When a city undergoes an expensive rebranding process, they look for ways to improve and asking for feedback from their population is a good way to understand what content should be included on their website. Posting to social media is a great way to get that feedback unless social media is the only method of getting the word to the residents and taxpayers of Mountain Home, Idaho.
Facebook Post On April 10, 2017The above screen capture says:
Good Afternoon, We are working to improve our City of Mountain Home website. We’d like your input on how we can make it work better for you, our customers. We ask that you take this brief, two minute survey to help us. We value your opinion and feedback. Please click on the "Survey Planet" tab below or cut and paste this link into your web browser: https://surveyplanet.com/58d3edf45db1e05512a24a79 If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 208-587-2173.
Communication Is ImportantThe City of Mountain Home, Idaho hired a fully competent and highly creative communications assistant in February 2017, or so I was led to believe. I was very familiar with the requirements that came with that job. I helped write them.
|No, no, no.|
After two months, communication is getting better between city hall and Facebook readers. And if the city was looking to brand their Facebook page, then they did a competent job. However, the city doesn't own that Facebook platform like they do with their website and only a very small percentage of Facebook visitors will ever see their posts.
In 2016, social media experts said the organic reach for Facebook Page posts had dropped below 6%. Those odds can be increased if the city pays to "boosts" those Facebook posts. Those are poor readership numbers resulting is horrible communication if they are looking for well-rounded feedback.
But residents can always find out more by going to the city website, right? Over the last three years, the city has made very little effort to communicate with their residents via their website. Is communication important to city officials? The Magic 8-ball says "Don't count on it."
|The circular information trail|
In Through The Out Door or Out Through The In Door?Let's be honest here, the city is trying to get feedback on creating a better website. A website that has very little current news. A website that will be spruced up for a substantial amount of taxpayer money. A website that could easily be updated and transformed into something useful for very little money.
Updating and improving the city's website was an idea I planted in the minds of city leadership years ago and again less than one ago. They listened ... and decided to go their own way. And now they are asking resident on social media how to improve their website. And only on social media?
After two full weeks, there isn't even one word about the survey or wanting resident's feedback on that very website. Not one word. There isn't even a link back to the city website from the Facebook post asking for feedback. Communication? "Nope."
The marketing and branding experts in the city, including their newly hired communication assistant, seem to be floundering. The City of Mountain Home has become very proficient in floundering its way through its marketing and branding efforts. To me, it appears the city doesn't know if they are walking in through the out door or out through the in door. In any case, they have gotten plenty of exercise walking in circles.
"We don't need a win at this time. We just need to stop losing." - Captain Edward J. Smith, captain of the RMS Titanic
Why Write This?To ask why the City of Mountain Home, Idaho is asking for feedback on their website only on social media.
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Originally published on April 24, 2017.
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist
I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"