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Webinar Recap: Solutions for Special Districts

Special Districts face unique challenges in their autonomy. Operating separately from state, local and federal offices, they can struggle to meet transparency and accessibility demands from the public on a smaller budget.

Experts at Granicus joined a webinar hosted on Tuesday by the Special District Association of Colorado, to talk about the changing demands of a special district and how Granicus can help them identify solutions to stay compliant, transparent and proactive. View the presentation here.

The Special Districts Association of Colorado is a statewide membership organization for professionals involved in the development and operation of Colorado’s special districts. The association, formed in 1975, provides education, administrative support, legislative input and improved communication to nearly 2,000 members and associates.

As a partner, the association supports and recommends Granicus solutions to participating special districts around the state. The two organizations have been working in tandem since October 2017 to improve how Colorado’s special districts operate.

Increasing transparency and improving services are important for all special districts to maintain their agency as well as reputation in the communities they serve. Many constituents expect online tools for their government agencies, but Granicus solutions help special districts go one step further with proactive communication tools that reach constituents as soon as relevant information becomes available.

The Metropolitan Council, located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region of Minnesota, engages their audience with legislative tools available on their website. Meeting videos indexed and parsed to the council’s agenda give the public necessary tools to stay informed about what the organization is working on and prioritizing for the city. In addition, the council uses Granicus Interactive Text to stay in touch daily with constituents and drive two-way conversations.

“In addition to making it easy to find information about what was addressed during the course of a meeting, they want to put together a regular cadence of communication with their audience […] about what might impact the people they serve in their district,” Granicus Solutions Engineer Shawn Pillow said during Tuesday’s webinar.

With Granicus solutions, the Metropolitan Council maintains a thorough public record with excellent outbound communication to voters.

Other special districts around the country, like the Port of Tacoma in Washington, have benefited from extensive communications solutions that drive subscriptions and grow audiences. With the GovDelivery Network, the Port of Tacoma grew subscriptions by 268 percent and are able to drive consumers to other in-person services, like regular on-site bus tours.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) utilizes a widget and subscriber overlays on their website to capture extra email subscriptions. Their average subscriber receives updates for 10 topics.

While applications of Granicus solutions seem apparent for large districts like ports and transit systems, Shawn Pillow explained that smaller districts, even those serving less than 1,000 citizens, benefit greatly from robust tools. With budgets on the decline for all special districts and government agencies, the concept of “doing more with less” couldn’t be more important. When communication can be formatted for multiple channels at once, districts save valuable time. With advanced reporting tools and analytics on subscribers easily available, districts benefit from a single destination for all their communication needs.

Want to know more about how Granicus can help your special district succeed? We’d love to hear from you!