How to promote IT services?

The selected case is a set of communication activities that realized from Municipality of Patras during the last period (2007-2009) of the 3rd Community Support Framework in order to promote the ICT tools ore services that developed within this period. For a series of very important ICT infrastructure (e.g. the Metropolitan Fiber Optics Network, the e-Government portal, the Geographical Information system) for the city of Patras there was a selection of communication activities that accompanied all the ICT projects.



Main goal

The Municipality of Patras after completing the development of the ICT projects realized that especially the electronic services have very small traffic and most of the people didn’t know about their existence. More surprising was that the biggest parts of the people who have visited the new e-services haven’t informed from the pre-mentioned communication activities about this existence but they have aware through other channels.

These activities included:
• Creation of 50.000 leaflets
• Creation of 4000 posters
• Organize 6 thematic events
• Publication of 15 press clips
• Establishment of 4 large kiosks

-To promote the new ICT Infrastructure and services
-to rise the awareness of the local citizens and businesses about the benefits of using the electronic services and the provided security, live demonstration of the platforms etc.

Lessons learned

This case was selected as a characteristic example where a communication plan is not giving the desired results because of false estimations or selections of means. Moreover, the behaviour of the population in combination with the disregard of the Municipal activities, due to the fact that an intervention or a new project is something for ‘few’ people and not for all, are important parameters that should be taken in consideration.

The selected means or ways of communication (leaflets, press releases, posters, and events) have tired for a long period in the past the people and consequently they handled them as another useless message or information.

The one way communication, or top down approach, from Municipal level to the citizens is tending to be weakened. Traditional structures of information as kiosks are not attractive yet unless they have some innovative features (technological equipment, ice-breaking profile, very friendly and attractive human attendance etc.)

Recommendations

  • Use innovative and smart approaches for communicating!
  • Use collaborative and bidirectional ways of communication and co-creation!
  • Use central and unified approach of communication when representing a public authority!
  • Avoid traditional means and money consuming methods that have tired the local societies!
  • Use the natural or digital language of each target group to send the message!

Location

Patras, Greece

Author

ICT department of Municipality of Patras

Info

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