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  • Success Story
  • Credit River, MN

How Credit River, MN is Using Technology to Serve Better and Engage its Community

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Named after a river that spans 22 miles, Credit River, MN is a charming and quaint city located in the southwestern region of Minnesota with a population of 6,000. The public servants that work in city hall recognized the importance of serving their community by providing them with excellent digital experiences for civic engagement. So, when council members wanted to transform the city’s digital experience to increase community engagement and public participation, they employed the Granicus Experience Cloud The result was better government communications and community engagement, with less of a burden on city staff.

“This exceeds the expectations of our residents. It is exactly the outcome we expected and hoped for.”
Chris Kostik, Mayor


  • 70% subscriber growth In first 6 months
  • 64% engagement rate Compared to 55% benchmark*
  • 57% open rate Compared to 25% benchmark*
  • 11% click rate Compared to 4% benchmark*

A necessary pairing

Public sector organizations across the U.S. understand that technology alone will not transform the constituent experience. Technology must work hand-in-hand with a municipality’s communication strategy. Mayor Chris Kostik had the same mindset when working to achieve key community engagement goals synergistically. Naturally, with any new project — but especially projects based on innovative technologies — there may be a learning curve. Luckily, the city of Credit River was well cared for during implementation. To truly achieve their goal of increasing community engagement and public participation, the Credit River team implemented a suite of modern technology solutions — the Government Experience Cloud — that empowered the entire constituent experience using their website, digital communications, and agenda and public meetings management.


Clearing the way for technology

Mayor Kostik led the project with a small but mighty team comprised of dedicated city staff: council member Lawrence, the city clerk, and the city’s webmaster. The team worked directly with their designated Granicus program manager, who served as their trusted partner throughout the life of the project. “We had only a few key people making decisions, so our job was to clear the blockers on our end,” said Mayor Kostik. “We trusted the Granicus team to make [the rest of the project] easier for us.”

Because of city staff constraints on availability for the project, it was important to quickly achieve goals and public wins. As the project continued, the project manager built on those wins by augmenting the skills and capacity gaps within the city’s teams.

One of the first steps in this goal-oriented process began with the launch of the city’s fresh marketing communication solution and using it to send email updates about website progress.


Modern, robust, and resident-centered

With the integration of a new, custom website and the city’s new communications solution, the site was transformed into a modern, robust, and resident-centric hub for information. Now, community members can easily navigate the site to find essential information and complete key services, simultaneously improving the constituent experience and alleviating administrative burden.

“We immediately saw the benefits of the website, especially on the public works concerns brought by residents,” said Lawrence. “We were able to stand up a page that houses the projects and is easily maintained and updated by us. I can see all the analytics and these pages were immediately getting looked at regularly. In the past, each one of those clicks would have been a call or an email to our busy staff.”

Each time a resident walks into an organizations office, it costs roughly $10.75 to address their issue. When someone picks up the phone to call, it costs $3.40 on average. Digital interactions, conversely, cost roughly $0.12 a pop — a much more compelling return on investment.

The upgraded communications strategy and solution significantly strengthened the flow of information from the city into the community. The number of subscribers grew by 70% in the first 6 months alone. Not only were more residents subscribing, but they were also engaging with communications more too. The city’s average open rate is 57%, more than double the median open rate for local government in 2021. The engagement rate is an impressive 64%, also higher than the average rate for local municipalities.