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Digital transformation in the public sector

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Trends & Innovations 5 min read | Jade Gebbie wrote in blog on July 8, 2024

How communication channels are changing the game for government organisations

The public sector isn’t usually at the forefront of digital transformation. City councils, regional bodies and other government-adjacent organisations are often both cash-strapped and governed by strict spending rules – making it difficult to invest in newer technology as it emerges.

Slowly but surely, the sector is seeing a shift toward new technologies and tools. In a recent survey of Australian public sector workers, 85% of respondents said they had recently participated in a digital initiative. 

One key growth area for digital tech: communications. By unifying communication channels on a single integrated platform, you can radically change the way you reach and interact with constituents and staff. This can boost engagement, save time for your employees, and cut the admin time needed to manage disconnected comms channels.    

Here’s how: 

All channels, one platform

As more public sector organisations are discovering, connecting all channels on a single communication platform is a game-changer. Send bulk SMS or MMS messages to target groups or demographics, send email updates, make voice calls, and chat with customers – all through one platform.

If you’re used to switching between apps and laboriously transferring data from one to the other, it’s easy to see how a one-platform solution would make a difference. It’s simpler and more efficient to manage, which makes it less time-consuming and error-prone. As a result, your people spend less time on manual workarounds or fixing mistakes.

Make your outreach more accessible

A wider range of communication channels helps make your outreach efforts more accessible to some groups. If you’re a local council or other community-focused organisation, reaching these people should be a key focus. It’s not equitable for some groups to miss a survey about a district plan, for example, because it comes via email, and they don’t have internet access at home.

SMS is one of the most effective channels, with ultra-high open rates and engagement. This makes it ideal for urgent or time-sensitive messaging – updates about rubbish bins, emergency weather warnings or reminders about an upcoming event.

Of course, email works well for longer-form content, such as education about a local issue, newsletter updates, rates or tax bills, and payslips for your employees. Voice calls or messaging can be used for people with accessibility needs or issues requiring a fuller conversation.

It’s about choosing the right channels for the right messages so they reach the right people.

Try it out for yourself

Try Sinch MessageMedia for 14 days for free, and see what an integrated comms strategy can do for your business.

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Conversations and feedback mechanisms

For public sector organisations, two-way communication should be the goal. You’re working for your constituents, so they should be able to open a dialogue with you and offer their feedback about issues.

A communication platform simplifies this sort of interactive conversation by collecting feedback and queries in one place. If a constituent responds to an SMS with a question, for example, a connected platform will make it simpler to answer. If your organisation requests feedback about a new district plan, a comms platform makes it easy to collect and analyse the responses for simpler reporting.

As leaders in the public sector well know, pinpointing the issues driving people in your area is crucial for making funding and policy decisions. Instead of online surveys – which often have low response rates – a quick text poll or mini-SMS survey can help you get a sense of community feelings about an issue.

Track and tweak

A connected communication platform makes tracking the impact of your campaigns easier, too. With disconnected software, you might need to combine results from several channels to create a report – for example, you might get some information from your SMS platform, some from your email provider, and more from your social platforms. Comparing this data isn’t always easy – different providers use varied KPIs, making it difficult to truly understand how a campaign is performing.

With a single communication platform, all data is collected in the same place. You can measure the impact of a campaign and see how well different channels perform. For example, if you’ve run a campaign to educate the public about new rubbish bin rules, you could gather data about email open rates and click-through rates, SMS open and click-through rates, and feedback from the public. If open rates and engagement are far higher through SMS, you could prioritise that channel in future campaigns.

Build efficiency with automation

Automation is a big drawcard for harried public sector organisations. With a unified communication platform, you can automate many comms processes, such as sending SMS reminders triggered by user actions or setting up email responses for certain queries or requests.

For example, you could send an automatic reminder to constituents if they’re more than two days late paying their rates bill. Or, you could streamline the building permit process by automating email responses and updates.

If your customer service teams are strained, automation can save time and improve service levels. The more repetitive tasks you automate, the more time your team has to deal with complex issues and face-to-face interactions. 

Your tech transformation journey

Tech transformation is big business – and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the huge range of options on the market. Not every tool or platform is right for every organisation. Instead, it’s about finding the software that fits the needs of your organisation and your community.

Ready to transform communication in your public sector organisation? We can help.

Visit the Sinch MessageMedia stand at Tech in Gov, or get in touch to set up a chat.

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