Sharing crucial government information in an engaging way helps ensure citizen buy-in—and retains their interest long-term. Get community members attention, dispel myths and clear up confusion with creative ways to share information. For example, Arlington, Texas, used a stop-motion video shot with a LEGO® model of the city to explain how taxpayers’ dollars were being spent. The video went viral with over 700,000 views. What’s more, while the average ratio of views to subscribers averages 14%, Arlington’s LEGO video had a whopping rate of 10,000%.
If your government agency would like to reap the benefits of using creative ways to share valuable information, keep reading.
5 memorable government communication ideas
- Incorporate AR/VR
- Post behind-the-scenes videos
- Host lunch with a city official
- Contextualize data
- Host virtual events
1. Incorporate AR/VR
Augmented reality (AR) digitally alters a real-life scene (like how Snapchat® applies filters to real faces). Virtual reality (VR) places users inside a scene and allows them to interact with it (similar to being inside a video game).
Help residents understand proposed projects and visualize the finished outcome with an immersive AR/VR experience. Building new roads? Place citizens in a virtual car so they can experience driving the new routes before they’re completed. Need to demolish a shuttered building? AR/VR can help citizens go “inside” dilapidated buildings to see first-hand how demolition can improve safety.
2. Post behind-the-scenes videos
Restoring a park? Building a new community center? Renovating a public sector building? Keep citizens up to date in an engaging way by sharing short videos of the project’s progress. Behind-the-scenes videos can be used to showcase the quality of the new infrastructure improvements, build trust in the decision-making process, and help citizens feel more connected to their community. Eighty-five percent of people say videos help them better connect with brands, and 75% are more likely to follow a social media page if it contains videos.
3. Host lunch with a city official
It’s important for citizens to know that city officials care and have their constituents’ best interests at heart. Talking one-on-one with citizens is a fantastic form of government communication that demonstrates how much the city cares—especially if a hot topic is confusing or controversial. Use printed flyers and social media blasts to advertise “lunch with a city official.”
Interested parties can submit their names to be drawn to personally meet with a knowledgeable official who will answer their questions. Livestream or film the lunch and post it to social media so all citizens can see what topics were discussed. Citizens will appreciate the opportunity to feel seen, heard and understood. After lunch, gift the citizen an appreciation giveaway for participating, like a Mini Campfire Mug Blossom Kit or Wooden Box with Turtles and Cashews.
4. Contextualize data
Data and statistics can seem irrelevant when not applied to real-life situations. Connect the dots when sharing stats, charts and data. For example, if part of a popular city park will be closed for renovation, share an interactive map that displays which areas will be closed and which ones are still open for citizens to enjoy. You can also create GIFs to show data in a fun and interesting way. GIFs more effectively convey emotions than using words or images alone—which is why 69% of people use them to communicate with friends. Using GIFs in government communication can help make your agency appear more personable, down-to-earth and approachable.
5. Host virtual events
Virtual events invite the community to interact with government officials in a more easy-going environment. This helps citizens and officials feel connected and comfortable. Include a couple of fun icebreakers to help everyone feel relaxed.
Short sessions are best for communicating important info and allowing officials to speak on any relevant topics. Let attendees know they’re welcome to ask questions at any time—this helps ensure the conversation stays two-way.
Conduct polls during the event to get a pulse for how citizens feel about various issues facing the community. This can be especially helpful for people who don’t feel comfortable sharing their thoughts in front of others or who want to remain anonymous. Thank attendees and officials with appreciation giveaways, like a Vacuum Wine Cup with Bamboo Lid, a journal or a tote bag.
Share info with innovation
With creative ways to share information, like using AR/VR to help citizens experience future projects and inviting people to lunch with a city official, you can help ensure residents remember and understand crucial information.