How to Maximize Impact in State and Local Government

Stephanie Geiger, Executive Vice President & Co-Founder, Government Marketing University

Over the last year, state and local governments have been called to meet the mission like never before, facing once-in-a-lifetime public health challenges, budgeting complications, and calls to modernize citizen services and operational technology almost overnight.

Today, jurisdictions look to build back what was lost during the pandemic as well as ways to create more forward-looking and innovative cities. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan earlier this year, mayors from across the country are preparing to spend coronavirus relief funds “for both immediate priorities, like backfilling budget holes left by sharp declines in tax revenue and providing assistance to people and businesses struggling due to the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as longer-term initiatives focused on job training, housing and alleviating intergenerational poverty.

In addition to Covid-19 recovery, states and localities could soon be getting additional federal assistance for infrastructure and other public works projects, such as broadband, housing, schools, the electric grid, transportation, and water systems.

When looking at 2020 and into 2021, we have divided the top states and local government nationwide trends impacting innovation into the following categories:

  •  Impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic—Including everything from digital citizen services, vaccine distribution, and Covid-19 tracking, to the financial strains resulting from the pandemic.
  • Remote work and modernization—Including cybersecurity concerns and digital citizen service.
  • Emerging technology—Encompassing everything from AI and robotics to data-driven applications.
  • Social issues impacting communities —Ranging from policing and public safety and homelessness to bridging the digital divide.

All of these trends require incredible innovation, and state and local leaders across the country are taking on the challenge and, as a result, creating impactful solutions. However, so much of this learning stops at state borders, causing disparities that are easily remediable by sharing best practices and including contractors who have created their business in support of the government mission. Leaders must be supported by other leaders in reaching their missions and serving their communities.

Government Executive Media Group (GEMG)’s flagship state and local brand, Route Fifty, was established as a standalone publication in April 2015 to connect the people and ideas advancing state, county, and municipal government across the United States. Now in its 6th year, Route Fifty has undergone tremendous growth, reflecting the hunger for news and information about the innovations happening nationwide, and just last year it grew 60% in revenue.

But we are only one piece of the puzzle. In order to bolster government and create more progressive and resilient communities, local leaders must look to their government colleagues and those contractors who support them in an effort to build the future and develop sustainable solutions.This is why we invested in The Atlas for Cities and City & State. These platforms serve to inform and connect the leaders and doers in state and local governments across the country in an environment that enables them to share best practices and learnings that will drive government forward.

State and local governments on the brink of revolutionary transformations, how can you help meet the moment and share your solutions? What is working in terms of reaching and engaging state and local leaders across the nation? The most effective strategies utilize a national strategy for brand awareness and visibility, then an account-based marketing (ABM) approach to target key opportunities, both of which are reinforced by data and insights.

By coming to a brand like Route Fifty and using a national strategy to build brand awareness, then further targeting with an ABM strategy through a brand such as City & State to identify “must wins,” brands can effectively reach state and local leaders in a cost-effective manner. Supporting both of these are data and insights, where a platform like The Atlas for Cities can inform decision making and strategic direction throughout the campaign’s ecosystem. Once strategy has been set, your goals can be reinforced through high-quality content that serves to educate and inform your target state and local audience.

Leaders need the best-in-class tools to stay informed with context, analysis, and a means to connect like never before. One of the best ways to stay informed is with the latest news that inspires you to implement change in a way that is customized to your community. We believe the best way to serve this market is to connect the people and ideas that advance the mission of state and local government across the country. Our focus is to do that every single day and continue to grow the ways we serve our partners, clients, and readership.