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CivicPlus Blog

SendSmarts | Keys to Writing Attention-Grabbing Email Subject Lines

Posted by Lesli Keister

Jan 30, 2015 10:00:00 AM

All the great email content in the world isn't going to do your local gov a bit of good if no one opens your email – which is why you need attention-grabbing headlines.

So here are the first 5 top tips to apply to become a master at writing subject lines (and check back next week for 5 more)...

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Topics: SendSmarts, Email Marketing, CivicSend

The HR File Room | What Skills Matter Most to Recruiters?

Posted by Lesli Keister

Jan 29, 2015 10:00:00 AM

We're almost to the end of January, when a lot of recruiting for new job requisitions is typically taking place. How did the first few weeks go? Are you finding the very best candidates for your openings? Do you have a firm set of hard or soft skills that matter most to you? 

A recent infographic, published by Beyond.com, examines the hard vs. soft skills that matter most to recruiters. The study shows that 56% of HR pros value interpersonal skills (soft skills) over technical expertise (hard skills). Yet 69% of recruiters say they evaluate a candidate's hard skills before looking at their soft skills. Let's take a closer look at this graphic...

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Topics: CivicHR, Applicant Tracking

5 Essentials to Building a Website That Will Strengthen Your Community

Posted by CivicPlus

Jan 27, 2015 10:00:00 AM

THE 5 ESSENTIALS – Cultivating a Strong, Vibrant, Connected Community
For 2015, we've listened to questions local government thought-leaders are asking – the challenges communities are facing – to see how we could help. We're focusing on what matters most. What's essential? How can you reach your goals with confidence?

In today's world, a mobile-responsive, citizen-focused website is a priority solution. And to help you get started on upgrading or redesigning your web presence, we've identified 5 Essentials to guide you through the process of developing a site your community and organization will not only love at launch, but really use for years to come.

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Topics: website design, Best Practices, government website design, citizen engagement, 5 Essentials

SendSmarts | A 3-Step Guide to Mobile Messaging

Posted by Lesli Keister

Jan 23, 2015 10:00:00 AM

What do citizens want?  "Mobile content!"

When do they want it?  "Now!"

I recently read the following paragraph on a popular marketing blog: Consumers have made a dramatic shift toward mobile, and it's time for marketers to start making plans for mobile campaigns as well as permanently adding mobile to their marketing toolkits. Marketers should focus particular attention on mobile messaging, because sending and receiving messages is the top mobile activity across all demographics.

Are your citizens the same consumers mentioned above? And aren't you trying to engage them in a two-way conversation on behalf of your community? To me, that makes you a marketer... and one that needs a similar mobile strategy.

Mobile messaging presents a wealth of opportunities to effectively reach your citizens. And mobile messaging campaigns are easier to implement than you might think. In fact, the process can be summarized in three steps.

The following insights will help you incorporate mobile messaging into an existing communication plan...

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Topics: mobile government, SendSmarts, CivicSend

The HR File Room | Why Traditional Job Descriptions Don't Cut It

Posted by Lesli Keister

Jan 22, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Traditional, skills-based job descriptions are still being used by many local governments, but these types of job descriptions are not as effective as they once were.

If your recruiting efforts focus mostly on jobs with traditional descriptions, it's possible that you're missing out on the opportunity to hire an employee who is a close match for the job opening.

There's a better way.

Performance profiles allow you to take a closer look at the candidate to determine if they are the right person for the job.

To see this contrast, let's look at traditional job descriptions and performance profiles side by side.

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Topics: CivicHR, Applicant Tracking, HR Best Practices

SendSmarts | Get Your 2015 Communication Calendar

Posted by Penny Lasater

Jan 16, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Do you need a calendar to organize your citizen communications? A place to turn your to-do's into actual tactics? A tool to organize communications from various departments?

We believe the answer is yes and here's why...

If you're like me, you are knee-deep in planning your 2015 communication efforts in hopes of meeting your engagement goals. I find an editorial calendar helpful in keeping me organized, consistent, and on track. I think you'll find it useful too! 

Gone are the days of occasionally sending out an email, or throwing up a social media post, and hoping your citizens are reading your messaging (let alone engaging with it).

A well-thought-out communication plan makes it easy to stay organized and consistent in your efforts, especially when multiple departments are responsible for communications. Never again will you be scratching your head, wondering what to say to your citizens – you'll have it planned out!

This free calendar will allow you to:

  • Craft overall themes by month, with 2015 holidays already included
  • Develop weekly or daily messaging with promotional strategy
  • Set & track goals for maximized efficiency and effectivenes
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Topics: SendSmarts, Email Marketing, CivicSend

The HR File Room | What's Your HR Focus in 2015?

Posted by Lesli Keister

Jan 15, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The new year begins and with it comes a new set of annual goals to set... and achieve. What is on your to-do list in 2015? Is it recruiting enough applicants? Finding the right hire? Getting through all of the onboarding paperwork? Or maybe it’s employee satisfaction and performance?

Are you struggling to do all of these things without an integrated, automated HR system?

We know it can make your job easier, help you work smarter, and we'd love to show you how sometime. But before we get to that point, we want to create an environment – a community – where you can learn, share ideas, and come back to when you need help from your peers.

To do this though, we need to hear from you!

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Topics: CivicHR, HR Best Practices

2015 Webinar Series: The 5 Essentials

Posted by CivicPlus

Jan 13, 2015 1:30:00 PM

What's Essential?
As a local government thought-leader, you’re always working toward a better tomorrow for your community. 

In working with more than 1,700 governments over the past decade, we’ve learned there’s no such thing as one-size-fits all solution.

Ask yourself:

  • What does your better tomorrow look like? 
  • Where do you start and how do you get there? 
  • How can a government website help?

To help you answer these questions, we've identified 5 Essentials to building a trustworthy website. We'll be unpacking each one throughout the year through info-packed webinars, tip sheets, and more.

Keeping it Simple
Recently, ICMA (International City/County Management Association), an organization of local government leaders dedicated to building sustainable communities, asked CivicPlus CMO Mike Honeywell to share these 5 essential steps with their membership. 

You can read his article, The Simple Guide to Building a Website Your Citizens Will Love, to get a sneak peak of the exciting discoveries we have lined up for you this year.

And speaking of our line-up, here are the first three webinars you'll want to check out... Register today!

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Topics: Best Practices, government website, CivicPlus, webinar, citizen engagement, 5 Essentials

SendSmarts | Why Are My Email Open Rates So Low?

Posted by Lesli Keister

Jan 9, 2015 10:00:00 AM

You spend hours crafting your email message, only to see a low open rate once your message has been sent. There could be a number of reasons (and remedies) for your low open rate. Let’s dig into the biggest culprits.

First of all, check your open rates against others in your industry. Several studies put the email open rate for government agencies at 25% (people who view the email) with an average bounce rate of 8.5% (people who don't receive the email) and click-through rate of 9% (people who click a link in your email).

If you’ve been sending emails for a while and your open rate has slowly trended downwards – and now it’s sort of plateau’d – that’s normal. If your open rate is way below average right out the gates, then something might be wrong. Here are a few things to consider.

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Topics: SendSmarts, Email Marketing, CivicSend

The HR File Room | 7 Great Habits of a Successful HR Manager

Posted by Lesli Keister

Jan 8, 2015 10:00:00 AM

What are the most important aspects to being a Human Resources Manager? Is it your bubbly personality? Your ability to conquer each and every task you’ve been given? Or your ability to remain calm during any situation? We think that the following 7 items are a great set of habits for any HR Manager (or any manager, for that matter!).

1. Thank Your Critics
Oftentimes your critics will become disarmed when you thank them for their input; it catches them off guard and they give up the fight. It also creates an environment in which people feel like they really can ask questions and give opinions, even if they disagree. You're able to better keep your stance as a leader when you stand firm and thank your critics, rather than stoop to their level and argue mindlessly for the next twenty minutes.

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Topics: CivicHR, HR Best Practices

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