A blog about digital government, communications, citizen satisfaction & engagement, GovDelivery, and other e-government issues

Last week, FCW noted an important milestone for federal agencies: “On Nov. 23, every federal agency will be expected to meet an important deadline set six months ago by the White House: the establishment of a digital governance structure within their organizations.”

digital government strategy

The article, written by Ed Meehan, goes on to explain why digital governance is critical, especially to the larger directive of improving citizen service delivery and government-to-citizen experiences:

Digital governance is critical to every agency’s mission. Good governance is strengthened by investing wisely in the resources that can improve the digital experiences of citizens and boost customer satisfaction. In order to make the right investment choices, agencies must first develop a solid understanding of how users currently interact with government and how they are likely to interact when digital enhancements are introduced.

I couldn’t agree more. Meehan rightfully notes that redirecting citizen and customer inquiries – often done via telephone or in person – to online channels can improve efficiency and cut costs. Even more than this though, government agencies can move the needle on improving customer satisfaction by offering citizens and stakeholders the option of interacting with government via digital channels. This can help federal agencies be more impactful in delivering value and fulfilling agency mission goals.

Research firm IDC Government Insights recently spoke at a digital communications event in Washington, DC and provided a perceptive look at how government agencies can move towards Smart Government, a model where “a set of business processes and underlying information technology capabilities that enable information to flow seamlessly across government agencies and programs to become intuitive in providing high quality citizen services across all government programs and activity domains.” If you’re a federal agency looking for more information on how to raise efficiency levels within your agency but also between your agency and others, take a look at IDC’s presentation.

If your organization currently uses a GovDelivery solution, you are already fulfilling many of the milestones in the White House’s Digital Government Strategy. Take a look at our checklist for more information.

For some organizations, the milestones set forth in the Digital Government Strategy may not be that hard to meet. For some, there’s a longer path ahead. Regardless of where your organization stands on the spectrum, the goal of delivering better service through digital means is commonly accepted as a necessary next step for government. If you’re part of a federal agency, how have you met this digital governance milestone? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Peter Sims video capture

Innovation is a hot buzz word these days. Tech magazines rank the most innovative companies in world. Industry groups do the same for government.  So what does it take to actually be “innovative?”

In the book Running the Gauntlet by Jeffrey Hayzlett, Deustch Inc. CEO, Linda Sawyer states, “Be fearless and not afraid of failure. If you don’t take risks, experiment, or empower people to put themselves on the line, you will never innovate, advance, or evolve.”

Putting yourself on the line can be tricky if you become paralyzed by the fear of failure.

In order to get past the fear of failure, organizations must embrace a culture that says it’s better to try-and-fail than to stagnate into irrelevance.

Author, Peter Sims, suggests in his book Little Bets how organizations can begin to shift their culture. “Finding ways to fail quickly, to invest less emotion and less time in any particular idea or prototype or piece of work, is a consistent feature of the work methods of successful experimental innovators.”

As you begin to allow for small-scale experimentation, failure takes on a new light. No longer is failure some big crushing, disruptive blow. Rather a trial that turned out ok or it didn’t. If it did, great! How do you improve upon that success? If it didn’t, what can you learn from it that you can take into your next experiment?

Embracing this trial-and-error approach to problem solving is what ultimately leads to true innovation.

So, the next time you have a problem that needs solving. Try starting out with re-framing how you look at the situation. Bite off smaller chunks and approach each one as a learning opportunity. You might just find that by the time the project is done, you got further along than you ever dreamed.

Want to hear more great advice about innovation from Peter Sims? Check out this video:

Peter Sims video capture

This is a guest post from Dan Slee, Senior Press and Publicity Officer at Walsall Council in England. Last Thursdsay, Dan attended GovDelivery UK’s Annual Digital Communications conference to hear more about delivering real value to the public through effective use of digital communications.

Okay, so here’s three things that may just help you fall off your seat a little bit. Or at least raise an eyebrow.

Boom! Email can be a bit sexy. Not shiny hipster Apple sexy but in an effective way of communicating with people kind of a way.

Boom! I’m seeing one of the key roles of public sector communications is to point people at more efficient ways of contacting them that’s going to make them happier and save the organisation a stack of money.

Boom! Somebody somewhere in a restaurant had a service so very bad they spelt out their complaint in mustard and ketchup.

bad service

Here’s 20 things I learned from the excellent GovDelivery Delivering Real Value to the Public Through Effective Use of Digital Communications 2012 event at the National Audit Office.

1. Bad customer service can be repaid in ketchup

Gerald Power from Trapeze used this rather fabulous slide that told a rather splendid story. Person or persons go into restaurant with wipe-clean tables. Nobody comes and talks to them for half an hour. They spell this out in condiments, take a picture, post it to the web and leave. It’s a perfect tomato-based illustration of where we are with customer service in the social web.

If people just ain’t happy they’ll tell their friends. In creative ways that will go viral.

2. Email is…. sexy?

Actually, bad email is always bad news. The sort that clogs the inbox. The cc to far. But cutting through the rubbish, email does have results as a comms channel. Clearly, govdelivery are keen to stress their product which helps government deliver opt-in targeted emails on request on a whole bunch of subjects. But actually, there’s some pretty good results. Thinking it through,  wouldn’t mind opting in as a parent for child-friendly events in the borough where I live. Or winter school closure updates.

3. Comms is essential

As one speaker said, the role of comms in delivering the changes needed in local government is central, fundamental and essential. That made me think a little.

Research by accountants PWC has worked out the cost of local government contact by residents to resolve a problem. For face-to-face it’s £10.53, for telephone it is £3.39, while post costs £12.10 and online just 8p.

One of the roles of comms teams is to help point people at the channel that’s most effective to help save money.

So point people at more efficient ways of talking to the council and you’ll earn your worth as a comms team. That’s just a bit important.

Here’s some other things from the event:

4. There are 650 UK gov services (bar the NHS) costing up to £9bn a year but 300 have no digital presence at all.

5. The new gov.uk domain has saved £36m savings pa by moving from directgov and businesslink. GovUK website

6. There’s a government target to save up to £421m from #localgov by digitisation.

7. The UK gov could save up to £1.7bn by digitising more.

8. Investment in comms is critical for local government.

9. There’s no need for fancy emails. Simple, to the point and effective for MHRA audience.

10. The digital by default line for UK government isn’t just coming from digital people. It’s coming from the heart of civil service too.

11. There’s no universal best time for an email as each campaign is different.

12. Don’t automate social content. Re-shape it.

13. Only way to realise cashable benefits from digital is headcount reduction and estate rationalisation.

14. A quarter of UK adults and half of all teenagers with smartphones and 77 per cent have broadband.

15. Love @geraldpower‘s idea of avoiding digital ’magical thinking’. Don’t copy for the sake of it. Think it through http://bit.ly/cOFmkl  #govd12

16. Look to put #digital in BIG areas. Not little. Digital wedding bookings will save pence. Go to where you spend most cash.

17. LGA estmates £67.8m spent by #localgov on print public notices.

18. Public notices are an anachronism in a digital age.

19. 76 per cent of #localgov in an LGIU survey want to publish public notices online only while just 4 per cent want print.

20. There’s a debate about public notices being a subsidy to the print media. There a report. (You can download LGiU’s report here.)


Read the original post on Dan’s blog.

Yesterday, ReadWriteWeb posted an article detailing why Dallas Mavericks owner and tech billionaire, Mark Cuban, is taking his social media engagement elsewhere, effectively abandoning Facebook as the Dallas Mavericks’ primary social media tool for connecting with fans. Why?

The short version: “He’s sick of getting hit with huge fees to send messages to his team’s fans and followers.” In fact, Mark tweeted a screenshot of the Mavericks’ Facebook page, showing the option to pay $3,000 to reach 1 million people.

First, some background. If you’re not steeped in social media news (and who really is these days?), Facebook recently changed their algorithm, also known as EdgeRank, which is a formula used to manage which users receive messages on their News Feed. In news stories around the release about a month ago, the changes were noted more as “tweaks,” which were supposed to simply make it “more likely that posts from brands with high engagement get priority placement in feeds over posts with little engagement.”

Facebook Edgerank, Tim SandersImage from Sanders Says

But Mark Cuban, along with many other users, has seen a distinct change in their Facebook activities. A private company designed to help brands manage their EdgeRank score commented on this change, saying,

Over time we’ve seen Reach slowly decrease as more Pages, and more users, create content. The more content that is posted to the news feed, the less likely your Page’s content will reach your fans. Facebook has also been rumored to provide 80% organic content, and “20% paid content in the form of sponsored stories” for Pages. So, tweaks in EdgeRank can cause fluctuations in metrics for brands on Facebook.

And daily Web magazine, Slate, reported yesterday that there was a workaround, detailed in a Washington Post article, but that the workaround was quickly shut down by Facebook after it started gaining buzz.

Facebook Edgerank Promote Story

But aside from all this Facebook-changing-its-algorithm-to-drive-revenue drama, Mark hits on a key point that is critical for government organizations:

The big negative for Facebook is that we will no longer push for likes or subscribers because we can’t reach them all…Brands have invested in getting consumers to like their Facebook page with the presumption that every like is created equal, that the brand can reach the user easily. That is not the caseFacebook has never allowed 100% reach. I think the disconnect is that not everyone realized that they didn’t allow 100% reach. I bet if you asked anyone who has subscribers if their posts reached 100% of their subscribers, they would say yes unless they have seen the dollar box for promoted posts show up. (emphases mine)


Mark makes an incredible point here that is as relevant for the owner of a multimillion-dollar franchise as it is for a government organization.

It’s impossible to ignore Facebook as a communications channel: if you are hoping to connect with citizens where they are, it’s almost a necessity for your organization to have a Facebook presence. But if your communications strategy is built upon the number of likes you receive or number of comments you get on posts, you should rethink what it means to connect with your stakeholders – and the budget you have to do so.

Mark’s decision to move to the Mavericks’ communication efforts to Twitter or Tumblr or even MySpace is based on the realization that, through Facebook, he doesn’t have the kind of direct connections that lead to the incredible reach that he feels is critical to the success of his business and the franchise.

How does this translate into public sector?

Direct connections matter. The breadth of your reach is critical. Again, if your audience is participating in social media, it may be important for you to be there. But fighting through all the noise on social media also means that there are people you want to reach who aren’t getting your messages. What you need are true direct connections with citizens and stakeholders to help meet your organization’s program goals and initiatives.

Mark makes it known that he isn’t removing the Mavericks’ page from Facebook but that he’s going to start driving Facebook fans to Twitter while looking to build out a Mavericks’ brand page on other social media sites. At the end of the day, he knows that reaching those people who’ve already raised their hands to say that they like a brand or an organization is only the start – the true worth of that action is in how easily and directly an organization can communicate and engage with its fans.

What do you think? If your organization is on Facebook, have you seen a decrease in the reach you have with your posts? Would you follow in Mark’s footsteps or rethink your outreach and social media strategy? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Although email traces its history all the way back to the university system in the late 1960s, it wasn’t until the early 1990s that this simple way of communicating literally changed our lives.

Just as snail mail was eventually superseded by faxes for the highest priority communications in the 1980s, email came roaring into popular use in the 1990s as a way to communicate with others in the fastest way possible.

Suddenly, two or more people could almost instantly pose questions to others, share information (or jokes) and seek consensus on almost any topic. In fact, email was so transformative in the business and personal sphere that it sparked its own set of problems—including spam and the “information overload” that occurred when people could over-share anything at the touch of a button.

Today, in the age of Twitter, Facebook, texting and numerous other information-sharing tools, email may seem quaint. Some people believe email gets lost in the glitz and glamor of other types of information delivery, but in reality, it remains one of the most important ways to share information effectively, in part because of the powerful tools that can be used in conjunction with it.

MediaBistro recently posted an infographic declaring email still the smartest way for savvy marketers to communicate with their audiences.

MediaBistro Infographic: Email vs. Social Media

In an accompanying blog post, “Email Vs. Social Media Marketing—Which One Deserves Your Dollars?” the authors wrote, “Email marketing spend increased by 60 percent in 2012, and that’s because email marketing delivered a return on investment (ROI) of 4,000 percent over that same period.”

How is this possible? Well, in the first place, email has not been superseded by any of the other new social marketing tools. People have not abandoned their email accounts in favor of Twitter or Facebook, but instead, have simply added those new tools to their personal information arsenal. And while the enforced brevity of Twitter’s 140-character limit may prove adequate for some uses, email’s ability to provide more substantive communication remains undimmed.

Add to that the fact that numerous tools exist with which to measure and track the true impact of email communication. Email lists can be easily compiled, and then segregated by users, for instance. With email, users are able to pick and choose among topics in which they have a specific interest. This also allows organizations that use email to communicate to segment their audiences into specific groups based on factors such as location, income, demographics and more.

Organizations that use email to communicate with their respective audiences also have several tangible ways to gauge how successful their communications are. They can track delivery (or bounce) rates; monitor “open” rates, test subject line and from line variants against each other, and finally, definitively see whether or not recipients took action in response to the email blast, such as visiting a web site, signing up for a program or simply clicking through to another forum such as Facebook to learn more.

By being able to tightly control who receives specific information (such as by neighborhood, in the case of city or county organizations, for instance), senders can greatly increase the chance that their emails will be welcome to recipients. Recipients who want email communications on various subjects are receptive to these messages because of their immediacy and relevance to their lives.

Coupling an email strategy with tools such as GovDelivery Digital Communication Management, provides organizations with a powerful one-two punch to effectively communicate with their audiences and also to measure the impact of their email campaigns.

Integrated Platform

In fact, a recent study examining the impact of email in various industries and market segments showed that government-originated email communications maintain the highest level of effectiveness for both opens and click-throughs.

Using email as part of an integrated communications plan that also includes other social media marketing remains central to a powerful, cost-effective communications strategy that delivers information to users in the way that’s most efficient for them.

By Jennifer Kaplan, Product Marketing Manager, GovDelivery

We’ve all heard the numbers. 8,000+ flights cancelled. Hundreds of thousands already evacuated. Mass transit shut downs up the Eastern Seaboard.* (stats from CNN)  Up to 60 million people will be affected. Hurricane Sandy, now the largest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, is here.

President Obama, addressing the public in a statement this morning, said, “Please listen to what your state and local government officials are saying.” Government communicators are already in the midst of getting preparation and evacuation information out to those who need it. We’ve also seen additional tips for the public on television, radio, through news websites and social media. Here are the top things your organization can do right now if your stakeholders are affected.

Expand Your Reach. The more stakeholders receive your message, the more likely it is that they will be safe and prepared.

  • Update Your Website. Right now is the moment where citizens are most engaged with government organization. Make sure it’s as easy as possible for citizens visiting your website and social media pages to find the sign-up area for your communications. The key to success is a prominent position.  Keep it in the upper right or upper left of your page, but be careful not to blend it with other aspects of your website. For a temporary fix, highlight your sign-up area in yellow or orange.
    Ready.gov website
  • Leverage the Media to Promote Communications. In his public address this morning, President Barack Obama directed citizens to Ready.gov to get up-to-date preparation and safety information on Hurricane Sandy. If your organization is briefing or being featured through any media outlets, be sure to promote your communications and the ways citizens can subscribe to get updates via email or text message. It’s also helpful to include the URLs to your resources in any media graphics.
  • Recommend Power Outage Alternatives. If citizens lose cable, broadcast signal and Internet, they can still receive tweets about the storm on their mobile phone — even if they don’t have a Twitter account. Have citizens subscribe to SMS Twitter alerts. Here’s a great article from the Washington Post on how to do this.

Get the Word Out Efficiently. Be sure to send messages through all your communication channels.

  • Get Preparation or Evacuation Information Out NOW. There is still time to recommend precautionary actions that can be taken by stakeholders. Urge those in recommended evacuation areas to leave. Send reminders to conserve cell and computer power. Ensure citizens have a list of necessary items — enough food, water, cash, medicine and flashlights — should they experience a power outage.
    National Hurricane Center website
  • Don’t Have the Resources? Not sure what information to send out? Leverage existing, official content.  FEMA and Ready.gov, in addition to the National Hurricane Center with the National Weather Service are asking government organizations to share content they’re already creating to spread the word.  Instead of reinventing the wheel, your organization can share the information, tools and resources from these sites. Like and share FEMA’s Facebook page posts. Follow and re-tweet @ReadyDotGov tweets.
  • Continue to Send Updates Throughout the Week. Use email, SMS and social media and other channels to keep stakeholders updated. Be sure to use all means (especially SMS and Twitter) as some stakeholders may not have Internet.Ready.gov Twitter feed

Google has also developed a Crisis Map that provides real-time information about where the storm is moving. The interactive map shows Sandy’s trajectory of the entire country, plus the public can subscribe to additional alerts such as evacuation notices, storm warnings, shelter locations and traffic conditions.

Picking Up the Pieces. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, continue to use digital channels to send updates to your stakeholders. Government organizations will need to work together to communicate relief and clean-up efforts, as well as provide additional resources available to the public. Keep an eye on FEMA, Ready.gov, and the National Weather Service for more information.

Amy DeWolf, Client Engagement Specialist with GovLoop, recently posted about the panel of public sector experts at our annual event in DC. Her post is below:

I attended GovDelivery’s annual federal event, Digital Government: The Transformative Power of Communications. The event focused on how digital government, innovation and communications intersect to transform how government operates and provides services to citizens through emerging technology.


The morning keynote speaker was Peter Sims, Author of Little Bets – How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries and Co-Author of True North – Discover Your Authentic Leadership. You can read the full recap of Peter’s session here.

The second half of the event was a panel discussion: “Digital Government, Innovation, & Communications.” The session was moderated by Chris Dorobek, Founder of DorobekINSIDER and panelists included:

  • Thom Rubel, Vice President of Research, IDC
  • Jon Booth, Director, Website and New Media, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS)
  • Scott Burns, CEO and co-Founder, GovDelivery
  • Aimee Dobrzeniecki, Deputy Director, NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership
  • Steve Jost, Associate Director of Communications, U.S. Census Bureau

Federal Panel_1

Here are some key questions & answers from the panel:

Biggest Challenges Reaching Out to People

The first question centered around government’s challenge to effectively communicate with their constituents and adapt to new technologies, most notably, social media. As Aimee noted, many agencies, like NIST, are a distributed network. With people spread across the country, it is challenging to maintain a unified message and ensure everyone knows what they need to know. While still early, many panelists predicted social media would be the key to improving communication and collaboration, both internally and externally. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau found that the most efficient way to reach the public and change their image on a limited budget was through social media and an application, despite being unsure of the technology.

How Do You Get Collaboration to Work?

We all want to communicate better, but how do you actually do it? On specific example came from Aimee at NIST, who took a “people to people” sharing network and put it online. This online forum of blogs and discussion questions allows more people to ask questions and float ideas, many of which would not be included in these discussions. Giving people the opportunity to share ideas in an open space, and actually listening to those ideas, is the best way to foster collaboration and best practice sharing.

Innovation and Risk

Taking a cue from Peter Sims’ session, it is important to understand risk and take “little bets” despite the possibility of failure. In the era of doing more with less, many panelists noted that you have to be innovative and think outside the box to really make a difference. But as Peter noted, you shouldn’t collaborate for collaboration sake, or create an app just to have an app. Whatever you do must advance the mission of your agency and actually solve problems.

How Do You Do More With Less

All panelists agreed experimentation (even if that means failure) is essential in the era of doing more with less. As Aimee mentioned, you can take away people and cut resources, but you can’t take away a person’s ability to think creatively. Implementing surveys, writing blogs, and starting discussions are all great ways to get people thinking outside the box. And as Peter said, creativity can come from all levels of an agency- so avoid the hippo effect. Another important tool to help you do more with less: collaboration.

How Do You Change the Conversation of Government

As Steve discussed, the U.S. Census Bureau is the face of government, but unfortunately when the image is not that great. To build trust and slowly change government’s image, the U.S. Census took small risks and used social media to broaden its message. One attendee mentioned that implementing some private sector practices could help government “think smarter” and build a better relationship with the public. Steve mentioned a program at the U.S. Census Bureau, “innovation fund,” which taxed various departments to create an online collaboration forum. Every employee could submit ideas to improve business practices as long as it had a three year positive ROI. Finally, Aimee discussed the importance of thinking of government as human beings and different organizations, not just one block.

The main takeaway from today’s event was that it is important to take small bets and not shy away from innovation and collaboration. Not all changes need to be game changers, as long as they advance your agency’s mission and provide better services to the public.

Read Amy’s original post on GovLoop.

Photos courtesy of Bruce Guthrie.

Visual notes by Jonny Goldstein of the panel discussion (click on the image for a larger version):


My wife is a teacher. Most of her friends are teachers as well. So, I get to participate in a lot of discussions about how students learn and how to make sure all students are being taught in a way that best suits them.

These conversations make me recall my days back in college. I would be sitting in class trying to pay attention to the professor but would often end up spending most of the class making drawings in my notebook. It took a few classes, but I soon realized that if I used my drawing distractions to focus my mind, it could actually help me out with the class. This discovery really benefited me when I took an art history class. As the professor would show an image of a famous piece by Titian or Tintoretto or Nanni di Banco, I would feverishly sketch out what the piece looked like while scribbling important notes in the margins. It worked. This method helped train the mind of this economics major to be able to remember all the important details of these famous pieces of art.

What I thought I had discovered was that I am a visual learner.

Apparently, according to recent research, I was wrong. Being simply an auditory or visual learner is not the way your brain works. But there’s one thing the research finds that I had stumbled upon. Finding ways to keep your mind engaged is key to learning and retaining information.

Few people do this better than Jonny Goldstein.

We recently asked Jonny to attend our Annual Federal Digital Communications Event to give us his interpretation of what our excellent speakers were presenting. Check out what he came up with!


Author Peter Sims discussed how taking Little Bets leads to amazing breakthroughs.


Thom Rubel, Vice President of IDC Government Insights, talked about moving from open government to smart government.


Scott Burns, CEO of GovDelivery, gave advice on how government organizations can use successful private sector marketing principles to transform engagement with the public.


A panel of top government innovators discusses how they’ve revolutionized the way they communicate with the public.

View these visual notes in higher resolution on the GovDelivery website.

Event participants – and our speakers – were enthralled with the work Jonny produced on the fly.  Without seeing presentations beforehand, he was able to pull together conceptual ideas and give them a visual form. This allowed the information being presented to be even more impactful, with participants lingering and taking photos of the graphics to soak up ideas and examples from the event more readily.

We all have sat through boring presentations and long meetings. What are some of the things you use to keep your mind engaged on the task at hand?

By Patrick Fiorenza, Research Analyst, GovLoop

I recently attended GovDelivery’s annual event, Digital Government: The Transformative Power of Communications. The event focused on how digital government, innovation and communications intersect to transform how government operates and provides services to citizens through emerging technology.

The keynote speaker for the event was Peter Sims, author of Little Bets – How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries and co-author of True North – Discover Your Authentic Leadership.  Peter’s keynote was a fantastic presentation on the dire need for transformational leadership and innovation in government. In a time of tight budget constrains, decreasing resources, and rising demand from citizens, leaders are now tasked like never before to navigate the bureaucracy, allocate resources, and streamline operations to maximize efficiency of both personnel and limited resources allocated within the agency.

Peter Sims has also been featured on the DorobekINSIDER as part of the DorobekINSIDER Book Club. (You can hear his the entire interview with Chris Dorobek by visiting here).

Peter started by describing the background of Little Bets, and how at the core of the book is entrepreneurial thinking. Peter started off by telling the story of Pixar, and the growth of story telling through a new digital medium. Peter walked through the history of Pixar, as it’s early roots as a hardware company and connections with George Lucas and Steve Jobs. Peter gave a great presentation; here are some of my highlights from his presentation:

Take Affordable Risks

The idea that Peter expressed is that people need to use and understand how to take risks and identify affordable losses as a way to solve problems, so once you find a solution that works, now that is a solution that can help you go big.  The idea is that you need to make a lot of mistakes to learn how to innovative and how to improve.

Innovation can come from failure

Peter identified that “conceptual innovators” are people who formulate ideas in their minds and manifest the idea in some way on paper, the example used was that Mozart would be able to write a symphony with little mistakes on paper, the opposite is Beethoven, who is an “experimental innovator,” who would work tirelessly and work to perfect his craft. Most of us are experimental innovators, and we need embrace that innovation takes iterations.

Get out of Perfectionist Mindset

In order to really be an innovator, it requires to the ability to take risks, open up to feedback and criticism, and look to new ways to improve processes.

We Aren’t Taught to Take Little Bets

We are taught to be perfectionists, and in reality, the opposite is true to be an innovator. Peter showed a clip from Jerry Seinfeld working out some new material in front of a small audience, and struggling to finish the joke. The idea is that people can choose to make “a little bet” everyday, and be more creative, and innovative, it’s just the willingness to put yourself out and take the right risk.

Learn your creative process

Peter showed a few really interesting clips, one was from the documentary “Sketches with Frank Gehry,” which showed that a team that had worked together for 15 years and teammates said they could pick up on nonverbal queues. Knowing your creative process and how you work best, is critical.

Peter Sims also was clear to mention that the dynamics of government leadership is changing. The hierarchical mentality is becoming increasingly obsolete, as the demand for improved collaboration and connection with core stakeholders increases.

The event was a reminder of the power of the digital age. Not only do we now have the ability to instantly collaborate and connect with people, we have the ability to constructively empower citizens, agencies, and communities to take action.

For more, read the original post on GovLoop.

Visual notes from Peter Sims’s keynote available on GovDelivery’s website.

Emily Jarvis, Producer for DorobekINSIDER on GovLoop, recently posted a compelling interview with GovDelivery CEO and co-Founder, Scott Burns, on the changing nature of government communications. Here’s an excerpt from her post:

The government has a history of thinking of communication as a one-way press-release oriented type of activity. What we try to do is help people understand that now you need to personalize the experience with the mission of the organization and keep the individual in mind.

In the business world goals are very straightforward when it come to marketing. Make money. It is easy to measure success and failures. For government it’s much more difficult. We need to help clients understand that the objectives are different.

Lot’s of planning is needed up front, that way communication can actually support the mission not just about about getting more Twitter followers.

[For example last] year FEMA had 8,000 people participate in online communities. This year that number is already hovering at 20,000 people. The online communities are transforming the way people communicate. It’s no longer a one-way conversation, it’s all about direct collaboration.


To hear the whole interview, see Emily’s original post on GovLoop.

Have a question for Scott? Want to hear more about his thoughts on government communications? He’ll be speaking at a digital communications event in Washington, DC on October 16. You can also hear from leading experts from around the Federal government about leadership development, new technologies, and digital communications best practices. Registration is free, but space is limited. Reserve your seat today.

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