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Short, sweet, simple: Tips for effective government communications

Community Manager
Community Manager

"Clarity over clever." This GovExec article has some interesting insights on how government should communicate to be effective. 


It's great if you can do both (and in an avenue like social media, cleverness can sometimes help your message spread) BUT when it comes to critical information, being clear, concise and easy to understand is so much more important.


Some other interesting takeaways if you're trying to drive a specific action among residents/constituent:

  • 🏛 An authoritative/formal tone works better than a casual one or colorful graphics
  • Keep messages short and to the point (break up large blocks of text and use bullet points)
  • 💌 Address communications to specific individuals instead of using generic introductions such as “Dear Resident"

What do you think about these?


How do you decide what is the appropriate tone for your messaging? Some are obvious. (Recruiting camp counselors? Have fun! Telling residents to evacuate? Be direct.) Others, not so much. What about trash reminders? Or, we've all seen how National Park Service can make important messages fun. (Don't pet the buffalo!)


A lot of governments have decentralized comms these days, and I'm curious how you manage tone across your organization. How do you make sure important information is being communicated clearly to the right audiences?


Read more in the GovExec article.