Our mission here at CitySourced is to build an amazing mobile platform for government, and as a result, our focus is heavily skewed towards technology. However, building a great tool for our government customers is really only one step in the process.
Because if the apps we deploy don’t get downloaded and into the hands of the true end users, the local residents, we’ve failed to reach our ultimate goal of driving more civic services. In this post, we’ll demonstrate specific examples of marketers using creative content, social media, and explain why each works in driving awareness.
Breezy Point is not your typical New York City neighborhood. The rural beach community is situated on the western end of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. It is also remembered for having experienced the brunt of Hurricane Sandy.
In an effort to better serve the 3,500 local residents, Breezy Point Cooperative (BPC), the governing organization for the neighborhood, recently released a new app that allows residents to quickly submit property issues. With its instant, two-way reporting capabilities, CitySourced challenges traditional customer service models, enabling residents to be active in keeping the properties, managed by BPC, clean and safe for all of their neighbors.
Manhattan, KS has taken their next step in digital government, releasing a new mobile 311 app, ‘Report It!’. The new app will allow residents to submit non-emergency issues that are directed to the appropriate departments and city officials to be resolved. According to Kiel Mangus, Assistant City Manager
“We want to provide accountability to our citizens. Our staff will be updating service requests as they come in, and the residents who have reported them will receive updates until those issues are resolved.”
The editors of Government Technology together with e.Republic Labs, a sister organization focused on civic innovation and new market entrants, recently announced the inaugural GovTech100. In their words it is
a listing of the leading 100 companies focused on government as a customer, having developed an innovative or disruptive offering to improve or transform government, or having created new models for delivering services.
Note: Before I go any further, let me say that yes CitySourced was listed, and of course this post could have a self-congratulatory tone. We wouldn’t be writing this if we hadn’t been included, but I’m not here to write about CitySourced or any one Civic Tech company. Instead, I want to explore want the announcement says about the broader civic tech space.
Why You Should Care
The Explosion of Civic Tech
It’s no secret that civic tech has often been overlooked by the mainstream dotcom circles. But, the tide is changing. New, innovative startups are propping up at a rapid pace.
From the onset our focus as a civic tech company has been about civic engagement. We’re a group who believes technology, specifically in the hands of citizens, can make the entire citizen-to-gov experience better.
But since we began in 2009, civic engagement is a term that’s been thrown around a lot in Public Sector and has ballooned to become an all encompassing word to describe anything in government that touches the citizen.
Our partner, Salesforce, recently released a thorough and impressive “State of Service” report. We highly recommend you check it out. But, if you don’t have time get through the full 35 pages, we’ve distilled it down to the highlights.
#1 Citizens want Individualized Access across Channels.
In the traditional customer service model, communication channels were limited. But, as the channels of communication grow, citizens want that same level of access to their local government – in person, online, by the phone, on Facebook and Twitter and other social channels, and of course via a mobile app. The service delivery leaders across industries personalize that service and connect where citizens are already interacting.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve deepened our partnership with Cityworks to create a turnkey web portal allowing anyone to submit requests that flow directly into their city’s Cityworks public asset management system.The product highlights include:
Extend access of Cityworks reporting to anywhere on the web.
No software to install; deploy in under 4 weeks.
Includes Cityworks API at no charge for two-way integration.
The City of North Vancouver is building out it’s used it’s digital services to the public on the launch of it’s Mobile App. The ‘CityFix’ app is a mobile and and web app that gives Residents a quicker and easier way to contact City Hall to submit a service request for issues around the City such as vandalism, missed garbage pickup, potholes, broken streetlights etc.
Here at CitySourced we are all about citizen engagement. Did you know Instagram for government is an effective way to communicate directly with citizens through images, videos, and short snippets of text?
It is a wonderfully versatile platform. More and more governments are joining the ‘gram train and are using Instagram to share and connect. Instagram allows you to increase transparency, raise awareness, take polls, share some of the day-to-day operations of government officials, and more. Citizens can like, share, and comment on the content they care about. It’s useful, personable, and fun for everyone.
If you’re just getting started on Instagram, here are some quick tips: