In previous blogs you’ve heard about how government organizations are embracing digital communication channels – replacing traditional face-to-face and paper-based methods – to share information with citizens and other stakeholders. In fact, Britain’s coalition government announced last month that it would be providing ‘Twitter exclusives’ to journalists to bolster its social media image and help prevent the spread of negative stories. But is Twitter alone the most effective way for the government to communicate with citizens and the media?
Social Media Use = More Email Communication
While Twitter may be an extremely useful tool in relaying updates to a wide group of people instantaneously, it has limitations. The pace at which Twitter updates occur means that updates could disappear from the top position in feeds within seconds, depending on the number of individuals and organizations citizens and media outlets follow. How can government organizations create a more lasting impression? A Nielsen study revealed that social media use actually makes people consume email more, not less – particularly for the highest social media users. That means social media users are looking for information that supplements what they see on Twitter, and email can help meet this need by providing enhanced content.
Multiple Channels – One Message
Instead of relying solely on Twitter, governments should utilize a comprehensive digital communications strategy that incorporates multiple channels to get the word out as quickly and broadly as possible. Email, with its broad user base and ease of accessibility, needs to be a vital component in this comprehensive strategy. Email also delivers the greatest value when it’s part of an integrated platform of communication tools. That means organizations should link outbound email with Twitter and other social media channels to provide a consistent and effective experience. Accordingly, the growth in available social media outlets has only reinforced the importance of email’s role as a reliable and foundational communications channel.
Seamless Communication Vehicles, Multiple Benefits
Implementing an integrated digital communications strategy can provide government organizations with a number of benefits, such as reduced costs and improved delivery to citizens and other stakeholders. Most importantly, by using a variety of communication channels, the public gets the information they want, when they want it and how they want it.
To learn more about how to effectively integrate email with social media, download the following two white papers written by Liz Azyan, an independent researcher and blogger specializing in government communication and online engagement:
- Integrating Social Media in Government Communications
- Integrating Email in Government Communications
The best practices and case studies outlined in these white papers will demonstrate how utilizing a comprehensive set of digital communication solutions will help enhance government interaction with the public – whether citizens or the media.