Photo: Brant, AB, Canada
The key to learning more about your constituents is to be accessible
At its best, getting to know your constituents should be about dialogue, engagement, and interaction.
As a municipality, you have important information to share, so it’s important that your constituents can tune in and remain engaged.
Your constituents, even if it doesn’t feel like it from time to time, are watching you, and they do want to be kept in the loop. They want to know that you have a grasp of the community’s issues and needs. They want to know what you’re working on. They want to know that they can rely on you to finish anything you start.
But, how do you reach out, start that conversation, and get to know more about them?
Let Them Know You’re Ready to Engage
To find out what your constituents are thinking, let them know you’re ready and waiting to hear from them. In other words, make yourself accessible. Let them know you are, indeed, a real, live active person.
Let’s look at 4 ways you can do just that.
1. Pop on Social Media
From Twitter to YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, the list is almost endless. Using social media lets you manage both your image and your platform at the same time. You can connect with your constituents, engage them, and encourage them to join the conversation.
Pop onto your social media platforms regularly to interact personally with your community. Let the people you serve hear from you directly and let them share what’s on their minds.
Social media serves well as a platform from which to announce any meetings where you want to engage the public, too, and you could even set up social media groups for each meeting so that those who aren’t able to attend, can still voice their opinion.
2. Landing Pages
With pretty much everyone hanging out online these days, a landing page is a must for your campaigns. You can choose to have a site created that is wholly informative, or one that is designed to collect your constituent’s information so that you can learn more about them from their data.
Research has been conducted by the likes of The Corporate Executive Board and Google, and Forrester about the importance of building strong emotional connections online with customers, and the same can certainly be applied to your constituents.
3. Text Messaging
Text messages are a great way to spread information and even have two-way conversations. At its most basic, broadcast messages are similar to broadcast email. That means you can send a message to every number subscribed to your list.
Getting your community to subscribe can be as easy as encouraging them to sign up on your website or landing page.
4. Interactive Email Campaigns
The mobile inbox is highly prevalent these days, and arguably one of the greatest shifts in today’s marketing efforts. Interactive emails allow you to reach your constituents in real time with messages that pack a powerful punch.
Focus on the Conversation
Whenever and however you reach out to your community, make it a two-way conversation. Be encouraging, intimate, and accessible. Be accountable. Most of all, make it easy for them to find you, be it on social media, through your landing page, via email, or on the phone.
Don’t forget to thank and inspire your community for having a conversation.