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Gore District Council is a small, rural council located towards the southern tip of New Zealand. Looking after a population of over 12,000 people, the council wanted to explore a new and modern way to communicate and engage with its residents.
Using social media to publish updates and information was initially a very successful way for Gore District Council to communicate with the public. Residents engaged with messages and proved they valued digital communication.
However, over time, the council noticed the limitations of channels like Facebook. Key messages were often lost in news feeds and missed by those who needed them most.
Gore District Council needed a way to find its customers as opposed to their customers having to find them. The solution also needed to continue to give the public an opportunity to digitally communicate with the council.
Created to help councils and other public sector organisations communicate with the community, it also gives the public an opportunity to contact the organisations directly, for instance, by reporting issues.
After an initial trial where council staff gained a valuable insight into how to use the app from a customer's point of view, Antenno was launched to the community.
Antenno has helped the public stay informed about subjects that matter most to them, in the most convenient way. It's replaced lengthy emails and the need to watch social media channels for messages as the public can now receive specific communications directly, such as weekly recycling and rubbish reminders, and notifications about flooding and road closures.
Gore District Council can create content, including council alerts, notifications, and engagement opportunities, which are allocated a topic and are map-defined to an appropriate and relevant area. The public can then receive this information directly to their smartphone.
The Antenno platform also provides the council with usage reports and analytics, so it knows how successful a post has been. This includes how many people received the message, the level of engagement (interaction), and topic preference trends.
"The councillors have been getting good feedback from the community. Datacom’s Antenno has helped the public engage with us, and us with them, better than ever," says Sonia Gerken, communications/marketing manager, Gore District Council.