As the population grows either in suburban sprawls or within large metropolitan cities, there is a need for the people to be heard. Through this growth, City Government has to find solutions to engage their Citizens in this age of everything social media. So how can City Management teams connect in this social world? First they need the social infrastructure in place to allow Citizens to take an active role in their cities.
City services need to be driven by the people who live, work and care about their city and City Government must engage with them. Maybe they are employees of the municipality, or maybe they are citizens who want to ensure that their tax dollars are being well spent, regardless, today’s socially engaging communities are perfect for bringing Citizens and Municipal Government together for a long and happy relationship.
Food for thought in the Art of Citizen Engagement:
Citizen participation contributes to good governance
Citizens should feel a connection with their local government as to what is being done with their hard earned tax dollars. This being said, they must also take responsibility for informing and engaging with City government to ensure that the city is aware of any issues at hand.
Empower the people and their voices become the very foundation for excellence in city management. This is a challenging task for many municipalities, both large and small. How do you do a good job with city business AND keep the tax payers happy? The answer lies in having a collaborative tool, available to all.
Engagement via technology
Citizens are already using technology in most aspects of their lives, from Facebook to Pinterest to SnapChat, and anyone using a smartphone is already poised to adopt a new way to collaborate. Sending issues to city helpdesks as Citizen’s see them, without having to log into a website, can be quick and easy. Graffiti, potholes broken street lights are just a few examples. The ease of use for today’s citizen to connect with their local government is at their fingertips and it is a conduit that is open 24/7, 365 days a year. This conduit using technology never takes holidays and is available wherever an internet signal can be received.
Citizen engagement needs to be positive
Empower the people and recognize their efforts of social engagement. Citizens can get quite stirred up with local government if their voice is not heard, and may head to social media to share their negative experience. Municipalities can turn this into a positive experience by reacting and engaging, ensuring that the Citizen is being heard and positively managing their online reputation.
Citizen engagement pays off by building trust
People in general enjoying being thanked or praised for what they say, see or do. It’s human nature and by the very same token, this is how we build trust. This balance has always been a challenge and by involving modern simple technology to provide a positive conduit to local government and the working public servant, it is one giant step in the right direction.
Citizen engagement is happening now!
Citizens download many apps on their mobile and smart devices daily. With this type of engagement there are people using this “on the spot” reporting to communicate with municipal government, and it is becoming the replacement to the 311 services that we all know.
Say hello to “FIT CityTrack”
FIT CityTrack is a cutting edge municipal management collaborative tool which enables municipalities and citizens to work together to improve their city without all the wasteful paperwork.
Download & Try it for Free!
We invite you to try FIT CityTrack by visiting http://fitcitytrack.com/download/ & follow us on Twitter @FITCItyTrack