Local authorities fail to optimise online newsrooms for mobile, says new research


New research has found local authorities in the UK have invested substantial efforts into developing a good online newsroom infrastructure but have failed to optimise their newsrooms for mobile or connect them to their social media channels. This means there is much room for improvement in the ways councils engage with their residents, the media and other stakeholders.

Despite high profile government initiatives to improve online accessibility with the likes of the award winning Gov.UK redesign, local authorities have done little to aid visitors in finding and navigating their newsroom with half of local councils failing to link their newsrooms from anywhere on their homepage. Furthermore, only one of local authority provided a responsively designed newsroom for use on mobile devices.

Mynewsdesk’s What’s the story? 2014 newsroom report into newsroom best practice saw local authorities score an average of 23.75%, falling behind the world’s top 100 brands average score of 38% in last year’s report.

The report found that although local authorities are aware of the importance of multimedia content with an above average number including image (30%) and video (20%) libraries they have performed significantly below average when it came to populating these with any sort of visual content. Similarly, they performed poorly in providing links to their social media channels which is an ideal way for local authorities to connect with their residents.

Peter Ingman, CEO of Mynewsdesk said, “Local authorities need to work harder to engage with their citizens and the diverse range of audiences they serve. It’s clear councils are investing in the tools needed to do this but simple things like updating their newsrooms regularly with interesting, useful content and connecting them to social media channels could possibly reduce calls to their contact centres and put less of a strain resources.” 

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