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If you aren’t using page watch automation, here’s why you should be

‘PageWatch… page what?’ I hear you ask. There are two types of page watch, HTML and RSS/ATOM. Page watch HTML will watch for any changes on the webpage no matter how small or frequent, page watch RSS/ATOM on the other hand will only watch for new and updated content in the feed. With the ability to deliver new content immediately and updated content saved for review. Page watch RSS/ATOM is more often than not the one you should be using, simply because HTML will pick up minute changes such as spelling mistakes being edited and none us want to highlight that do we?!

We all know that time and resources are short in the public sector, particularly in communication teams. Using page watch has a number of great benefits such as, reducing workload whilst enabling valuable staff to concentrate on the work that needs intellectual input. It also ensures relevant information is sent out at the right time, all whilst having a positive impact on your organisations reputation. At this point I assume you all want to know how, so keep reading…

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There are a number of topics/bulletins that page watch is perfect for. Take jobs for example, job vacancies are published regularly on your organisations website. If your website contains RSS/ATOM feeds then that can be watched through GovDelivery, automatically sending out a bulletin containing the new jobs. This can either be sent out every time one is published or you can bundle them, i.e once a week. You also have the option to auto send the bulletins or to send them to drafts so you can check them over before sending. Another service area this works really well on is planning. Residents like to be kept updated on planning applications and decisions. If these are published online then there is no reason why we can’t allow people to sign up to receive automated updates. Both of these examples will save time for your comms team, as there is no need for anyone to manually create the content and send the bulletin.

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Further examples of great topics to use page watch on are Severe Weather Alerts and a Twitter Digest. We see high numbers of subscribers for these types of topics and using page watch is a great way to get relevant information to citizens when it’s fresh. Following an RSS/ATOM feed for your area supplied on the Met Office website means you are able to alert subscribers immediately that there is a severe weather warning without having to lift a finger, or in this case a quite a few fingers. It may not be something that you can control but it will help with your reputation, simply because you’re giving people information they need at the right time.

A Twitter Digest? What’s the point in that? Well, if you look at the number of people who follow you on Twitter, it will probably be quite high. Citizens want to know what is going on in areas important to them, but most follow such a large number of people/organisations on twitter that they would need to be online at the exact moment that you tweet for them to actually see it. Horsham District Council send out a Twitter Digest a few times a week with all of their recent tweets so that people can keep up to date with what the council have to say. They must like it as they have an 83% engagement rate for that topic covering the last year! This also helps with building a positive reputation for the council.

So, if you aren’t already using it… I’m going to repeat my earlier question, why not?

Get in touch if you want to have discussion about how we can help you get page watch set up.