The Energy Department launched Direct Current, our first podcast, on May 9. The first episode—all about rooftop solar, as well as the history of our agency—has been well-received so far by press, stakeholders, and the general public. One review stuck out. Headlined “From out of nowhere, the U.S. Energy Department launches a great podcast,” it underscored that most people might not realize how much work and planning actually went into creating our first 25-minute episode.
Podcasting is growing significantly. Per Pew, the percentage of Americans who have listened to a podcast in the past month has almost doubled since 2008, from 9% to 17% by January of 2015. The percentage listening in 2015 was up two points over 2014 levels (15%). Edison Research also reported that fully one-third (33%) of all Americans 12 years of age or older now say they have listened to at least one podcast.
You can find cute kitten photos online, but you can’t find Ben Franklin’s jetpack (well, you can search for it, but you won’t find it!). For government agencies, connecting users to information is a critical part of meeting the public’s needs and delivering excellent customer service. DigitalGov Search helps agencies deliver information to government searchers on every level—federal, state, local, and tribal. Recently, search analyst Dawn McCleskey sat down to discuss the work of DigitalGov Search, including:
Several months or so ago, I raised the question of whether you and your agency should be podcasting. Incidentally, my post coincided with the launch of DigitalGov’s new podcast series. As I discussed in my previous post, the long-niche broadcasting format has continued to grow in popularity and success with popular podcasts such as NPR’s Serial and Marc Maron’s WTF podcast series that recently featured President Obama as a guest.
Julia Child and the OSS Recipe for Shark Repellent: http://t.co/q3cC4QiJhR #SharkWeek #OSS #WWII pic.twitter.com/Idbo1OkPLP — CIA (@CIA) July 9, 2015 The Central Intelligence Agency launched their Twitter account with the second most retweeted inaugural post in the platform’s history: “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” Now for the first time, on the DigitalGov podcast, learn from the CIA itself the best practices behind one of the most high-profile social media accounts in both the public and private sector.
To provide great customer service, bring your agency’s customers to the table. This is one of many insights recently offered by Stephanie Thum, Vice President of Customer Experience at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Thum has previously written about customer experience for DigitalGov, including Three Ways to Evolve Your Agency’s Customer Mindset and the forward-looking Will 2016 Be the Federal Government’s ‘Year of the Customer?’ In May, Thum sat down with DigitalGov to dig deeper into the federal customer experience (CX) landscape.
You cannot improve your digital outreach without data. Since 2012, the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) has provided agencies the critical information and metrics that they need to make their public-facing websites better. The buzz around DAP has grown with the release of the Digital Analytics Dashboard, which provides a real-time glimpse into government Web traffic, and Pulse, a dashboard showing the percentage of agencies that have implemented DAP. Both dashboards rely on DAP data to inform the public about government Web activities.
In last week’s column, I went back to a frequent theme of mine and discussed another method for helping to feed the content beast, which was learning when to say no to a new and potentially resource devouring digital channel or platform. However, we also need to take a look at six of the most common content types that you may be creating and examine the ROI for each. Ascend2 recently published the results of their annual Content Marketing Survey providing some useful insights into the effectiveness of specific content types measured against the difficulty it takes to create them.
DigitalGov University has added podcasts to our suite of offerings on DigitalGov, featuring interviews and discussions with leaders in the DigitalGov community. For the first edition, we talked to Diane Devera, “Voice of the IVR” for the USA.gov Contact Center. In this 10 minute discussion with Jacob Parcell, Manager of Mobile Programs, Devera discusses several considerations about interactive voice response (IVR) for federal contact centers, including: Why are IVRs important for government contact centers?
Along a somewhat personal journey (that you have chosen to join) to better define the term content, I’ve stumbled upon the puzzle of podcasts. Full disclosure: I have never been and most likely will never be a consumer of podcasts, ten years ago or today. I tried several times to listen to “Serial” and my lifestyle just doesn’t seem to allow for the level of concentration that a podcast requires.