Municipality’s online presence or lack thereof

I’ve talked before about my experience working at Big Lakes County over the summer. At the time I worked there they were still in a one — maybe even two year — transition from a Municipal District to a County. Despite this shift it was really quite shocking how little of a presence they had online. I would often voice my concerns in this area only to get a knowing look and a what-can-you-do type shoulder shrug.

I know that besides having a lack of support in council and senior management, part of their problem was due to the fact that they had no in house communication director. Essentially their online presence up until this point was up to a couple of individuals whenever they had time to do so. This meant that their website and Facebook were constantly out of date and even though several staff members recognized this as an area of priority, it just was not possible without a designated person for the job. They always hinted at the fact that perhaps I should take over their communications, but the job I was hired for never gave me the time to fully do so either. Anyone who would be assigned this position would basically have a clean slate to work with.

If I was given the chance I would first fix the problem with their domain name and make sure that the landing page was redesigned and organized properly. Much like the City of Edmonton’s landing page, I would want it to be simple and effective with a compatible mobile version as well. It would be important that things were easy to find or searched for because in the four months that I worked there we had several complaints in regards to this on our current website. When that was completed I would start working out a communication strategy that would work for any designated staff to keep up to date regularly along with being able to do their own job. Meaning that the content calendar and communication strategy would have to be well planned out in order to fit the needs of their administration.

A couple weeks ago my boss text me and asked if I could move back home and do my schooling online because they had officially opened up a communication position! While she was joking about me moving down, I’m confident that this step will lead to positive strides in their online presence — and I like to think that I might have influenced that necessity a bit too!

~ Bronté

Sources

http://www.mdofbiglakes.ca

http://www.edmonton.ca

 

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