Alternatives To A Listserv In Local Government

email box representing an alternative to a local government listserv

It’s time to personalize your residents’ experiences.

As much as we want to hold onto the 80s, some things simply belong in the past. One of which is a listserv. Although the software provides a quick and familiar way to send emails, better tools have been created for local governments. Placeholders, automation, dynamic content, videos, and more valuable methods for personalizing residents’ experiences have all been incorporated into modern communication tools.

Integrating pieces of software is easier when they’re newer. Data management is much easier with newer software. Personalizing emails and conversations with the residents is much easier and results in a higher engagement rate with more modern communication tools. This article was written to highlight a couple of things:

  • What is it?
  • Why should you leave it?
  • Alternatives for you to look into.

What is a local government listserv?

A listserv in local government is an email-based discussion group or forum allowing members of a local government or community to communicate and share information. It’s a way for members of a local government to stay up to date on important issues, events, and announcements within their community, along with sharing their thoughts and ideas with others.

These forms of communication are typically managed by a moderator who ensures messages are relevant and appropriate for the group. They can be useful tools for local governments to facilitate conversations and collaborate among members. Although they’ve been a big part of local government organizations for a while, it’s nearing the time to say goodbye.

Why should you leave it in the past?

It’s not too late – in fact, it’s never too late. Here are a couple of reasons your local government municipality should consider moving on. The lack of security provided by a listserv is a risk that can easily be avoided with an alternative. They’re not as secure as some other communication tools, as they don’t offer features such as encryption or secure file sharing. This poses a threat to local governments that handle sensitive information.

Along with limited security, a listserv is limited in its functionality. They’re primarily designed for sending email messages to a group of people. They don’t offer many of the features that more modern communication and collaboration tools do, such as file sharing, screen sharing, and integration with other apps.

In a world filled with emails, bombarding your audience with too many in a forum-type email setting is exhausting. A listserv requires subscribers to send messages to the entire group which can also result in a high volume of emails. This can make it difficult for users to keep track of important information and can once again lead to email overload.

Local government alternatives

We wouldn’t just leave you stranded with your old technology, so we’ve provided some alternatives for your organization to look into. There are many companies that provide customized services, such as Granicus, with govDelivery or the govStrategy community feature.

  • Forum: Discussion forums, message boards, and bulletin boards are platforms where users can post messages and reply to each other. Forums can be accessed through your web browser or mobile apps and the best part about them is they can be used for conversations on a wide range of topics
  • Group chat: Group chat tools, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and WhatsApp, allow users to communicate with each other in real time. These tools also provide the benefits of file sharing and screen sharing, along with APIs from other applications.
  • Social media: Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn allow users to create groups or communities where members can post updates, share content, and communicate with each other. This offers a more user-friendly and interactive experience.
  • Project management software: If it’s a close-knit group, project management software such as Asana and Trello provide features for communication and collaboration among team members. These tools can be used for coordinating specific projects and tasks.
  • Video conferencing: Video conferencing tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Webex, or Google Meets allow users to communicate with each other through video and audio. These tools are particularly useful for effective meetings and other real-time discussions.

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