In a 2021 Center for Digital Government survey, 90% of local government leaders agreed that constituent engagement represents a key part of their mission. Further, over 60% point to digital tools and an important way to engage with constituents and promote transparency.
In the past, constituent engagement meant in-person community forums, direct mail campaigns, or public meetings. Today’s constituents expect government officials to prioritize community building, connection and communication using modern digital tools. These technologies streamline the information delivery process and improve government transparency. Constituents also find it easier to access public services and report community matters when agencies leverage virtual tools.
The Importance Of Digital Tools For Constituent Engagement
Digital technology connects constituents to state and local government officials, improving accessibility and user experience. By prioritizing the communication experience for the constituent, government agencies improve the quality of feedback, foster a sense of community, and build trust between constituents and government agencies.
Through the use of digital tools, engaging with constituents becomes more efficient and streamlined, leading to greater engagement and participation from the community. This increased efficiency not only benefits community involvement, but also results in substantial cost savings.
Improve Communication With Constituents
Government agencies face several challenges when communicating with constituents. First there is the issue of accessibility. Many traditional forms of constituent engagement are just not accessible for a large number of constituents. Additionally, outdated, expensive methods including face-to-face meetings shut out many constituents and hinders communication. Digital solutions make it easier to connect with the community and encourage a dialogue.
Secure and Direct Communication With Social Media And Messages
More than 70% of Americans use social media, according to Pew Research Center––and that number jumps to nearly 85% for young adults. Social media offers a powerful tool to connect with constituents. By using digital tools, including social media, text, and email, government agencies can improve the constituent experience and encourage feedback.
Electronic delivery can streamline the notification process, making it more efficient for both agencies and constituents. Implementing digital tools can simplify the process of delivering important documents such as water bills and jury notifications to constituents. Government agencies can utilize electronic channels to connect with their constituents and deliver important documents quickly, saving time and money.
Enable Better Participation and Feedback With Constituents
Effective constituent engagement methods improve the quality of community participation and feedback. In addition, successful engagement builds community trust and empowers constituents.
Digital tools have already transformed government information dissemination. By providing information quickly and effectively, particularly during emergency situations, government agencies strengthen the community and foster trust.
Giving your Constituents A Voice
The digital age has boosted political engagement, and online engagement continues to grow. In 2023, according to research, online contact to government officials is almost the same as offline methods.
Giving constituents a voice benefits communities and the government and valuable public feedback can guide government decision-making. With digital solutions, constituents feel they have a voice on decisions that affect their communities. Fostering communication provides valuable feedback while also encouraging public engagement and participation.
Empower Constituents To Report On Matters
Communities understand their needs and the challenges they face; however, too often constituents do not know how to forward important information to the authorities. Digital tools increase community engagement by providing a method to communicate about local crime, safety issues and public health problems. Empowering constituents to report on community issues connects communities with government services and builds trust between the community and the government.
Organize Virtual Town Halls
Online town halls and other forms of constituent engagement that leverage digital tools offer several advantages to in-person constituent engagement. As a more accessible option, virtual town halls bring in a broader representation of the community. In addition to increasing participation, virtual town halls offer a budget-friendly form of constituent engagement.
Virtual Town Halls Eliminate Geography Obstacles
In both dense urban areas and sprawling rural counties, geography and transportation present obstacles for constituent engagement. Virtual town halls eliminate that barrier by allowing constituents to participate from home. Similarly, at the state level, online town halls increase accessibility for constituents who cannot travel across the state to participate.
Greatly Save On Costs For Other Opportunities
In-person town halls can be expensive. Meeting in person requires facility space, security and staff to manage logistics. By moving to a virtual format, government agencies save on costs. Lowering budgetary expenses for face-to-face meetings means more resources for other forms of constituent engagement.
Recruit Hartman Executive Advisors To Start Taking Charge Of Your Constituency Engagement
If you are among the 90% of government leaders who rank constituent engagement as a top priority, Hartman Executive Advisors can help you implement digital solutions to connect with constituents. Contact our team today to improve communication with constituents and benefit from greater participation.