Snapshot: How FDIC drives online engagement with its programs
At this year’s annual Digital Communications Tour stop in Washington DC, officials from three government agencies presented to hundreds of their peers on the latest innovations in digital communications in federal government. Below is a snapshot of part of the panel session with Alan Levy, Chief Web Officer at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on how the agency is using digital communications to increase stakeholder engagement and meet stakeholder needs. For some of the other panelists’ perspectives, check out the Farm Service Agency and Department of Education panel discussions. The answers below have been edited for brevity and context.
The number of people using mobile or other non-desktop sources to visit the FDIC website inspired the agency to update its digital strategy.
Alan: We’ve seen a growth in users that are coming to our website via sources other than computers. So externally one of the biggest focuses recently has been getting fdic.gov 100 percent mobile by the end of this year. We’re at about 60 percent now so we’re really concentrating on that.
FDIC uses analytics to guide these website changes in addition to informing its overall communications strategy.
Alan: With analytics I get so much information from so many different sources that it’s hard to put it all together. One of the things we’re working on always is trying to get some sort of synergy to make logical business decisions and changes to the website or our communications plan based on the numbers.
The agency also employs a COPE, “Create Once, Publish Everywhere,” strategy when sending its messages to reach more stakeholders.
Alan: The key part of being able to reach all of our stakeholders is using tools to mix and match messages to different groups. We’ve created 60+ topics through GovDelivery, [allowing stakeholders to select what topics they want to receive information about]. And then we leverage that message to post to our Facebook and Twitter pages. It’s much easier to be able to send out one message and hit potentially hundreds of thousands of subscribers, than send something different through various channels.
FDIC implemented a successful communications campaign to introduce part of its revamped financial literacy program, Money Smart, to key stakeholders.
Alan: Last year we revamped Money Smart’s podcast network, a series of 40-50 individual podcasts that get the message out to people who are struggling to either make ends meet or are trying to figure out how to balance a checkbook, apply for a credit card, things like that. After launching it on FDIC.gov, we sent out the press release, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube updates. And of course, our main GovDelivery message went out to all of the people subscribed to email updates. Nearly 7,000 people opened and engaged with the message.
FDIC works to expand the number of stakeholders it reaches with its digital communications by cross-promoting topics with other federal agencies through the GovDelivery Network (for more information on the Network, check out this video).
Alan: We get a lot of new subscribers from the GovDelivery Network and we’re always looking to expand how we cross-promote with other agencies, as long as it makes sense. The Network has been very effective in our outreach. We had a huge percentage growth of new subscribers [more than 21,000 people] coming from the GovDelivery Network.
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