Reconciling the needs of .gov audiences with reality

Reconciling the needs of .gov audiences with reality

By Joshua DeLung

This is part four of a four-part blog series on strategically addressing internal and external stakeholder needs on .gov websites. Read the first post, the second post and the third post if you’re not up-to-speed already.

Previously, I wrote about the many directions in which government agency web managers are pulled each day. There are several key internal and external stakeholder groups competing for your resources and attention every day. And before you can develop a governance strategy that accounts for them all, you need to know what you’re dealing with — what does each audience want, and how can I help them?

I already talked about how your .gov website should support end users, the Administration, program offices and Congress. But just how do you keep them all happy at once?

Reconciling differences

  • Balance resources with reality: Satisfying all these groups all the time is probably impossible. And you’ll have to decide as an organization where you will get the most return on investment with limited resources. Reconcile the level to which you do all these things for stakeholders by sorting priorities and asking yourself, “Who are we really serving?” The answer is: taxpayers. But your livelihood as a web team may depend on much more.
  • Involve experts at navigating tricky political web waters: That’s where experts at strategic communication within .gov teams are useful. ENC’s strategists have spent the last several years within government agencies working to facilitate success by showing web teams how to work through the process of serving divergent audiences. Ultimately, the goal is to help you by delivering the best .gov possible with the most value to taxpayers.
  • Don’t be afraid of the front office: Maintain open communication, make your governance structure clear — and enforce it. Frame your story within the agency’s strategic plan.

If you follow the steps we’ve laid out during this blog series, with help from a trusted communication strategy partner, your .gov will serve all its stakeholders well and become a model for agency success online.

Image courtesy Flickr user aeu04117.

About Joshua DeLung

Senior Director of Communication Services, specializes in strategy, public relations, writing/editing and social media.

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