Accessing the Website with govAccess
Roughly five years ago—with transparency top-of-mind—the City of Olathe redesigned its website as a “virtual city hall.” Residents are better informed and city departments have improved cross-functional relationships. Jimmy Mack, strategic communications manager and leader of overall communications efforts for the city said, “govAccess helped us simplify our website content to make it easily consumable for residents.”
Now that it has been five years since the initial redesign, the City of Olathe is in the process of another site refresh. “With the site redesign, we’re focusing on understanding the information and services our residents seek, and how to weave in our other Granicus solutions for a platform approach. Our site is vibrant and aesthetically pleasing, but in the redesign, our focus has shifted.” Meyer quoted Bob Ainsbury, Granicus’ chief product officer: “‘The movement forward should be powerful. Powerful is going to replace pretty.’”
Delivering Messages with govDelivery
As Meyer and team worked toward a revamped website, they focused on journey mapping and understanding how residents interacted with staff. This rationale informed the way they approached site design, content, and campaign creation – everything was processed with the resident at the center. “We understood that it wasn’t enough to put information inside a website,” Meyer said. “At some point, we would have to work on delivering that information to the people who were looking for it.” That’s where govDelivery came in. With govDelivery, Olathe was able to reach a broader scope of the population and proactively engage with residents who expressed interest in specific topics via dynamic emails and text messages.
Meetings with govMeetings
Because of the city’s existing relationship with Granicus, they turned to Granicus for solutions in the agenda creation and management realm. They had an existing provider for video, so Granicus worked diligently to pair govMeetings Legistar, an open architecture technology, with an outside provider for video services. “The amount of work it took to connect those two systems was unbelievable,” Meyer said. “They built connections that didn’t exist. It was over-the-top,” he added.
Services with govService
Since COVID-19 strained the city’s ability to provide in-person services, CARES Act funding helped them launch their digital, service-fulfillment platform with govService. Customer-centric design is at the helm of their website redesign, where govService will be used to power a services-first website experience. Soon, residents of Olathe will be able to go to olatheks.org to apply for a permit, view public records, pay bills, and access dozens of other services. govService will also enable Olathe staff members to trade in tedious printing and paper-pushing for effortless, automated, digital workflows and service fulfillment.
How it All Works Together | The Platform Solution
A tried-and-true analogy, Meyer likes to think of Olathe’s civic engagement as the hub and spokes of a wheel. While the hub is the govAccess website, the spokes are email, text, and social media powered by govDelivery, and the ability to view and participate in meetings online with govMeetings. “We fully take advantage of the content suggestions offered by the govDelivery communications cloud, as well as the decision-making insight we gather from the website and communications solutions analysis. Now, we know how many people are viewing and clicking on our content, how much time they’re spending on each page… We’re just well-informed now,” Meyer added.
Coupling govAccess (the website) and govDelivery (the communications solution) in an integration called Send by govDelivery, the City of Olathe has the power to deliver tailored information directly from their website to their subscribers. “We had govAccess and govDelivery for a while before we started to implement connections between the two solutions,” Meyer said. “Now, as our partnership with Granicus has matured, those connections are more intuitive and easier to facilitate. The relationship we formed with Granicus years ago is paying dividends for us now.”
The City of Olathe also uses an integration between govMeetings and govDelivery called Send Agenda where finalized agendas can automatically be sent out through govDelivery. Agendas are also published on the calendar on their govAccess website.