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  1. #1
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    How to promote a local government site?

    Howdy,

    Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on the best ways to promote a local government site. It's a small city (20,000) but is a major tourist area. The site currently includes a "City Hall" section, "Local Business" section, and "Tourism" section.

    I was involved with certain aspects of the development of the site but was not a part of the initial development meetings and had no input for how the site should be designed/developed to meet its obligations to its target audience(s).

    Anyway, the city government had an extremely long list of "must haves/high priority wants" including database functionality, secure admin sections, updateable content, etc ... however, in the 5 months since launch, staff have not been using these features as asked for ... an example is a neglect of keeping the dynamic content pages/sections current where files that should be added each week are not ... the result is pages/sections with "No Current Records" or else files from a couple months back.

    To make a long story short, I've been asked to assess and consult on the current "problems" and figure out how to get traffic up to speed.

    My first recommendation was for staff to take an active role in the site, to use the features and services as they were designed. By keeping the content current, the site looks vital and active and will draw people back for the latest updates. Also, if staff won't agree to this, I've suggested the design company to integrate these "extras" into their maintenance agreement.

    Also, all current city correspondence has no reference to the website domain. I've suggested including the domain prominently in all correspondence to get it out there and known. I've also suggested that staff start directing people, especially customer service, to direct people to the website for features such as employment applications, latest recreation programs, etc as they are currently not doing so.

    All the other basics such as search engine registration has been covered.

    Still, IMO this site was primarily designed as a community resource for citizens and I think focus should be directed here. Therefore, I feel that "Phase 1" should focus on increasing awareness locally and having the entire site work as it was designed by having staff take a more active role keeping their departments/sections current. I've also recommended to not worry about "total numbers" in terms of traffic and concentrate on how well the site is used and appreciated by the community.

    So, that's my initial take on the situation. If someone thinks I'm "off-base" or has any suggestions or experience in similar circumstances I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    With a town that size it should be fairly manageable to do a PR campaign. Contact the local news media, tv stations, radio, newspapers, and ask if they'll do a story. Also, piggyback on whatever your local chamber of commerce is doing.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist worksdev's Avatar
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    This thread has some ideas that can be adapted to marketing/promoting your local government site.

    http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=64111

    best regards,
    worksdev


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