National Research Center’s Top Ten Web Articles of 2016

It is time again to look back on the most notable moments of the last year.  In 2016, National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) published more web articles than ever before.  Hundreds of readers joined us each week for recaps on conferences and local government events, tips and strategies, inside looks at our national survey data and more.

“Celebrate what you want to see more of,” leadership and business guru Tom Peters once said.  As a resource for local governments and lovers of social science data, NRC values connecting with readers like you.  So taking Peters’ advice, we’re sharing the top ten most viewed web articles of 2016 (in chronological order).

1.  The Gift of Context for American City Managers

Boy in India_CC0

A film of white smoke hugs the earth like the skin on a pot of milk let to scald. The boiling milk is Delhi and the skin is pollution from the fields charred after agricultural burns. I’m in India for a wedding but cannot resist comparing government service delivery here with what we have back in the U.S. By the most superficial analysis, such a comparison seems almost brutish. After all, India has four times the U.S. population with about 1/9th its GDP


2.  White House Social Media Strategies You Can Use

Obama and Maroney_White House Photog. Pete Souza_CCBY

It’s no secret that the White House has been “winning” the Internet over the last few years.  The Obama administration has been viral on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We’ve seen the president engage with supporters with open chat sessions, podcasts and videos.  We’ve even seen him pictured beside a slew of comediansathletes and mentoring young men of color.  Web analysts and historians have likened Obama to Social Media as Kennedy was to Television…


3.  How to Prepare Your Community for the Aging Population

Older Adult Couple_CC0

By 2040, one in four Americans will be advanced in age, according to the U.S. Census.  In order to prepare communities for the aging demographic, it has become increasingly essential for local governments to understand the needs and strengths of their older adult populations…


4.  Local Government Employees Reveal What Makes for Job Satisfaction

Employee Team_CC0

Over three years, a city manager developed a plan to improve what, to her, were lackluster employee ratings of organizational quality – work environment, wages and benefits, communication and the like. By the end of the period, not only were employees reporting better work conditions, but here was the big surprise – in a citizen survey, residents also gave improved ratings of their community and local government…


5.  How Not to Be a Pirate: Top Ten Tips for Copyright Compliance

Blackbeard Buccaneer Pirate_Public Domain

In today’s Internet Age, a world of content is immediately accessible to you.  It’s easy to Google search any media you want and publish it with your web article or mass distributed presentation. Click “Save” and you’re finished.  Right?  Well, not quite.  Many bloggers don’t realize they may have stepped into hot water with copyright laws when posting images and other media from the Internet that they haven’t received license to use…


6.  Ten Biggest Challenges of Local Government Budgeting

Budget Building

Just as the United States has begun to move on from the 2008 Great Recession, many economists predict we may be on the verge of another major, global financial downturn.  Student debt is at an all-time high.  Unemployment rates look much like they did in 2007.  Local governments are seeing rising expectations of the budget from their constituents.  Whether local economies cycle up or down, experts urge municipalities to utilize resources available to them and budget for the future…


7.  How Sunnyvale Helped 100+ Residents Displaced by Fire

house fire spray_Rob Swystun_Flickr_CCBY2.0

Despite the quick response of fire services on April 15, smoke, heat and water damage left all 81 apartment units uninhabitable and displaced 70 households.  The City activated their emergency plan, and for the first time ever, converted the Sunnyvale Senior Center into a shelter for more than 150 fire victims.  “This was unprecedented,” said Santana.  “We had never [before] lost this many housing units over a period of only a couple hours … With this many residents and the apartment complex being relatively old, we were very fortunate that there were only two injuries and no deaths…


8.  10 Most Fascinating Facts about Pueblo, Colorado

Pueblo, CO Riverwalk

National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) recently visited Pueblo, Colorado for the Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) Vibrant Colorado Downtowns Conference. DCI is a non-profit organization that focuses on the economic revitalization of downtowns through community-wide partnerships and engagement.  “Vibrant downtowns are the place that people gather, the face that you show to your tourists and the home for locals,” said Katherine Correll, DCI Executive Director. “For Colorado, it is such an important piece of the fabric in showing off the character that makes our state so incredible…


9.  The City Manager of the Future

Future Technology and Data

We have all witnessed an ebb in public trust of government, mostly at the federal level, but also infiltrating local government. History, however, proves there has been an enduring role for government and its leaders dating back six hundred years to the Incas, two thousand years to the Romans and even ten thousand years to the Paleo Indians.  The job of the city manager will remain imperative as we look forward even one hundred years, because clans always will need leaders who can manage and distribute critical resources. But the job of the manager will change…


10.  What Local Government Employees Have to Say About Their Jobs

Next Year Employee

Managers do not have the mind-reading capabilities of Professor Xavier.  They cannot manipulate the flow of time like Doctor Strange.  Nor can they lasso truth from their staff like Wonder Woman.  Thankfully, city managers do not need super powers to learn what employees think about their jobs…


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