How Your Agency Can Improve Their Digital Maturity



Government agencies have a lot to offer their citizens. But half the battle is finding a way to engage with those citizens in a way that keeps their audience interested and coming back for more.

GovDelivery’s 2016 Digital Communications Workshop recently presented government workers with an interactive opportunity to discuss how to improve their communications departments. The breakout session “Improving the Citizen Experience (CX) by Assessing Digital Engagement Maturity” emphasized how communications departments can assess and advance their operations. GovDelivery’s Digital Engagement Services Manager Bonnye Hart and Digital Engagement Strategist John Simpson discussed how communications departments across agencies can improve their customer experience by first determining their level of digital engagement maturity.

The Citizen Experience

The citizen experience is the interaction between an organization and a citizen over the duration of the relationship. “We have to zoom out and think about how our citizens and audiences are experiencing us before they even land on our digital properties or attend a live event,” explained Hart. This creates a two way street for driving action in the relationship.

Agencies must consider what citizens are expecting once an interaction takes place. In general, customer expectations are rising. So when a citizen engages with government content, they are no longer judging it on a curve because it is coming from a government agency. They expect the content they interact with from government agencies to be on par with the content they are consuming from retail or other private organizations.

In order to keep up with the trends, many government agencies have shifted to a mobile media focus to enhance the citizen experience and cater to their target audiences. However, many agencies’ communications departments are not fully equipped to handle increased digital engagement but are unsure how to identify where they need to improve. That’s where a maturity assessment comes in.

Digital Engagement Maturity Assessment

The Digital Engagement Maturity Assessment allows communications departments to assess their strengths and weaknesses in how they engage with their audiences on digital platforms.

The GovDelivery Digital Engagement Maturity Model is a framework that allows you to analyze your departments’ digital outreach and engagement efforts. Five key areas determine the analysis: people, audience, outcomes, solutions, and reports. In each area you can determine if your department is emerging, proficient, experienced, or expert based on criterion for each area. Each level corresponds with a number that you add together in order to determine your overall digital engagement maturity score.

Improving the Citizen Experience

Hart and Simpson explained that once you decide where your team stands based on the Digital Engagement Maturity Assessment, you can then identify some of your department’s weaknesses and develop ways to overcome these challenges to improve the citizen experience. Some of their actionable recommendations included:

  • Leveraging social properties to increase sign ups. For example if your audience uses social media more than email, market your content on social media instead of sending out email blasts.
  • Sunset inefficient channels and content. If your audience no longer goes on Pinterest or Flickr, stop marketing to these platforms. Additionally, if you notice a certain type of content is not well received, mix it up and add in new content that your audience is more receptive to.
  • Know your audience. Practice social listening and take advantage of what data is telling you. Make communications decisions by analyzing analytics over time and determining what your audience is most engaged with.

How does your agency measure up? Take the assessment Digital Engagement Strategy Assessment. For more information on how to build your audience and grow the impact of your digital channels check out GovDelivery’s Guide to Digital Outreach and Engagement.

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