You can submit your Connection request for your city or county website within CitySpokes, along with your city and county's 28 Filtered Websites in less than a minute. Just answer a couple of questions on our Connection form to get started. We will then call you on the phone to authenticate you.
Once we complete the call, you can begin an incredible journey to significantly boost your Covid recovery efforts, and ultimately enhance your total community engagement on into the future.
To complete all the Steps below, it will take a lot of work in the beginning, but that will diminish once the websites are populated with a lot of the static information. To help with that, and to get the word out, each local government can select a Local Revenue Sharing Partner. Then, based on the local government’s recommendation, we will then make up to 20 percent of all advertising revenue generated in your city or county available to reward this hard-working Partner.
As can been seen by this picture, the Local Revenue Sharing Partner has a similar, but slightly different Dashboard than the Local Government Dashboard. Consequently, they will be able to perform most of the same operations you are able to perform.
Finally, it would be a good idea to check with your "partner municipality" (either city or county) to coordinate Local Revenue Sharing Partners so as to better leverage the work, avoid duplicate work, or to possibly assign both municipalities to the same Local Revenue Sharing Partner, providing an even more lucrative opportunity for the Local Revenue Sharing Partner.
CitySpokes is a free website that will help you become a model municipality. However, if you choose to spread the word as quick as you can, you may wish to activate the two Gold Sponsorships included at no charge with municipality memberships.
Gold Sponsorships include a graphic ad on your city or county Home Page, that you manage. The concept is you are able to "reward" a local business that contributes to the costs of social media advertising, promotional items, postage, flyers, postcards, or however you choose to spread the word. For example, a local radio station could provide PSAs to promote this opportunity in exchange for a graphic ad on your Home Page.
We at CitySpokes are not involved in any agreements or payments you decide upon with your local businesses. Once you want to acknowledge the contributions of local businesses, you ask them to send you a graphic ad and the website URL it should point to when clicked. Uploading the graphic ad is quick and easy. You also determine how long the graphic will be displayed based on the level of contribution. If a business made an in-kind contribution worth $2000, you could display their graphic ad for a year. If a different business made a contribution of $500, their ad could be displayed for 6 months. You have total control over which ads are displayed and for how long.
The two Gold Sponsors can also be further divided into days of the week. For example, if Gold Sponsor #1 provided a major contribution, you could provide them with an ad that would be displayed to all visitors. But if you had another four or five businesses that wanted to contribute lesser amounts, you could provide business A with an ad on Monday and Thursday, business B with an ad on Tuesday and Saturday, and business C with an ad on Sunday. Once daily ads are set up, which is also really quick and easy, the system will display the correct ads on the correct days, and nothing else needs any maintenance until you choose to make changes.
Your Business License holders will be grateful to you when you reach out to them to show them you not only support them with words, but you support them with tangible actions. CitySpokes can help them recover quicker from Covid-19, and then help them continue to grow into the future. Their process to join is as simple as yours, only they do not have to wait for the authentication phone call. They only need to connect as a Business or Organization and they can begin communicating with your local residents immediately.
Another way you can demonstrate your support to your local businesses is by adding a link from your official municipality website to your Home Page within CitySpokes. Not only does this provide an easy mechanism for your residents to learn about CitySpokes where they will have access to the most updated information, but it also validates your support of this community engagement tool.
With everyone trying to "home-school" as a result of Covid-19, now is the perfect time to provide free educational StudySpokes prize apps. CitySpokes contains some very helpful and self-motivating StudySpokes prize apps like Math for Prizes. For example, if a student can answer 100 random 12 times table problems in less than 5 minutes, they could win a chocolate milk shake. Once parents, teachers and students are exposed to this outstanding way of non-nagging, self-motivated learning, these apps can be used for many years into the future.
Additionally, Boards of Educations and schools can use our built-in templates to create their own StudySpokes prize apps to exactly match their curriculum. With the StudySpokes prize apps in CitySpokes, the parents or teachers set the parameters, including the prizes, and then leave the student alone to earn their prize. Prizes, awarded by the parents or teachers, can be an extra hour of tv, not having to take a quiz on Friday, or whatever.
In the same way a municipality can use two Gold Sponsors to provide extra funding opportunities to spread the word, a Board of Education gets one Gold Sponsor to provide funding for flyers, brochures, etc. to send home with their students to share with their parents. This is also a great way to spread the word to the residents in your community.
It is very important for local associations like Chambers of Commerce, Better Business Bureaus, Downtown Associations to realize CitySpokes is not competing with their member businesses, but rather, it is supporting them and encouraging their businesses to join the Chamber, BBB or Downtown Association.
Whenever residents are looking through a Business Directory, having the logo of a Chamber of Commerce, for example, next to the business name sends a strong message that the business is more likely to be a better member of the community, with some assurance of receiving better products and services. This "encourages" non-member businesses to join so they too will have a membership logo next to their business name.
Finally, adding and deleting logos from member businesses is extremely quick and easy. An association admin can use a simple search tool to enter any part of the business name or phone number, select the business from the results, and either check or uncheck a member box. The whole process to update membership status only takes seconds.
Wouldn't it be nice if all the community News Items, Specials, Events and Help Wanted Ads, and more were in the same place? Well, that is what you now get with CitySpokes where its motto is "Everything Local in One Place." And it is free to all your residents.
Your residents also get free educational applications where their children can play Math for Prizes, State Capitals for Prizes, and a lot more, with even more to come. And if they need a prize app that is not yet available, they can use our four built-in templates to create their own.
Residents can also post their Yard Sales, as well as search through the Yard Sales posted by others. For example, a resident could search on "laptop" and all the Yard Sales that the posting included "laptop" in the description would be displayed.
Residents can also better engage with local businesses by creating what amounts to a simplified "RFP" where they describe their needs for products or services. Once they complete their description, the resident selects the appropriate Business Category, and CitySpokes then sends an email to all the businesses in that Business Category that have signed up for free leads from residents. If the business is interested in competing for the resident's job, they can respond within CitySpokes. The resident can then select their choice and engage with them directly.
Residents can also submit questions to local government. For example, a resident could ask about road improvement plans, a burned out streetlight, a pothole, etc. They can also submit a picture with their question. You, as a local government would receive and respond to the question within CitySpokes. If you felt the message was a common one, you could add a Frequently Asked Question to your CitySpokes website.
Residents are a little harder to reach than local businesses, but some of resources for a mailing list to residents could be your property rolls, social media groups, and any other email databases you might have access to. You can use the sample script in the Show Me How below, modifying it based on your local circumstances.
Most cities and counties across the United States has their own unique website. Some are easy to navigate and some are very difficult. CitySpokes provides a common interface that enables a CitySpokes site visitor to quickly navigate to the most common pages in an official city or county website. However, these links need to be set up first, but once done, they generally don't need to be changed. In order to make the process easy and helpful, every possibility of a page is not included, but the most common ones are. So once a site visitor is familiar with the process on one city or county, the same process applies to all 30,000 city and 3100 county websites within CitySpokes.
All a local government needs to do is load up the matching links into their official website. The entire process takes less than an hour.
There are a lot of things that change quickly within local government jurisdictions. And getting a webmaster to take the time to update the website takes considerable time, and the situation frequently changes before the website gets updated.
With the CitySpokes website, items like weather conditions, accidents, road closures, etc. can quickly be posted as Frequently Asked Questions so residents can adjust their plans appropriately.
There are frequently helpful links that a city or county can provide to their businesses and residents, that don't quite fit into the official website. You can create those links in CitySpokes on your Resource Links Page.
You will be able to provide helpful relocation information to those considering moving to your city or county, including links to those sites providing the services.
Provide DMV, Voter Registration, Tax ordinances, business registration processes, etc. to better help people that are relocating to your city or county get acclimated.
Many cities and counties have a variety of organizations in their communities. Although CitySpokes provides a Master Event Calendar for all major Events, providing links to each of the calendars for local organizations can be very helpful.
Again, this is generally a one-time exercise, and once it is complete, little or no future maintenance is required.
Communication between businesses, residents and city and county government is key to an engaged and active community. Many times, a resident has no idea whatsoever on who to contact with their question or issue. CitySpokes provides a simple mechanism to accommodate this communication.
A local resident can ask their question of either a city or a county government official within CitySpokes, and the designated official will be notified a question has been submitted. The official should sign into CitySpokes.com to view and respond to the question.
Once a response is provided to the resident, the correct email address can be provided in the event the resident has additional questions beyond the response provided, and communication can continue.
Finally, if the government official starts to see a trend or thinks others might be interested in the provided information, they can quickly and easily create a Frequently Asked Question to be immediately available to others that might have the same question or issue.
Your city comes with generic slideshow images, which can quickly and easily be replaced with local images to help everyone feel more at home when they come to your website. You can add whatever number of images you like. Unless the mouse is on a specific image, the images will automatically scroll.
When you select your images to use for the slideshow, keep in mind the slideshow images are much wider and shorter than a normal image that is displayed on a website. The optimum size for a slideshow image is 1170px by 375px, however, the website will do its best with what you upload. There is also an option to Crop the image which will take the image you upload and essentially crop the top and bottom off the image, leaving the 375px height. If you exercise the Crop option, you will be left with the middle section of the picture.
You can also specify regular desktop images which display a wider panorama, or mobile images where a minimal part of the image is displayed. Finally, you can add and delete images to reflect any changes of seasons, special occasions, etc.
You can increase the interest and traffic in your CitySpokes and Website Filters by posting major events and things your local residents would be interested in. When you post Featured Items, they are displayed front and center on the Home Page of your city or county, including an optional link to another website that contains more information.
Featured Items will also drop off on the date you specify so you don't need to perform maintenance other than posting new items. However, the next time it is convenient, you should delete Featured Items you no longer need to simplify the admin page that displays your items.
Finally, when you post a Featured Item, you can specify which of the CitySpokes and the 28 Website Filters your Featured Item will be displayed on.
Wouldn't it be nice if tourists or local residents had an updated list of places to visit when they came to your city or county? This is one of those items that generally takes a single effort with very little maintenance in the future.
However, you will find these pages are some of the most visited pages on your website, so it is worth the extra effort to be as helpful as possible when adding your content.
Finally, some cities partner with a third party website that manages the Tourism activities and the Plan Your Visit activities. If that is the case and you choose to do that instead, you can create that link by clicking on the Tourism Partner button instead of loading up your information here.