Are you overwhelmed?

We’re in public service and that means getting the word out about the goings-on in government to the broadest reach possible. A few years ago we were webmasters. Today, we’re webmasters, digital media providers, social media managers, content managers, information architects, editors, and more. Today, we have to put information everywhere: on the web and in the social space, formatted for phones and tablets.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes that “mandate” can feel pretty overwhelming.

Think about how you want to disseminate data and the demographics of who you are trying to reach. Is it enough to put information on your website? If you think so, take a rest in any public place and observe the people around you.

  • How many are reading email on their Blackberries?
  • How many are surfing the web on their phones?
  • How many are on tablets?
  • How many could read the data on your website, and use it in a meaningful way, from their phones?

There are lots of wonderful tools to use to reach your constituents: responsive web design techniques that make your site viewable and usable on smaller screens; social media dashboards so you can post to Twitter, Facebook and more with one click; : iPhone, Android, Blackberry apps that are free to towns and counties, and free to the public


How do you deal with being overwhelmed?

For me, it’s turning to my peers in NAGW. This year, I’m heading to Kansas City for the 10th National Conference from September 12 – 14. There will be lots of discussion about these techniques and others to improve our productivity and our reach. The NAGW Conference sessions are taught by peers who understand and live the same challenges we do. I always come back fired up and more productive. You will too! See you in KC.

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Chris Cairns

Great write-up. I think you have to know your audience and pick your poison in terms of communication medium and channels. The social media and communications outlets are out-pacing technology right now. Eventually, technology will catch-up and make it easier to manage all this multitude.