What Is Digital Community Engagement?
I travel across the country giving presentations to city and county administrators, IT directors, clerks, public information officers about Digital Community Engagement, and I constantly find myself being asked to define what Digital Community Engagement means, and why it's important.
Many local governments officials don't understand the need to engage and interact with the public more through their local government website -- or how to do it well.
At its core, Digital Community Engagement is about online expectation.
Citizens don't just ask for ways to connect with their government digitally -- they expect it; they demand it.
Think about it. I can pay my credit card bills online. I can voice my opinion to the masses online. I can reconnect with old friends online. I can bank online. The Internet is our go-to resource when we need to find an answer to a question, locate a service, file a complaint or conduct business.
And with the explosion of mobile-enabled functionality and mobile apps, the Internet is quickly making the dinner-table discussion-ender "I guess we'll never know" obsolete.
So naturally, the expectation for citizens is that local government should be conducting business online as well. But far too often, local governments are caught up in the status quo of the early 2000s, never going beyond the basics of the web.
Local governments provide so much service, infrastructure and support to our communities, but too often, those efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated. Digital Community Engagement is a two-way street – it’s letting your citizens have a voice, and it’s letting them know why government matters.
So, What Does a Highly Engaged Website Look Like?
CivicPlus, the nation’s most recognized government website provider, has developed more than 1,100 websites across the United States, Canada and Australia. At the core of each website is a dedication to helping governments and citizens better engage and interact.
The following white paper features some of the best examples of how CivicPlus clients are engaging their citizens through the use of digital eGovernment technology, using their website at the hub of their communications.