Telling a Data Driven Story: The Larimer County Jail Dashboard

The rising population in Larimer County has led to higher home values, more traffic and, sadly less available beds at the County Jail. Many factors play into what causes this, but lack of readily available/consumable data leads to a misinformed public, and could lead to misinformed ballot decisions come election day. We partnered with the Jail, the County's Business Intelligence Team and built a online, real-time dashboard using Angular to tell the story of what impacts the count of jail beds available.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Let the data tell the story 
  2. Discover the correct data, its current location and the steps taken to make it available via public APIs powered by SAP Hana
  3. Best use of searchable data tables, graphs and infographics to complete the narrative
     
Conference event time: 
1 to 2:15 p.m. (Sessions)
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Venue: 
Smithfield (Bridges)

Get your content under control: Developing a communications strategy that increases engagement

Every government agency has a specific mission. Whether its promoting or transforming services, enhancing public awareness or improving citizen involvement, agencies need a unique content and communications strategy to get their audience the information they need to participate in programs and utilize services. The main goal, no matter what mission is, is to maintain a large and active audience. 
 
 This presentation will go over key ways to do this including: developing a concise email subscription process, using personalization, leveraging segmentation, and mapping content to demand. The presentation will also feature a case study from The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that will go over how they implemented a new digital communications strategy that tripled their subscriber audience and allowed them to develop content to engage different audiences, including employees, retirees and businesses.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Actionable tips to creating or revitalizing their organization’s content strategy. 
  2. Strategies to meet their organization’s mission by increasing subscribers, developing consistent and recognizable branding and getting executive buy in to execute the strategy. 
  3. Best practices from ATF on how to overhaul a content and communications strategy, overcome common challenges and replicate their success.
     
Conference event time: 
1 to 2:15 p.m. (Sessions)
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Venue: 
Sterlings 1/2/3

Building and Managing a Content Communication Strategy

Your communication efforts should go beyond simple news releases and social media posts. Creating and publishing useful content that fits within an overall communications strategy, incorporating the needs of multiple stakeholders with varying goals and objects, requires careful planning. In this session you will learn how to leverage content communications (commonly called content marketing) strategy to connect your organization’s goals to your communication efforts.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Develop a connection between strategy development and execution using strategic communication and identify the essential components of a strategic communications plan
  2. Understand the time and personnel commitments required
  3. Learn methods for generating and repurposing content.
Conference event time: 
2:30 to 3:45 p.m. (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Venue: 
Ft. Pitt (Bridges)

Making Accessible PDFs

This session focuses on the accessibility guidelines you should use when creating a new document with an authoring program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. After the PDF is generated, we will walk through the accessibility features in Adobe Acrobat DC and conclude with some tests you can perform to verify if the PDF is accessible. This session is aimed at anyone that makes documents that will be posted online.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Principles to apply in your original document
  2. How to create a tagged PDF
  3. Testing the document to verify it is accessible
Conference event time: 
2:30 to 3:45 p.m. (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Venue: 
Sterlings 1/2/3

Homemade: Making, Enduring and Embracing the Decision to build your site in house

The trials, tribulations and victories in relaunching a 20 year old county website - this talk will provide a brief overview of decision making and our strategy in launching the new larimer.org. How did we flip the switch? How to avoid common pitfalls? How to recover - semi-gracefully? I will also cover some of the tools used in the relaunch (Pantheon, Siteimprove, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, etc) that helped keep us sane and remember that one department that no one else did.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Leverage and Build upon your teams strengths
  2. Leverage Cloud services to fill gaps and improve performance
  3. Be transparent and make everyone your partner
Conference event time: 
1 to 2:15 p.m. (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Venue: 
Sterlings 1/2/3

5 Easy Ways to Adapt Your Web Content to Your Community

St. Louis Park, MN was ready for a new website, but knew that a beautiful design was only half the battle. Sure, their website customers appreciate beautiful photographs and easy-to-use navigation, but visitors really needed to be able to understand and act on the words on the page. When it came to creating content for their site, the City overhauled the tasks and language to match the needs of their particular site visitors.

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Tools to reveal the needs of your web visitors
  2. Exercises that demonstrate how your visitors use your site
  3. Steps to test if your content is matching their expectations (and yours)
Conference event time: 
1 to 2:15 p.m. (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Venue: 
Birmingham (Bridges)

From Blah to Brilliant: How to Move Along the Plain Language Spectrum

Do you think your web content, social media, or brochures could be better? However, no one at work seems to agree. It's too much work, the old stuff got approved, why change? This session will show some steps for moving from raw to polished content. Plain language uses a variety of well-known techniques: white space, short sentences, common words, etc. But you can’t do everything at once. Sometimes all you can do is move toward plain language–-no one does it instantly. There’s no plain language button on the keyboard-–how do you start? You'll see plenty of before/after examples, and hear many anecdotes from 20+ years of web content struggles. You’ll be able to tell the difference and start to move along the plain language spectrum! 

Three Key Takeaways

Conference event time: 
10:45 a.m. to noon (Sessions)
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Venue: 
Sterlings 1/2/3

Transforming Static Content into Digital Self-Service

Technology is important, but software tools and platforms will never be enough to transform your content into actionable online services. The content available on many municipal websites is static information and downloadable PDFs. It meets the needs of government communications and risk management departments, but presents visitors with challenges finding information, hard-to-understand pages written using "government speak," and pages that scroll for multiple paragraphs without offering the ability to complete a transaction.
Using a modified version of our week long Digital Services Academy, this workshop will walk participants through the process of revising content and creating a digital service for one page of their site. Format will include lecture, individual and small group work. Come prepared with your laptop and one common request that your residents routinely ask about on your site (or a top request from your customer service/311 department). Leave with tools to improve the content on your site, without regard to your choice of website platform.  

Three Key Takeaways

  1. Digital Services for local governments means creating positive Customer Self-Service options that are easy for everyone to use.
  2. Effective self-service options and clear information from the city/county improves the overall satisfaction with local government.
  3. Creating Digital Services requires a little bit of work on the front end, but pays dividends at every level (cost savings in 311, more effective and efficient issue resolution, increased citizen engagement, improved perception of the City/County government). 
Conference event time: 
1 to 5 p.m. (Afternoon sessions)
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Venue: 
Smithfield (Bridges)

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