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How Does Citizen Engagement Create Value for Government?

GovDelivery recently featured an IDC Report that contains questions posed by GovDelivery to Adelaide O'Brien, Research Director of Smart Government Strategies at IDC Government Insights. I’d encourage you to download the report to check out the full report, which had a lot of interesting information. Below I’ve shared one of the questions posed in the report:

How does everyday interaction with government information and data sets create a larger opportunity for government service value?


A. In addition to disseminating information through electronic channels, government is leveraging everyday citizen interactions to inform citizens of road closings, snow emergency parking rules, and school closures; improve services; and increase citizen satisfaction. Social media by its nature is about communication and rapid information sharing, and it enables communication through many channels. Social media technologies such as widgets seamlessly integrate and manage massive amounts of information; Facebook connects affinity groups; and blogs and tweets provide immediate alerts and take information viral. The technology is ubiquitous and intuitive to use.


The choice among these social media tools is about the outcome of the use, not the embedded technology. Citizen redistribution of critical information through social media technologies can allow vital information to spread more quickly to broader audiences than possible through traditional communications. Collaborative interfaces provide workspaces that foster information exchange, provide consistency across channels and devices, empower citizens and employees, and connect with citizens on a personal level.

Social media is about connecting people to information and each other and providing multiway communication for feedback and evaluation — critical success elements of citizen service. By fulfilling requirements for relevant information and quality citizen services through proactively listening and responding to citizens in the channel they choose, government not only emulates successful social media strategies but also supports mission delivery.

Government has consistently shown that providing information to citizens the way they want to receive it makes the information more relevant, and when information is relevant, it is shared with affinity groups, thus supporting the government mission. Finally, social media, as well as government delivery of information and services, is about adding value; that is, efficiently increasing services, providing trusted information to and educating citizens, and increasing citizen involvement in government — all aspects of successful citizen engagement.

The report has a lot of interesting insights, and be sure to go and take a look here. If you are interested in more great conversations on social media, be sure to check out GovDelivery’s annual event, Digital Government: The Transformative Power of Communications. GovDelivery provides a quick overview of what you can expect at the event:

In May, the White House officially released a new strategy for the Federal government, Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People.

The document concludes with a list of 29 "Action Milestones," of which 10 are specified for Agency ownership, with 5 of those specified for action within 6 months.

At this years event, we will address concrete steps agencies can take to address Digital Government priorities in a timely, cost-effective manner. We will also hear from leading experts from around the Federal government about leadership development, new technologies, and digital communications best practices.

  • Keynote Speaker: Peter Sims, author of Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries and co-author of True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership
  • Location: Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington D.C. 20001
  • Room: Constitution C
  • Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
  • Time: 7:30am – 12:30pm

Cost: There is no charge for government employees, officials, and contractors – breakfast is included.

GovDelivery is the #1 sender of government-to-citizen communications, serving over 400 government entities worldwide and more than half of major U.S. federal agencies. Organizations use GovDelivery to send over 200 million messages every month on a broad range of topics including national emergencies, health alerts, tax policy changes and more. Check out their User Group on GovLoop as well as the Technology Sub-Community of which they are a council member.

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