Many tools developed for government communications were set up for pre-covid volumes and have failed to keep up with demand. Business-grade software can be even more problematic, as the ubiquitous “zoom bombing” proved. However, new solutions can streamline government office’s communications with constituents without unnecessary complexity or risk. These tools allow offices to focus on their interactions with citizens with trouble-free communication.
COVID-19 vaccination uptake has been much slower than expected. Despite over 15 million doses shipped to states, fewer than 33% have been used. Part of the story is a lack of coordination, staff, and ultra-cold storage. The government’s communication with its constituents can make a real difference in overcoming those concerns and ensuring that uptake reaches the 75%+ goal for herd immunity.
Information is a powerful tool to combat misgivings about the vaccine. Understanding peoples’ concern about the vaccine allows you the opportunity to address those concerns and change minds. Collaborating with other agencies will help your office develop and share the highest quality of information with your constituents to help them accept the vaccine.
Due to the importance of the vaccine rollout, there are many sources for information. The CDC assists public health officials, including educational materials. Your state and local public health officials should be part of your team to ensure that you have the latest information on ICU availability, case counts, and positivity rates. Partnering with likely vaccine distributors will ensure that you also have actionable information on the vaccine rollout.
iConstituent’s advanced team collaboration allows elected officials’ to communicate among their team members with tagging to ensure that partners inside and outside of the office are notified of recent communications. Additionally, the platform links communications from constituents to ensure that each contact (via phone, email, SMS, or other) is linked together to present a holistic picture of the ongoing work. The sharing of information ensures that misinformation, lost data, and duplication of effort does not occur.
Multiple Team Collaboration features ensure that all members have relevant information at their disposal. Productivity is significantly improved when all of the team members have the same information and shared goals. They can solve complex issues and avoid losing their collective experience.
Oklahoma’s US House Representative’s office cut turnaround time in half responding to constituents. It did so by using iConstituent’s Team Collaboration tools. Team Collaboration ensured that each staffer had the most up to date information. Both internal and external team members share ideas, resources, and knowledge, which significantly improves the end product. At every step of the process, stakeholders can provide input to the team, enhancing speed by eliminating do-over loops. iConstituent’s Team Collaboration tools set up effective communication channels to allow staff to maximize their output.
Remote work can be challenging; encouraging open communication is vital. Infrastructure is also an essential part of ensuring that your staff can securely connect seamlessly. This may require added bandwidth, VPN resources, laptops, and software such as Zoom, Teams, and other government-specific systems. Productivity can be increased by 100x when each team member focuses on what they are best at doing. iConstituent’s Team Collaboration tool pulls together your team members by creating shared conversations with relevant information.
Focusing on constituent communications and using your staffing resources effectively can increase your office’s relationships with constituents despite social distancing. There are opportunities in every crisis to learn to do better. Some of the changes we make today, such as internet town halls, have enhanced accessibility to citizens’ elected officials. Those best practices will continue long after COVID-19 is over.
Check out our new toolkit to help Communication Directors and their staff drive COVID-19 vaccine uptake sharing best outreach practices with targeted SMS messaging using iConstituent’s GovText.