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Local government: how to build community trust through digital communications

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Melinda Jennings

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25 Jan 2022
4 min read

Community trust is an essential pillar for local governments. Without it, citizens often turn to unreliable and unsubstantiated sources for information, doubt the competency of their representatives, and are less likely to comply with regulations and laws set by the government.

With only 51% of the worldwide population trusting their government in 2020, there’s a lot of room for improvement. In this article, we’ll show you 3 ways you can foster better trust with your citizens, and the tech you need to build genuine engagement with your community. 

Ensure communication is secure

Local governments handle a lot of sensitive and personal information regarding their citizens. Making sure this information is secured in a protected manner is the first integral step to ensuring community trust. 

This is particularly important when it comes to government communications. Citizens want to know that they can receive and return messages without fear of information getting hijacked or third parties listening in.

Whispir is a fully secure omnichannel communications platform. We have our ISO27001 certification, are independently audited by the British Standards Institute, and strictly adhere to industry best practices. 

> Learn more about how Whispir is protecting your data   

Make it easy for citizens to communicate using their preferred channel

Government communication shouldn’t be a one-way street. To truly foster trust and show you have respect for the opinions and needs of your community, you must be open to receiving feedback.

Don’t just give citizens the option to submit feedback – encourage them to do so. To achieve this, local governments should: 

  • Proactively and incrementally send out surveys

Sending out surveys for your community to fill out is a great way of proactively showing you care about what they have to say. Once you’ve collected feedback, it’s important to have a system in place that will ensure it doesn’t end up in some database, unactioned. 

It’s equally important to communicate with citizens that have taken time to complete your survey about next steps and what they can expect in terms of action.

> Download our guide on Whispir’s staff and customer feedback forms

  • Put in place a system for handling communications from citizens

Many local governments are under-resourced and overworked, making it difficult to try and keep track of all the communications coming in from their communities. Whispir’s advanced automation capabilities make it possible to set up workflows that automatically send responses based on keywords used or in-text selections made by your citizens, radically reducing the impact on government workers and ensuring your residents feel heard.

> Learn more about Whispir’s automated workflows

Be proactive and consistent in your messaging

These days, we as a society are in an information overload. We no longer have to wait for government officials to provide us updates on things going on; instead, we can turn to countless online sources to do our own independent research.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of unreliable and untrustworthy sources available to communities. In order to get ahead of this, local governments need to be the loudest - and most proactive - voice.

It’s essential to disseminate truthful, accurate, and transparent information as soon as it becomes available, even if it’s not fully ‘polished’. These proactive messages should be sent across multiple channels of communication, to ensure better engagement levels. 

This strategy creates a precedent in which citizens can expect to get factual and timely updates straight from their local government, without needing to do their own sourcing of potentially harmful information. 

Whispir’s simple message builder ensures our local government clients can quickly create and deploy communications when needed. Thanks to pre-designed and approved templates, these communications look consistent and professional across the board, without having to spend a long time designing each individual message.

> Discover Whispir’s drag-and-drop message builder

Build strong community trust with equally strong communications

For over 20 years, Whispir has helped many local government bodies around the world transform their communication capabilities, including helping design crisis messaging, COVID-19 responses, hazard reporting, and much more.

Engage with your citizens like never before, foster unprecedented community trust, and alleviate the burden on your government workers with the help of Whispir. See us in action by requesting a demo using the button below, or download our guide on multi-channel communications for government to learn more.

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If you’d like to see how easy Whispir makes message building, we’d be happy to walk you through a demonstration.

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