Vraag: I’m being pestered by web designers, who are finding it difficult to convince me about how my state government can be ‘marketed’ through a web site. My office approves such projects. Can you convince me? - Abu M.
You do not have to go very far to get convinced about how the web site can constitute a tool of making known your government and its activities. Though you did not indicate the government you work for, it still baffles me how the relevance of a web site as a means of promotion still remains strange to a high ranking government official (as your question conveyed) this 21st century. Without mincing words, you are missing out a great deal from the non-realisation of what a web site is all about, and its application towards ‘marketing’ the state government you work for.
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When next the web designers visit, please give them your ‘listening ears’ about the usefulness of your state government owning a web site, and also the fact that an opportunity is being created for them to a earn a living (a boost towards engaging the younger generation, as I perceive these web designers must be people of below 35 years old).
Without ‘sounding’ too technical, and to be more concise, may I briefly enlighten you here on some vital components of a typical web site before proceeding with hints on how it would help significantly in the promotion of your state government and its activities. Aside the cost implication of getting your site designed, hosted, set up and running (which I know your government can easily afford), you need not bother at this stage about the technicalities of what comprise a typical web site (b.v.. typography, grammar, titles, copy or sales letter, web pages, layout, links, search engine optimisation or SEO, status of web content, etc).
Just authorise these designers to proceed with their assignment, while you note these brief related definitions as insight (for avoidance of being perceived as mumu on the subject). Hints about the gains to your government follow after these definitions.
A dictionary defines web site simply as, “A location connected to the internet which maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web (www)”. In case you’re wondering what Internet is all about, see it as an international network of millions of computers, which provide email and information from computers in education institutions, government agencies and industry, accessible to the general public through modem links. Met andere woorden, this global interconnection of computers facilitates the sharing or exchange of information among users.
Abu, if you’re wondering what “www” being bandied all over the place is, it simply means the widely used information system on the internet which provides facilities for documents to be connected to other documents by hypertext links, enabling the user to search for information by moving from one document to another.
As regards gains which the web site brings to your government, consider these as my stand towards convincing you to say “Yes” to the web designers:-
– The site will create significant impact towards government’s presence and visibility (more than 750 million people worldwide have access to the World Wide Web. Your government no doubt will have so much exposure through this).
– Helps the government to network (through establishing favourable connections with others, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply).
– Provision of vital information (web site can comprise a source of knowing about government’s activities for the benefit of the people).
– Assists in heightening public interest towards your government (people anywhere can easily access the Web to know what’s going on in your state. This aids in saving lots of time for press enquiries, bijvoorbeeld).
– Makes for easy reach by the media [the most wired profession these days, the media, can get information (its main product) more quickly, cheaply, and easily on-line].
– Provides pictures, sound and film files ( a picture is worth a thousand words – the site allows for addition of sound, pictures and short movie files on government’s information for public consumption).
– Site facilitates answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and allows feedback, from people of your state and other interested parties about the government’s performance.
– Helps to create 24 hours service, seven days a week, for the government (your government can be contacted anytime, even when offices are not open – It can customize information to match needs and collection of important information even before workers get to the office).
In een notendop, by owning a web site, your state government will surely be projected on a continuous basis. It will always be there even for your people in Diaspora, for easier access to goings-on back home. Applying adequate content management methods to your web site will make for attraction of more visitors to it, whereby advertisements (b.v.. classified, still or flash banner ads) can be placed there.
Government contractors (you must have been grudgingly paying money) and other interested parties, linked to government, can be instigated to subscribe for these advertisements. Those activities of your Governor and other top officials (b.v.. commissioning of projects) can be posted on this same web site.
Vacancies on jobs for the teaming unemployed youths and even contract opportunities can also be posted there. The same holds for a directory of businesses and other organisations in the state. Your government can provide for payments and subscription services (b.v.. rates, taxes, fees) through the same site, while a newsletter here will serve as an online means of conveying government activities to the people. A mailing list can be created to aid in generating vital data for the government.
While I urge you contact me on further clarification, I believe what has been stated here will make for viewing efforts of the web designers as ‘not pestering’ you henceforth, but instead assist in raising your profile within the government circle if you say “Yes” to them.
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