet. The easier it is to access this information, the more likely they are to have a good turnout and a great event.

Here are several ways to make this interaction happen:

  • Host a public meeting, such as a town hall meeting
    • Present news and information
    • Allow the citizens to voice their opinions and concerns
    • And unfortunately, create conflict or raise argumentative questions from citizens
  • Create regular community open houses
    • Informal
    • One-on-one interactions
    • Showcase local businesses
    • Build relationships
  • Community advisory groups
    • Gather a group of diverse citizens that represent the community values and interests
    • Could be leaders, civic groups, governmental agencies, business owners, or prominent residents

Using these tools to communicate effectively will build trust, provide transparency, and demonstrate the value of government services.

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