Are You COPE-ing? Start with an email
By Lucas Pillman, Technical Implementation Consultant at GovDelivery
Government communications that use the “COPE” mentality (create once, publish everywhere) not only survive but thrive with their audiences. By publishing content to multiple channels at once, public sector organizations can make sure that important information is always in front of their stakeholders no matter where they see the message. What goes out as an email can be sent as an SMS/text message or posted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., with tools like the GovDelivery Communications Cloud automating this process easily.
So where do you get started with a COPE strategy? Here are five good reasons why you should start your COPE process with an email that sets to distribute to other channels.
Email subscribers are your most engaged subscribers
You probably have already figured out that the people you reach through email can be your most valued points of contact. You are not controlled by whether they are watching their Twitter feed or if Facebook’s fickle News Feed algorithm ate your post. Above all other types of communication, people read their emails. So return the favor by customizing your content to email.
You will reach more people through email
Let’s think about a blog that allows people to subscribe to email alerts when new content is posted. Every mature blog I have worked with as an implementation consultant quickly develops many more email subscriptions to its blog posts than actual Web page views of the same posts. Often you will have ten email subscribers for every one website visitor.
Email has more freedom than other channels
Twitter is famously limited to 140 characters. An SMS/text message is limited to 160 characters. With these types of limitations, it is impossible to say everything you would like to in a tweet or SMS message. Instead, you link to the full message when necessary. An email can provide you with the freedom to communicate a more complete message. It can be short, if needed, or longer to present a more fully formed idea.
Email can distribute directly to social networks
If you are publishing to multiple digital channels at once but start your distribution with Facebook, you will find that you are limited in sending that post out as a tweet, email and blog post at the same time. There is a reason for that. Facebook wants your content to stay within Facebook. However, start your content as an email, and Facebook will happily accept that new content. So will Twitter. You get the idea.
You have more control
One of the main reasons that everyone accepts your email content is that you control your own email. When you tweet, Twitter controls who sees it and how it is seen. When you pin, Pinterest places that picture how it chooses to within its own walled garden. Everyone accepts content as the valued currency, but that doesn’t necessarily means it is displayed in the same way you posted it if you’re working on a third party site. So start with an email to get reliable distribution of your valuable message.
Are you using the COPE strategy with your government communications? How are you doing this now, and what have you found that works best? Let us know in the comments.