August 10th, 2010
I come from a very politically minded family – my parents, brothers, husband and I all take voting very seriously. At family gatherings, there is sure to be at least one conversation that is political in nature.
I do my research, especially at election time, to understand the candidiates’ platforms and agendas. I know this is not always the norm, though. I know many that do not vote, or vote randomly. This may be for a number of reasons – maybe they don’t understand what the issues are, if they can actually make a difference, or they are not concerned.
Whatever the reason, if you are reaching out to the community, it is important that your agency communicates the right message to the appropriate group of people. Using social media is one idea – I am a Facebook follower of candidates I support – or start by developing a civic education program. 4imprint recently published a newsletter with some ideas on starting a program to educate your community.
It is never too late to begin a program, and with fall elections just around the corner, it may be the perfect time.
October 30th, 2009
I have come across a few articles recently on govexec.com, regarding the federal government’s initiative to increase wellness among its employees. Many organizations are beginning to add wellness programs of some type into their culture, as there are many options and benefits to both the employers and employees.
A wellness program can include anything that improves employee’s physical or emotional health. Offering incentives for attending fitness classes, smoking cessation, and weight loss programs provide opportunities for staff to improve their health. Making an onsite nurse available makes it convenient and cost-effective for employees to take care of health issues.
To improve emotional well-being, offering non-work related classes can be a much needed way to relieve stress. Cooking, parenting, and crafting classes offered on the lunch hour can be an effective creative outlet. Or present opportunities for telecommuting, to allow employees some flexibility with family and sick time.
The benefits for the organization include reduced healthcare costs, less employee sick time, and more productive and creative employees. Staff can benefit from more work-life balance, feeling better, fewer health problems, and less stress. These programs can be a critical asset when recruiting, hiring, or retaining employees.
Do your currently have a wellness initiative in place? Or are you planning one for your agency? If so, feel free to share your ideas and any impacts you’ve seen. There are opportunities that can benefit all of us.
For additional information on what wellness can do for your agency, read 4imprint’s new Blue Paper on Employee Diet and Productivity.
August 31st, 2009
A phrase that we have been hearing quite a bit is ‘transparency in government.’ As a public we expect to hear what is going on within our government agencies and offices, and much of the information we get is from the internet. While the internet is a great resource to find information, there is so much out there that it can be difficult to find complete and current information.
Where can we go to find information regarding what is going on in our government? With email available, as well as social media options, there are many opportunities to communicate clearly and accurately with the public.
E-newsletters are an ideal way to communicate with the public. About 79% of adults in the U.S. are online, and 90 of these use email, so it is a quick and effective way to communicate to a large group of readers. 4imprint’s recent Government newsletter offers some valuable steps for setting up your agency’s e-newsletter.
Another option is a social media site. Facebook, for example, has over 250 million active users worldwide. This type of site offers a great way to share documentation and articles with the public, by allowing users to ‘join’ the group.
Are you currently using technology to communicate to the public? If so, I’d love to hear what you’re using and you’re applying it. If you’re not, there is no better time to get started.