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The 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report: What to Look For

Last year, Granicus published the first-ever Benchmark Report for the public sector that highlighted the metrics that truly matter for government communicators. This year, Granicus published the same set of important metrics for the public sector (click rate, open rate, engagement rate, subscription per subscriber and overlay impact) in the 2017 Granicus Benchmark Report, but with a number of important new features and content to support the work that government is doing every day to make an impact.

One primary takeaway from this year’s Benchmark Report was that government is communicating at new levels – with an overall reach of over 150 million citizens in the past year, the public sector saw an audience growth of over 25 percent from the previous year. This growth in audience is a result of the increase in demand from citizens, and it’s clear in the report that government continues to innovate and adjust tools and tactics to meet citizens where they are.

As demand increases, and the avenues for communications multiply, what are the top ways to use this year’s Benchmark Report for your strategy?

Here are a few of the top takeaways from the report:

Use Metrics to Help Measure Success

Earlier in the year, Granicus surveyed over 1,200 government communicators and leaders to determine how success will be measured in the coming year. Published in the 2017 Granicus Trends Report, we heard that government will be measuring success this year with digital engagement metrics.

More than ever, metrics can help tell an important story of whether or not digital engagement strategies are working or not. This practice has long been held to determine success in the private sector to increase sales, but in the public sector we use digital engagement metrics like open, click and engagement rates to drive outcomes – whether that’s providing life-saving information in times of crisis or informing citizens of where to vote on Election Day.

Metrics are just one piece of the puzzle, but they help get us where we’re ultimately headed – towards a better world with more informed and engaged citizens.

Compare to Your Peers in Government, and More

While the Benchmark Report can be used in the public sector to compare and contrast digital strategy against your peers in government, it can also be used to gauge how outreach efforts compare to private and nonprofit sectors. For many years, these sectors have had benchmarking metrics to guide digital strategy.

Again this year, Granicus’ benchmarking data highlights a compelling story in the world of government communications. When standard median metrics, including open rate, click rate, and engagement rate are compared across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, it is clear that government messages are being opened, clicked on and engaged with more than other industries. See page 7 of the Benchmark Report to learn more.

Keep Building on Authentic Reach

Why does government perform better in terms of engagement? It’s often because their communications are sent to an audience that has raised their hand to ask for the information, rather than an audience who has shown mild interest in a product, or whose email address has come from a purchased list. This is what we call “authentic reach.”

The greater the authentic reach, the more likely this success will continue in the future. As organizations build up their audiences with citizens who opt into communications messages, the more authentic the conversation is between that organization and its citizen. From analyzing millions of messages, we know this relationship has a greater impact on government outcomes than almost any other tactic.

Overall, measuring the success of your efforts, especially in comparison to other sectors, can shed light on what’s working for your organization. Download the (free!) report for more in-depth findings and to help determine where you stand, and tips for improvement.