EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- After intensive collaboration with local government leaders struggling to more actively engage citizens on multiple fronts, Vision today launched visionPulse™, a new community engagement platform that helps agencies gauge public opinion and turn feedback into action.
According to Ashley Fruechting, Vision's senior director of marketing, the company created visonPulse because local governments want to involve more people in decision-making, but were not able to do so with existing solutions.
"visionPulse integrates an engagement platform into a community's existing website where it works seamlessly with other communications channels like blogs and social media. This approach streamlines administration for staff, ensures consistency between messages on each platform and makes it easier for residents to participate," she said.
In Vision's 2016 survey of local gov agencies, 98 percent of respondents identified "citizen engagement" as "essential" or "important" to their agency, and 100 percent predicted it would have a significant impact on local government operations by 2020. Yet only 5 percent considered their agency to be "outstanding" in effective engagement and more than 81 percent cited it as one of the top three issues needing improvement.
Additional research supports the idea that local government agencies are right to be concerned about engagement because citizens are demanding it. In a 2015 Accenture report on Digital Government, respondents were asked to name the activities they would prefer to conduct digitally. Among the top 10 activities cited were: share views and opinions (#7) and participate digitally in public hearings (#9).
So why isn't engagement happening?
"Residents simply don't know about the opportunities available to them to provide feedback because engagement tools are usually buried in municipal websites," said Fruechting. "Government staff struggle to keep multiple systems up to date and consistent because each one requires a separate log-in and administration. Effectively engaging citizens day-in and day-out, year-round requires local leaders to provide information and functionality that citizens value and internal staff can manage."
With visionPulse, local government agencies can create topics and blogs to inform residents about important issues, promote the topics through email, social media and their websites, conduct polls, take comments from residents, and leverage these insights to make better decisions for their communities.
Streamlined administration and the ability to update all systems with a single publish is made possible by integrating visionPulse with visionLive™ CMS – the company's subscription-based content management system and service plan.
Other visionPulse features include:
Step-by-step cues guide editors to create topics and include images, questions and polls to make content compelling to residents.
Topics can be assigned to a designated staff member who will receive automatic notifications when residents add comments or submit a poll, simplifying management of the engagement process.
Integration with visionLive CMS allows editors to tag topics to associate them with specific departments, projects or themes, promoting issue visibility by displaying them alongside related content throughout the website.
Poll and comment settings can be configured on a per-topic basis, giving editors control over feedback mechanisms, such as allowing residents to submit multiple comments on a particular issue, up-voting and more.
"visonPulse includes functionality that goes far beyond website management," Fruechting said. "It replaces third-party engagement products that cost two to three times as much."
For more information about visonPulse and Vision's other transformative technology, or to request a free website review and consultation, please call 888-263-8847 or visit info.visioninternet.com/free-consultation.
About Vision Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., Vision is a national leader in government website development with more than 700 government, non-profit and education clients in U.S. and Canadian communities with populations that range from less than 1,000 residents to more than 5 million. For more than 20 years, Vision has created cost-effective solutions that increase government efficiency, transparency and interactive communications with citizens. The company's powerful, easy-to-use visionLive™ content management system continues to evolve with feedback from hundreds of municipal clients. In 2016, Vision was named to Government Technology magazine's GovTech 100, a listing of leading companies developing innovative or disruptive offerings to improve or transform government. The company also was named a top 10 company serving local government by Engaging Local Government Leaders in its 2016 ELGL Choice Awards.