Dear government leaders,

If you are still using these ways to get in touch with your citizens:

  • Government web forms
  • Emails
  • Calling system
  • Social media
  • Mobile apps

Then Stop!

Here’s the truth: the announcements you deliver through those platforms are not received by all citizens.

More importantly, there is a large number of residents who lack technical knowledge and information.

Most offices today use various digital tools for delivering information like mobile apps, emails, etc.

But then look at this:

Then this:

Okay, let me summarize the trend for you: The number of people aged 60 or more is continuously growing in both less developed and more developed regions.

However, as we can see in the first graph, the majority of over 60  don’t use the Internet, which means that they are unable to catch up with the government’s announcements that their representatives are relying on apps and social media.

Let me walk you through the 5 most serious communication problems that the governments are having…

Problem #1: Millions of citizens do not use 311 apps

Like I’ve said in my previous blog post, government apps are not preferred widely because they take a lot of time to download.

Here, we can see that in the given period, time spent on apps is decreasing…

Moreover, the percentage of people actually checking the application notifications is only 20%…

In other words, only 1/5 residents actually receive state and local government notifications and announcements.

So using 311 apps is probably not the best way to communicate with your citizens.

Problem #2: Millions of citizens have not signed up to receive government notifications

For some governments, in order to receive notifications, they will need to sign up on a website or by texting to a phone number.

However, not everyone is capable of doing this, especially people aged over 60.

According to Eurostat, 87 percent of people aged 75 years and over have never been online. In other words, there is a huge number of citizens who cannot receive notifications from government apps.

Problem #3: Difficult to cut through the misinformation and fake news

In this 4.0 industry, apart from the amazing inventions of technology and abundant information on the Internet, we have to deal with fake news.

It is everywhere: social media, websites, emails,…

So government leaders must find another way to deliver authentic and real information to our citizens. They will assume that the fake news is actually delivered by the real government, and that would decrease your reputation.

In a survey, people were asked how often they receive fake news on the Internet. Here’s the result:

52% of residents receive fake news regularly, and 34% of them receive it occasionally. That adds up to 86% of people who enounter fake news. 

It is reasonable to say that government representatives need to look for better alternatives for communication, right?

Problem #4: Social media controls communication and narrative

Like I’ve said earlier, those whose age is 60 or over normally don’t use the Internet, meaning that they are not active on social platforms, too.

Local and state governments should not rely entirely on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, but rather find a more professional and personal method.

The main purpose of people using social platforms is for entertainment rather than reading the government’s announcements and news.

Comparing the open rates via SMS, Email, and other social media apps, we could see that the open rates of SMS are 5 times more than the others:

Problem #5: Governments depend on third parties to relay information to their citizens

This is kind of similar to using social media platforms.

Although third parties have deep experience and specialize in their niche, they cannot understand your system as well as your team of laborers. So it’s still better off taking full control and not being reliant on any third parties.

And there are several tools that the head offices can use nowadays as alternatives for third parties.

So how can we solve these problems?

With Ascendant, governments can now have real-time conversations with their citizens through SMS.

Why SMS but not government apps or other platforms?

For news and reporting local issues, citizens actually prefer texting.

Especially in this COVID-19 pandemic, SMS texting has been used effectively to deliver emergency alerts.

Moreover, unlike any other texting tool, Ascendant also offers a 2-way texting service, allowing constituents to  report local issues like storm damage or  roads that need to be fixed to their local government.

For more information about Ascendant, visit How Governments Can Engage With Citizens More Effectively.


SMS has been, and will always be the best communication tool for government leaders and citizens. It’s fast. It’s effective. And it’s age-friendly.

So if you’re looking for a texting platform that your team can rely on, consider Ascendant. It can help you engage with your constituents in under 5 minutes so notifications can be delivered quickly!