Dynamic Communication in Governments: More Than Sending And Receiving

Governments have difficulties connecting with citizens. A solution exists called dynamic communication. Follow the example of Kortrijk!

Making your municipality or town a nice place to live does not happen just like that. You can’t make it happen solely with a super location, nice little cafes and friendly neighbors. Turning your municipality into a true gem is something you do collectively. Together with the city council, citizens and – of course – your dynamic communication department.

And over the last years, that communication department has had to carry out many extra tasks. Your communication staff is for example responsible for the monthly municipal magazine, which always has to look its best. However, they also have to write Facebook messages to inform citizens about road works. But they also have to deal with internal communication between the various departments. That’s a difficult task to fulfill, especially if your department has fewer colleagues to count on.

A coherent whole

Communication, to many organizations and companies, is only successful if every last part of it is told in the exact same way on the various channels. That’s also something most cities and municipalities are striving for. All communication must be rightly coordinated so a single story is sent out the world.

However, minor problems often occur when it comes to coordinating the various channels. For example, it sometimes happens that the communication manager of a certain department uses an outdated corporate identity, while another employee quickly creates a flyer in Word. Because of this patchwork of styles, fonts and designs, you’re unable to create a unified and coherent corporate identity.

As the communication team, you can then decide to just make a few people responsible for producing designs. But that doesn’t really solve the problem. If there are any inconsistencies in the house style and the use of images, it’s best to look for a solution that will help you get rid of them. That’s what the city of Kortrijk chose to do too.

Coherence with brand management software

Brand Management software assists your municipality or town as a ‘brand’ when you’re making online Facebook-posts, leaflets for summer camps or your monthly municipal magazine. With such an instrument, every communication officer in Kortrijk can contribute to the creation of a coherent image of the city.

One of the latest creations, made with the brand management software of the city of Kortrijk, was recently awarded! Last summer, the communication department created a postcard for the children whose kids-ID would soon expire. Kobe Detremmerie, head of communication at Kortrijk’s civil affairs department, explains the idea behind the postcard:

Every holiday period, we saw a recurring problem at the civil affairs department. The family is ready for their yearly vacation and is off to enjoy some sunshine, but suddenly fate strikes. Son or daughter has no identity card. No kids-ID, no trip. Result: high extra costs for an urgent request or even a cancellation of the trip.

We examined the emergency requests for a kids-ID from previous years. It turned out that these applications were not so much for children who did not have a kids-ID. They were for kids that had an expired document in their possession. We decided to do something about that.

About two weeks before every school holiday we sent the postcards. Why did we choose to do this? Packed like a postcard, the message we want to convey is clear at a glance. We worked with a strong image, short and clear language and a striking format. The card is addressed to the child so that they too felt involved.

A winning idea!

With this idea, Kortrijk won a prize from Kortom, the association for government and social profit communication in Flanders. Their printed design grabbed the attention of the jury. Why exactly?

The team in Kortrijk saw a need among the population and solved it with positive and anticipatory communication. With a limited budget and a good idea, Kortrijk has successfully devoted its actions for better service.

Kortom, Communicatie werkt, spring 2019

Thanks to Kortrijk’s creative campaign, nobody had an urgent request for a kids-ID in the summer of 2018. Because of their dynamic communication, everyone could leave on holiday without any worries or stress. Talk about success!

Communication is essential

Local governments like Kortrijk try their hardest to make communication between civilians and the city more enjoyable. And that works well! Kortrijk always tries to put the citizen at the center and to inform them well. The creative approach with the postcard is the ideal way to reach the citizen. We think Kortrijk’s dynamic communication is an example for other cities in Flanders. Ready to start working with your city department?