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How a Local Government in Wales Used Digital Tools to Increase Its Impact

On Thursday in London, hundreds of government communicators gathered for the annual Public Sector Communications Conference – a full day of presentations from experts on how digital communications can improve citizen engagement.

Attendees left with real-world strategies to help their organizations make a difference, like what digital tools are the most impactful for enhancing the customer experience, informing large populations of critical information, and encouraging citizen action.

Huw Ap Dewi is the Performance and Development Officer at Wrexham County Borough Council in Wales, and at the event he spoke to attendees about how digital tools helped them reach their audience in an impactful way.

Wrexham is in northeast Wales and has a population of around 135,000 people. In 2015, the county was looking for a new way to connect with their communities about information on issues like winter preparedness or roadwork.

They decided GovDelivery’s Communications Cloud was the best option for connecting with their citizens, and launched the online platform with a small amount of subscribers and 10 topics.

In just over a year, Wrexham grew their subscriber base to 23,000 people – 17 percent of the population – and 34 topics. The slide below highlights the topics that Wrexham added to provide citizens with more detailed and targeted information.

With a growing list of subscribers and an increased level of engagement, Wrexham set out to solve an issue that was taking up valuable time and resources within the organization: recycling bin reminders. 

According to Dewi, “If you want an example of our dedication to customer care, this is it.” Wrexham was manually scheduling 477 bulletins a week on recycling bin reminders, which took up to an entire day for someone at Wrexham County.

Two months ago, Wrexham discovered GovDelivery’s Advanced Package for the Communications Cloud, which allows organizations to schedule bulletins in bulk.

By leveraging the Advanced Package, Dewi was able to schedule campaigns for recycling bin reminders in two large bulk campaigns. As Dewi put it, “We had a job that previously took us one day, and we turned it into a job that now takes us two minutes on Friday.”

As a direct result of the email reminders sent with GovDelivery, Wrexham had a 43 percent reduction in bin collection calls to their offices.

Wrexham is great example of how using digital tools can help inform and engage citizens, but also highlights how using online platforms can save valuable time and resources for government organizations.

Want to see more from the 2016 Public Sector Communications Summit in London? Check the website for the recording of the conference, along with the presentations and photos.