Introducing Stories: Communicate More Clearly, and Effectively Engage Your Community
Last month our OpenGov Research Team surveyed nearly 100 government leaders – from finance directors to city managers to department leads – about citizen engagement.
Forty-one percent said they “aren’t very effectively” sharing information with their communities. And 61 percent said they “aren’t very effectively” collecting feedback from their communities. Why? Twenty-five percent said that’s because they “lack the tools needed” to effectively share information and collect feedback.
That’s a problem because they worry not effectively sharing information and collecting feedback is “reducing public trust” (87 percent); causing their communities “to be ill informed” (70 percent); and making it harder to “get buy-in from their communities and execute their strategic initiatives” (83 percent).
That’s why I’m so excited to introduce Stories — a major enhancement to our Citizen Engagement solution that helps governments more effectively share information with their communities using easy-to-build web pages that combine data, images, maps, videos, and text.
Using Stories to Inform and Educate Your Community
Here’s how Stories works: As a government leader, there are numerous priorities you’d like to communicate to your community — from key initiatives to budget meetings to public-safety issues. With Stories, you simply choose the layout of your web page from several templates, and then select colors to match your agency’s branding. No more need for IT support!
Stories’ simple drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to add images, graphics, maps, videos, and your data from OpenGov to bring your story to life in a way that’s easy for everyone to understand. And since Stories is built on the OpenGov platform, all your data is available on-demand.
Using Stories plus Open Town Hall to Collect Feedback From Your Community
But what if in addition to sharing information with your community, you also want to use it as an opportunity to collect their feedback? That’s where Open Town Hall comes in! You can embed an Open Town Hall questionnaire in your story to collect valuable feedback from the community that can be incorporated into your plans and budgets.
Stories plus Open Town Hall helps agencies communicate more clearly, involve their communities, and collect higher quality feedback. We’re wrapping up the Stories beta with agencies — including San Antonio, TX; Sandpoint, ID; and Mt. Lebanon, PA — and will share the outcomes soon.
The introduction of Stories marks the successful integration of Open Town Hall and OpenGov, and further strengthens our industry-leading Citizen Engagement solution. We now offer unified Budgeting, Operational Performance, and Citizen Engagement solutions that help agencies streamline their budgeting and planning; measure performance; and share information with their communities, collect feedback, and incorporate it into their plans and budgets.
Interested in learning more about Stories and Open Town Hall? Request more information here: