Details On The Platform
According to the GovLoop‘s mission statement, the purpose is to, “inspire public sector professionals to better service by acting as the knowledge network for government.”
Breaking Down The Sections:
The training tab promotes events that are either “in-person” or “online.” These events are all industry related and include a brief description, along with information about the moderators or attendees. Registration is an easy click away and the event can also be shared through Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or email. Archived events are also recapped in the event that an event was missed.
The research tab is divided into sub-headers of guides, infographics, research briefs, and video archives. This online site offers a vast array of information on a variety of subjects that include: acquisition, analytics, big data, BYOD, career, citizen engagement, cloud, communications, congress, cybersecurity, digital government, DoD, finance, GIS, human resources, IoT, leadership, learning, miscellaneous, mobile, open data, project management, social media, tech, uncategorized. The information is easily accessible, much like an online database. The highlight is that much of the information is sourced from industry leaders or research firms, so the information is all credited.
The site is broken down into topics of career, communications, and technology. Within these individual tabs there are opportunities to explore blogs and mini discussions among industry leaders around the world. The blog posts are often in-depth topics that relate to “hot topic” issues that trending in current events. The small discussions may offer insight into common questions or promote events in cities around the world.
There is a separate blog that includes sponsored insight from Christopher Dorobek. According to his website, Dorobek was “an anchor of the DorobekINSIDER on DC’s Federal News Radio and the former editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week.”
The jobs tab offers some really unique options. Here a user can search for career opportunities by keyword and various locations. A member can add their own jobs or share job promotions through Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook. There is a further option to incorporate an email to have jobs of interest directly sent to an email address. Furthermore, there are links for resume tips, career guides, and expert advice on interviews. There is also a pier diem calculator and a salary calculator to calculate salaries for government sector workers.
The community platform offers open forums for discussion between members. There are thousands of topics with thousands of replies. These are boards that offer a great deal of engagement when information is sought. However, my one critique is that discussions are not common enough. Some discussions range back a few months without comment. This would suggest that there needs to be more push from other social media channels to drive traffic to the boards.
As displayed above, posts and responses are often detailed. This is reflective of an academically engaged board. The intent of these boards it to stimulate ideas, therefore, content is often abundant and question driven.
GovLoop offers a variety of courses for its members to partake in. This can range from data fundamentals, public speaking, and editing tips. Although these courses may not be nationally accredited, they offer knowledge that can be applied to multiple facets of government and public service. These courses are also resume boosters and can be incorporated into an individual’s Linkedin site.
According to the main website, GovLoop has over 200,000 members. In A Fed Cyber review, it is stated that members are, “all either in or around government (state, local, federal).” Their target audience is of all age ranges, but directed at those who are involved in public service. The experience can range from interns to experienced legislatures.
What are your overall thoughts?
Overall, GovLoop provides many services and promotes a few impressive partners. According to their “About Us” section, “GovLoop works with top industry partners such as ESRI, HP, Microsoft, and IBM to provide resources and tools, such as guides, infographics, and online training and educational events.” As someone who worked in government, I think that the site offers a wide index of knowledge that is beneficial to those who are interested in current events and legislation. The discussion boards and blogs are beneficial to molding thoughts and enhancing ideas.
Does it stand out from other major channels (why and how?)
This site is unique because it is a partisan platform. There is no tilt towards a political party affiliation, therefore, ideas are shared with healthy debate and without slant. The site incorporates news from media channels like CNN, Fox, Huffington Post, and multiple other news organizations. Information is sourced from a variety of sites, which creates engagement and broadens opinions. The primary reason that it stands out is due to the combination of user generated content, discussion, networking, and the library of content.
How could proximity marketing be incorporated?
Government specific locations could use proximity marketing through GovLoop by promoting events, town hall meetings, and location services. When traveling through new cities and towns, members can be alerted when they approach a government building or an open public event. It is highly common to be unaware of town hall meetings and even the location of local legislative offices, this could assist in general awareness.
Colleges can use this service to promote lectures or events that are related to public service, government, or historical reference. If students are wandering through campus they can take part in open lectures or meetings in the area. These meetings can further be discussed in blogs or forums through GovLoop. An example would be if I happened to be on Rutgers campus, I would receive an alert of all public lectures related to government that would occur throughout the day.
What other social channels could tie in to improve the IMC approach?
GovLoop already has a Facebook page with 18,751 member likes. The site posts on a consistent basis, often daily. All articles lead back to their website, which should generate traffic. GovLoop should primarily utilize their Twitter, because the site is useful in sharing information, news, and current events. This would also simultaneously promote GovLoop as an industry leader if they are consistent in promoting attention grabbing topics on Twitter.
Elected officials would be wise to incorporate GovLoop into their primary websites. GovLoop offers a lot of knowledge, information, and access to industry beneficial information. I would suggest that an elected leader should post a blog at least once a month to offer their insights on a subject or perhaps suggest and gauge feedback from their constituents. If the intent of government is to lead the public, this would be a great platform to generate ideas and gather research information. These leaders could then tweet, Instagram, or post the link on their social media platforms to lead their viewers to the GovLoop website.
GovLoop would be an excellent partner for a presidential debate. Questions could be pulled from the discussion boards and blogs. These could then be distributed through the news’ organizations social media handles that are moderating the debate. Because this site is centered around policy, it would be a great platform to generate questions from those looking to shape public policy.