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Engagement Tips from Texas’ Comptroller’s Office

This week, communicators and public sector employees gathered for the first GovDelivery Digital Engagement Day in Austin, Texas to learn and share best practices for digital communications in government. Among the speakers was Brian Wellborn with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA) office who spoke to their efforts getting the word out on their programs and services.

Wellborn’s office serves as the tax collector, treasurer, chief accountant and revenue estimator for the state of Texas. “If [Texas] were a country, we’d be the 10th largest economy in the country,” he explained.

With so much responsibility to oversee finances for Texas, communication is a key component to their work in letting their constituents know about important tax information and program developments.

Wellborn acts as the gatekeeper for all messages that are delivered from the comptroller’s office, which are sent at least 2-3 times per week to their audience of nearly 10 million subscribers.

Their main goal is to update citizens on services and increase engagement with events and campaigns like their recent “Good for Texas Tour” when the comptroller traveled throughout the state to meet with his constituency.

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Due to their communications efforts, the Comptroller’s office was able to garner over 55 positive media articles and 200,000 social media impressions during the “Good for Texas” tour.

With nearly 10 million subscribers and an increase in 200,000 subscribers in the last year, what’s their secret?

“Shorter is always better,” Wellborn said. The recipe for success at the Texas Comptroller’s office is limiting the number of words in their digital messages, adding a very visible headline, leveraging imagery whenever possible, and adding a hyperlink. This contributed to their high open and engagement rates throughout the past year.

The Comptroller’s office also asks the following question before sending any information to their audience: is this information absolutely necessary for our audience to know? If it’s not, it’s not sent. It’s the pillar of their communications strategy, which has contributed to high levels of engagement and subscriber growth.

Check out the type of information the Texas Comptroller’s office sends and sign up for their updates here.