Like you, we’re breathing a giant sigh of relief that the federal government shutdown has ended and that hundreds of government employees are finally able to go back to work. But as much as you may want to jump back into the projects you were working on, it’s hard to ignore that the public’s confidence in the government has been shaken. Even though the shutdown was covered widely in the news, many citizens and stakeholders were surprised when they tried to reach out to a government agency only to find it out was not able to address their requests because most government employees were furloughed. While many agencies have worked hard to engage with and earn the trust citizens, it’s hard to argue that there will probably be some rebuilding to do on that front.
As representatives of a government organization, you are accountable to your stakeholders – whether this is the general public, citizens, business owners, farmers, etc. This makes the role of government communicators critical in sharing your organization’s important information to ultimately gain the trust and confidence of your stakeholders. And as the shutdown ends and lives start to return to normal, ignoring your audience’s mood and concerns would be a misstep. So before you dive back into the projects you had sitting on your desk when you left work on October 1st, take this opportunity to communicate directly with your stakeholders and address the situation head on. Here are some tips that may help:
As a government communicator, do you have any tips for your peers in re-connecting with the public and your stakeholders? What are you doing to re-engage and reassure? Please share your ideas & thoughts in the comments.