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Apr 21 2020
Apr 21

Covid-19 has upended daily life, and in many cases, revealed trends that were a long time in the making. 
 
Work-at-home requirements brought the essential need for online connections and services to the forefront. 
 
More so than ever before, county and municipal government websites serve as a virtual town square and the place for: 

  • Keeping informed about events and public health alerts,
  • Taking care of official business,
  • Showcasing major attractions,
  • Attracting future tourism,
  • Supporting local businesses, 
  • Staying connected to the community, and 
  • Drawing attention to praiseworthy people and points of pride. 

Multi-faceted Functions

Back in the day, city halls and county courthouses were architectural masterpieces, situated in the center of town with well-tended gardens, and surrounded by the businesses that fueled the town’s economic engine. 

The Wharton TX county courthouseThe Wharton, Texas County Courthouse. Completed in 1889.

Much of what had been accomplished in and around the limestone and granite structures that were built in the 19th and 20th Century is now taking place online.

As such, officials in places such as Martin County Florida are pouring a high level of focus and commitment into their citizens' experience of their websites -- just as their counterparts from previous eras understood the profound importance of creating a welcoming experience that was efficient to navigate and supported civic pride. 

home page of the Martin County Florida websiteHome page of the Martin County, Florida website

 

New World, Same Needs

Venues have evolved, but many essential needs and expectations of last century’s physical town squares have much in common with today’s virtual ones.

Here are the objectives that are driving excellence among public sector websites in the current era:

  • Support citizens’ pride of place with an engaging, visually appealing experience
  • Serve as the go-to information resource in times of crises and uncertainty
  • Drive collaboration and connection among commerce and community groups
  • Streamline access to a vast range of services that previously needed to be accomplished in person
  • Accommodate the different ways that the full range persona groups who visit the site interact with technology
  • Meet and exceed ADA Section 508 compliance standards and the web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) that ensure accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Leverage the latest technologies and expertise concerning optimal user experience, navigation, and site flow
  • Align navigation and information flow with user needs vs. the internal organizational structure
  • Bring essential stats and facts to life with illuminating data visualization strategies
  • Build in flexibility to ensure that site administrators can easily and efficiently make changes whenever necessary

This is the starting point. Every state, county, municipality, and public sector website has distinct opportunities to connect with constituents, drive efficiencies, and serve as a trusted information resource. 

Looking to explore new possibilities for your public sector website? Contact us today


 

Mar 17 2020
Mar 17

Current realities are rapidly shifting for all of us. What to do now? What can we expect? 

During a time of crisis, the quality of communications can have a huge impact, and not just in the moment. The effects of what is said and what is not said will linger, and reveal much about the organization, its leadership, and individuals involved. 

A crisis and challenge on the magnitude of a global pandemic stands to bring out the best in us or the worst in us. There are the immediate concerns surrounding staying safe and helping to ensure the health and well-being of those around us. Then, of course, there are a myriad of business and financial concerns. Life goes on. Promises still need to be kept.

At Promet Source, we are committed to reaching out and being our best selves during this time. It’s a commitment that starts at the top with clear and honest communications.  

This commitment calls for a higher degree of empathy and outreach. What are people going through? What do they need to know? How can we help?

Empathy PLUS Honesty

During times of uncertainty, people look for answers and reassurance, and it’s tempting to want to provide that. Keep in mind that making promises and commitments that may not be kept is likely to be interpreted as dishonesty and deception, both of which are particularly difficult to forgive. Now is the time for integrity.

As businesses around the world scramble to meet obligations and keep teams productive and connected while working from remote locations, the right messaging matters more than ever before. 

Great communication also calls for a focus on connectedness: focusing on what it is that we have to offer and how that translates into our role as corporate citizens.

Resources and Expertise

At Promet Source, we’ve reached out to our sphere recently, pointing out that our team is distributed and that due to our well-established business processes for working remotely, we’re positioned to consult on the systems and technical tools that we’ve found to be the most effective for staying connected and optimizing productivity. 

Our communications team can also serve as a critical resource during this trying time, helping with strategic messaging and communications plans for optimizing culture and strengthening client relationships.

New Concerns, New Paradigms

It's important that we actively acknowledge that team members are facing new sets of challenges that extend beyond working at home. In many cases, school-aged children are at home. There are likely to be constant interruptions and new expectations for homeschooling. 

There are also big concerns about coronavirus symptoms and the impact of recent exposures. 

Even among those who remain healthy and symptom-free, let there be no doubt that this pandemic is having a major impact on everyone’s lives. Team members with high-stakes deliverables who are now facing a whole new set of realities need to know that they are not alone. 

These new realities call for new ways of connecting, being present, and adding value. It’s a challenge that few could have anticipated, but that many are working through and revealing considerable character in the process.

Did you know that Promet’s communication team can help with strategic communications support? Contact us today to schedule a workshop, or simply to start a conversation. 

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