Success! 5 Ways To (Tactfully) Toot Your Own Horn
You work all year to improve the citizen experience. You make strides to create seamless customer service interactions, reduce wait times for in-person services, or find new ways to increase transparency and interaction without weighing down the project timeline. You’re doing amazing things to keep up with the pace of rising citizen expectations… and yet, no one knows!
In order to build trust, and increase engagement, it’s important that citizens understand the value they receive in government services day in and day out. So how can you share your successes in a way that doesn’t seem over the top and braggadocious?
Keep it brief
You might have an end of year report produced for a state legislature, or an oversight committee. While posting this on your website is wonderful, very few readers will parse through those 100 pages to find key information. Pull out a few highlights in your email, and link to the full report. This way you get to tailor the highlights for the audience, and you are doing the hard work for the reader.
It’s one thing to say “we’re doing better than ever before!,” but it is easily dismissed and forgotten. One way to overcome this is to explain in just a few key statistics how much better you are. Have you reduced wait times? Share by how many minutes! Do you serve more citizens than ever? Share how many total, and how many more that is. People will remember these if you provide just a few of your most impactful numbers.
Make it about the citizen
It’s great to become more streamlined or faster, but only if this really impacts the citizens you’re communicating to in your messages. So, instead of saying that you processed more park permits, turn it around. Maybe 175 more permits represents 175 more family and community events serving 2165 more people. This is a more compelling and citizen-centric way of communicating the same positive information.
Tell them your goals
The public sector isn’t immune to the perils of the ‘what have you done for me lately?’ culture. So, while sharing your current successes, also share what challenges you plan to tackle in the new year. Through transparency and empathy, you can gracefully acknowledge areas of improvement and share goals to address that pain point. Sharing these goals builds trust and improves engagement, as well as serves to motivate your team to meet them.
Say thank you
Public service means you do what you do for your community. You know this already, but remind your readers and say thank you for their support, advocacy, and involvement. Engagement is a choice, and they choose to open and read what you send, so thank them for their support this year, and encourage them to stay involved.
It’s a little thing to share your successes with citizens, but it can make all the difference in how they perceive your agency and the work you do all year. Make sure to take the time to explain your value and be your best advocate.
Do you have tips for how you’re sharing your success with your audience? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.