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Governance 👉 Community branding and identity: why such a low priority in the Northeast US?

MacheteJames

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Old thread, I know. Thought I’d bump it, since many cities and towns might have upgraded their Web sites.

One of my co-workers and I use Fort Collins, Colorado’s Web site as a baseline for a good small city site.


I found that Web sites in areas where municipal branding isn’t really a thing — mainly much of the Northeastern US — usually leave a lot to be desired. My community is in the process of building a new Web site, and “not invented here” was out of the question for citing examples of good sites to model ours after.

You've struck upon something interesting here. Why is it that many jurisdictions in the northeast are so bad at branding and cohesive web design? Go have a look at websites for departments located in the Sun Belt and holy crap, the difference in presentation/style/organization is just huge versus many communities in the northeast, some of which are just abysmal in terms of execution. Is it a "slow growth vs fast growth" thing, or a sense of self-satisfaction and lack of need to attract newcomers in mature, built out communities that aren't "hungry", so to speak, that lends itself to subpar web design?
 
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bureaucrat#3

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You've struck upon something interesting here. Why is it that many jurisdictions in the northeast are so bad at branding and cohesive web design? Go have a look at websites for departments located in the Sun Belt and holy crap, the difference in presentation/style/organization is just huge versus many communities in the northeast, some of which are just abysmal in terms of execution. Is it a "slow growth vs fast growth" thing, or a sense of self-satisfaction and lack of need to attract newcomers in mature, built out communities that aren't "hungry", so to speak, that lends itself to subpar web design?
I wonder if any of it has to do with the number of "new" cities in the Sun Belt. There have been a significant number of communities in south that were created post desegregation. New cities always tend to be very big on marketing and image. The ones I'm familiar with outside of Atlanta and other major metro areas also tend to rely heavily on consultants and outsource a lot of their functions or at least did so to start. It's probably easier for a city created in the internet age to be much more reliant and tech savvy than one with pre-Revolution roots.
 

kjel

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I wonder if any of it has to do with the number of "new" cities in the Sun Belt. There have been a significant number of communities in south that were created post desegregation. New cities always tend to be very big on marketing and image. The ones I'm familiar with outside of Atlanta and other major metro areas also tend to rely heavily on consultants and outsource a lot of their functions or at least did so to start. It's probably easier for a city created in the internet age to be much more reliant and tech savvy than one with pre-Revolution roots.
That could be part of it. I think too working for county government in NJ, there's no mentality internally that we're really here to serve the public, nor make it easy for them to interact with us. Our website directly reflects this. When I worked for a county in SC, it was all about providing a high level of service.
 

HomerJ

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The pro-business approach in Texas typically lends to a number of consistent characteristics across cities here, among them being a strong emphasis on customer service. There is also an emphasis on accountability and transparency, and I suspect that can bring the advantage of cities/departments being very thoughtful about their public facing presentation(s).

I would say along with the "new" factor of sunbelt cities, these places are also competing with each other locally to highlight low COL, streamlined regulatory environment, and aggressive ED incentives. If one city rolls out a very flashy website effectively marketing these things, it likely catches the attention of the neighboring cities and motivates them to respond.
 
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