Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Facebook for Elected Officials

In an emergency communication is key. By far the most common means of sharing information in the social media landscape is Facebook.

Your residents turn to Facebook for updates on friends and family, and for the latest information.  National League of Cities recently published an article called "The Elected Official's Easy Guide to Facebook." You can share these tips with your department heads and officials, and create a system for sharing emergency information that can extend your reach.

In September, Facebook announced Crisis Response,"a new center on Facebook where people can find more information about recent crises and access our crisis response tools – including Safety Check, Community Help and Fundraisers to support crisis recovery – all in one place."

Below is their infographic.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Out of the Office

Conversation by Francois Bester, via Creative Commons Lic.
We've all had those moments. You're at the market, out for a walk, out to dinner, and a resident recognizes you. They want to talk about something going on in your city. Whether it's a complaint, a suggestion, or praise, you have to respond. It's a gray area of work/life balance for municipal professionals.

ICMA has a neat discussion on how municipal professionals handle public comment offered during their personal time.

How do you handle feedback outside of office hours? Any tips, tricks or best practices?  Tell us about them in the comments!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

ICMA's Office Management Guide

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) recently released a quick guide to office management.

It lists the core knowledge areas as:
  1. Functions and procedures 
  2. Budgeting
  3. Marketing
  4. Communication
It turns out that what's true in the general office environment is also true in local government. Managers have to:
  1. Know how to properly perform the functions of the office
  2. Understand both income and expenditures and how to optimize both
  3. Ensure that residents understand what services you provide and how to access them
  4. Communicate effectively both within the office and to the public
Office management is a continually evolving experience. If you have suggestions or best practices, share them in the comments, or in our LinkedIn group for municipal professionals.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Leadership and effective goal-setting

Getting a team motivated to reach a goal requires a clear understanding of what the goal is, and what the team members' roles are in reaching it.

Leaderchat.org has an article with suggestions on clarifying roles and expectations, saying "By using both what and who questions, leaders can provide better clarity, accountability, and agreement—all of which provide the foundation for shared success!"

What methods do you use to motivate your team toward its goals?

Share in the comments or in our LinkedIn group!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

IT, or not IT? 

woman at computers
That is the question
Originally this week's post was going to focus on an article from Efficient Government about how government can avoid zero-day threats. We thought our readers might want to share the article with their IT department.

It's an important read (which we're also discussing in ClerkBase's LinkedIn Group), but then we came across a related article by GovTech that reminded us that small-town governments may not have an IT department.

GovTech's article talked about a few solutions. Some local municipalities may share the services of one IT company. The county may provide some IT services to the munis. Larger cities may allow smaller ones to buy into their IT department.

We wondered how your community handles its IT needs, in light of the increasing number of large-scale hacks. Feel welcome to share your experiences and advice in the comments, or in our LinkedIn group for municipal professionals. Or email us at mail@clerkbase.com to let us know.

ClerkBase transparency solutions don't need our clients to have an IT department. In fact, the ClerkBase and OpenGOVideo services are cloud-based, which not only reduces your storage expenses, but protects your records in the event of a hack.

Call us at 866-676-9486, or send an email to mail@clerkbase.com and we'll create a secure, customized solution to fit your agency's needs.
All for you
This newsletter is for you, the local government professional. We encourage you to contact us with questions about our products and services, local government technology, article suggestions, or any way in which we can help to make your job easier. At ClerkBase, that's what we do.

image: Savannah River Site via Flickr

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Digging deep into the underground

EfficientGov recently published an article on local governments' repurposing of unused underground spaces.

The article outlined how communities with vacant property were able to creatively use their real estate. From underground carbon-free farms in London to bike storage in Tokyo, and a bike park in Louisville, cities are finding new ways with their old, empty spaces.

Does your municipality have unused real estate? Whether creating a program through committee, or working with an NGO, you may have an opportunity to turn it into a resource rather than blight. Have any ideas? We'd love to hear them in the comments.

We love efficient solutions!

Photo credit: untitled by Stuart McAlpine on Flickr (Creative Commons)