January 9, 2012

5 Inexpensive and Easy Ways Governments Can Humanize Their Online Presence

MANY GOVERNMENT websites don't "connect" with citizens. Often they are cold, bureaucratic warrens where it can be difficult to find what you are looking for and even harder to get help.

Here are some inexpensive, quick and easy ways for public sector sites - especially those of elected officials - to "connect" with constituents and help humanize online efforts.

1. Post some photos - maybe even a couple of portrait photos so people can put a "face" on the department, agency or government. Consider a Flickr account.

2. Respond quickly to citizen inquiries. Try live chat.

3. Listen to what people are saying about your organization by doing some web intelligence work. Check "Yelp."

4. Develop a voice. Have a conversation rather than a top down communication strategy. Use social media like Facebook and/or Twitter.

5. Use multiple distribution channels. Be certain to consider using video - remember, it's a "visual world."

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