Technology has long been a part of the cultural make-up in the Pacific Northwest. From Boeing to Microsoft to Costco, Seattle and its surrounding areas have long been known for innovative thinking and being on the forefront of using technology to meet needs. So, it’s no surprise that for over a decade, the city of Bellevue, WA, across Lake Washington from Seattle, has used the Granicus marketing platform as an important part of its communications strategies.
According to Digital Communications Coordinator Claude Iosso, the move came when the communications director at the time sought additional ways to promote city projects and initiatives. “We had been doing a lot of work on our new website, putting a lot of effort into making sure the pages about our projects and programs were effective and communicated well at launch,” he said. “But how would people know to come back when there are updates?”
Incorporating govDelivery into its communications allowed Bellevue to go beyond sending news releases about high-profile initiatives. People could subscribe for updates regarding all kinds of projects and programs of interest to them, from neighborhood street improvements to park class registrations. The city empowered residents to learn about and track any program that might spark their interest.
“It was a way to connect with people who were interested in city projects but, short of regularly monitoring city webpages, had no way of knowing something new was happening,” he said. “Since we launched govDelivery all those years ago, it’s been a great tool.”
Over the years, Iosso said Bellevue has maintained about 150 topics at any given time, keeping people in the loop about everything from City Council agendas to planning initiatives to job openings. “It stays around that number,” he added. “Some topics sunset, but then, usually, some new ones launch and the staff recognize they need an alert.”
With over 95,000 subscribers currently, averaging 3.1 subscriptions per subscriber, Iosso finds surprises in the data insights generated by both Granicus solutions, which has helped to affirm assumptions he’s held and ultimately understand his audience better.
“I knew that volunteering is popular, but it’s always been anecdotal,” he said. “We’d have leadership asking if there were really that many people engaged or if it was just a case of the most civic-minded people being the loudest. The numbers helped show that a lot of people are genuinely interested in it.”