NRC’s Top Ten 2017 Web Articles

-By Angelica Wedell

As a company full of data scientists, National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) loves that special time of year when we get to dig into our website analytics and review our top posts. In 2017 we shared our favorite tips and tricks for survey success, recapped our local government conference adventures and shared stories about clients who have used their results in award-winning ways. It was a big year for content and engagement, and the best part of it all has been the opportunity to connect with you!

This list counts the ten most popular web articles published on n-r-c.com in 2017 (excluding posts primarily for webinar, vlog and video show-notes). Here they are in chronological order:

1. Connecting with the Nation’s Largest Generation

Top Ten 2017_DCI-Conference-Staff-2_Millennials_Photo-by-Angelica-Wedell

Census data show that Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the United States.  Adults age 18 to 34 comprise the largest portion of the new workforce.  Moving into their 30’s, many younger adults are getting married and starting families.  Millennial consumer habits, along with more connected technologies, have created a thriving “sharing economy.”  And speaking of connected tech, today’s younger adults are the first generation to have grown up with the Internet.  In short, Millennials are no longer “the future of America” but major stakeholders in the success of their communities. The contributions and needs of younger adults cannot be overlooked by local governments wanting to move their communities forward.  And many jurisdictions are asking how they can better engage their younger demographic…

 

2.  Top Takeaways from CCCMA’s 2017 Winter Conference

Top Ten 2017_CCCMA 2017 Winter Conference Highlights

Cheery handshakes between colleagues, notes on paper, the smell of hot-springs, grand views of snowcapped mountains and a palpable sense of history has signified the Colorado City County Management Association (CCCMA) Winter Conference for the last two decades.  Once again, Colorado local government professionals started the new year with a trip to the century-old Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs to illuminate the profession they love and prepare their home-state communities for the future…

 

3. Top Ten Local Government Innovations of 2017

Top Ten 2017_TLG Conference 2017

Public sector leaders, planners and creative thinkers go to the Alliance for Innovation (AFI) Transforming Local Government conference each year to discover the best new practices, all in one place.  “It’s worth it to be exposed to something that could be so far from where people are standing right now,” said AFI West Regional Director Nijah Fudge, recognizing that innovation comes with a level of risk. “It will challenge leaders to say, ‘Maybe I can meet somewhere in the middle. Maybe I can get there eventually…

 

4. Seven Biggest Challenges for Colorado Municipalities

Top Ten 2017_ CML 17

The Annual Colorado Municipal League (CML) Conference continues to be one of the premiere local government events in the Centennial State. A healthy mix of elected officials and staff, from cities and towns all over Colorado, gather for the essential training, advocacy and information they can rely on to move their communities forward. CML’s most recent conference in Breckenridge, CO came at a crucial time for local leaders. As the state ranks among the very top for population growth and economic changes over the last few years, decision-makers face a myriad of challenges related to everything from accommodating working residents to resiliency…

 

5. Public Engagement in the Digital Age: Local Governments Surmounting Internet Negativity

Top Ten 2017_Public Enagagement_Internet Negativity

The Internet allows for quick and convenient public engagement through social media, forums and comments.  Businesses and local governments alike can use it to spread their brand and reach larger audiences.  But in many ways, the Web is still a wild west – rife with trolls, cyber-security dangers and rampant rumors. The truth is that your communications department has no control over what others post about your organization, and everything ever published online lives forever in cyberspace – even if it’s been deleted from the timeline.  Cindy Reents, City Manager of Richland, WA said it best, “Social media is a help because we can get information out.  But it’s not a help when bad information gets out there, because you can’t pull it back…

 

6. Why Surveys Are Still Valuable for Finding Out What Residents Want and Need

Top Ten 2017_Surveys Valuable for What Residents Need

What Makes for a Credible Resident Survey? “Nobody wants more taxes to fund a homeless shelter!”  “People don’t feel safe here anymore!”  “You cannot expect the community to support one-way streets downtown!”  “We need branch libraries out east!”  If you haven’t heard self-appointed community spokespeople make these very statements, you’ve likely heard plenty of other proclamations in public testimony or read countless letters to the editor from residents sure that they speak for everyone…

 

7. Women in Law Enforcement

Top Ten 2017_Women in Law Enforcement

Diversity and inclusivity in law enforcement have become paramount concerns for American society in the 21st Century. We’ve seen this evidenced in news media saturation, guidelines at the federal level and efforts at the local level to bridge gaps between police and the general population. “Having diverse people in the agency that reflect the community that you serve is very important,” said Carmen Best, Seattle, WA Police Department Deputy Chief. “[It is] very crucial to the credibility and legitimacy of the police agency…

 

8. The Challenge for Government Communicators: Don’t Think Like Government

Top Ten 2017_Government Communicators

If there is one challenge I face daily in my role as Director of Communications for a local municipality, it is not thinking like government. Part of this challenge is easy to address in that I didn’t begin my career working for a government agency. My first job out of college was at a local news station. From there I worked at a large energy company in Houston, then a local non-profit, finally landing in my current job. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years working for a local municipality, it’s that the experiences from my previous roles allow me to move beyond what’s expected of a government communications shop.  I have made it my daily mantra not to think government and here’s why…

 

9. Local Government Employees and Residents Don’t Always See Eye to Eye on Big Strategic Issues

Top Ten 2017_opposite views_pixabay_CC0

What would you do if you discovered that your employees have different priorities than the residents they serve? Or what if your residents think more poorly of some aspects of the community than do your employees who help to improve those community qualities? These aren’t just hypothetical questions with impossible answers. The National Employee Survey™ (The NES™) includes a set of questions about service quality and community priorities that are asked of residents on The National Citizen Survey™ (The NCS™)

 

10. The 2017 Voice of the People Awards Winners and Finalists

Top Ten 2017_2017 VOP Winners and Finalists with ICMA Executive Director Marc Ott. 

National Research Center, Inc. (NRC) is proud to announce the 2017 Voice of the People (VOP) Awards winners and finalists!  These awards are only given to top performing jurisdictions that best listen and act for the benefit their communities. The Voice of the People Awards stand alone as the only award given in local government based on community opinion.  Residents in winning cities and towns either reported the highest or most improved levels of satisfaction compared with all other jurisdictions that participated in The National Citizen Survey™ (The NCS™)

 

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