Government Shutdown Proves to be Formidable Hurdle for Communicators

However long this government shutdown lasts, one thing is
certain: this is a huge challenge for government communicators. Many are
currently on furlough, making their ability to respond to communications issues
nearly impossible. Some communications channels have shut down completely, but there are still many essential employees going about their business (though the
workplace is likely working with a skeleton crew). Some agencies are forging on
because they still have funds, but are facing furloughs should the shutdown
extend for a lengthy period of time.

This situation provides us with an unpleasant case study,
and most if not all federal employees can comment on this. For those of you who
can provide an opinion, what’s your take on the government shutdown as it
relates to government communications? If you were a furloughed employee, how
would you handle your potential return to work, not to mention the present?

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Kevin Lanahan

If an agency is shut down, it isn’t producing content, which should reduce the number of communications issues that staff would have to deal with.

Our state agency has actually done a news release to remind people that our areas and offices are open, but if a citizen is looking for national forest or national wildlife area information, they are out of luck.

While I’m not a fan of how the shutdown of federal websites has been handled (splash screen saying “No internets for you!), it does help me appreciate all the work that the feds have done to give us easy access to information.