We’ve been really impressed with our staff’s ability to quickly and efficiently launch COVID-19 News Portals. Since March, we have launched nearly 10 of these websites for our municipal clients, including Brookline, Dedham, Swansea, Georgetown, Merrimac, Ipswich and Nahant, Massachusetts.
These news portals have proven to be a useful tool for city and town management to communicate large amounts of information about a rapidly changing situation quickly, as well as a way for the public to find those updates in one dedicated place. Additionally, the news portals are set up so any new blog post added is automatically sent out on municipal social media channels, reducing the administrative time required to get out information. The pandemic has unfolded on a local level as much as it’s been a global concern, and having a place to provide community-level guidance is critical especially as we’re seeing more and more local papers unfortunately furlough employees and reduce circulation numbers.
The Town of Brookline is a great example of the value of this approach. We launched the Town of Brookline’s COVID-19 News Portal in just one day and had 31,000 visits in the first week. In two months the site has had more than 246,000 visits, with an average of about 2,500 views per day, and as many as 10,000 per day. Those numbers are more than clicks and visits—they reflect citizens who want guidance and information during an extraordinary time.
We believe the COVID-19 News Portals are a better solution than posting updates on an existing town website. Municipal websites were created to support day-to-day routine city hall transactions; not platforms for urgent communication. The good news is—a COVID-19 News Portal can be deployed the same-day if an order is placed by noontime.
Learn more about how you can implement a news portal in your community!