Partnering to Move Forward in Uncertain Times
Policy makers, business, community leaders, and public officials have the unique challenge of finding creative ways to be responsive to their constituents while protecting the public health.
As challenging as these times are, it is also a good opportunity to take stock and re-evaluate how your organization can be more responsive to constituents’ and customers’ needs. Local governments can and should strive to be a trusted source of information — not only disseminating the latest health bulletins or the status of city services – but by proactively partnering with the private sector to provide critical information to residents that is practical and meaningful.
One example… we’re hearing of many privately owned businesses now designating special shopping hours for seniors and others whose health is at risk. Many restaurants are now offering to-go, family meals. But how will local residents find out about these helpful changes – unless they are already connected-customers of those businesses? Cities, school districts, and indeed any public agency that interfaces with the public can be trusted messengers to communicate such valuable news through already existing services – the senior centers, family resource centers, PTAs, government websites, etc – all using their respective email and social media networks.
Breaking down silos and creating partnerships like these can help strengthen the relationships people have with their local governments. And that is a positive thing, both in times of crisis and beyond.