Can local governments leverage citizen power to crowdsource their brand?

Should your local government conduct an annual brand survey?

Can governments crowdsource their brand?
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A recent poll asked about brand practices for cities and city governments. While the results are still coming in, it's clear that citizens want to be included in this process. Having an open, well-documented process is critical to achieving consensus. But what about the power of crowdsourcing?

Should local governments leverage the power of their citizens and tap into public perception of their city?

I vote yes. And don't limit it to the people who pay taxes and live within those boundaries. The power of crowdsourcing lets you cast a broad net to get the most ideas.

Should cities be focused on a brand? Wouldn't we rather they be concerned with providing basic functions like emergency services and infrastructure management? I would argue that these tasks are not exclusive. And investigating the sorts of perceptions that form a brand is one way to understand how effective government services are for citizens. I would be all right with my city investing in an annual brand survey—as long as it was tied to improving local services.

Should governments be concerned about their brand? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments.

About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for He primarily works with the DevOps Team and Open Organization community. He is the author of The foundation for an open source city and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets for a fun and shareable feed of his open source (and other)... more about Jason Hibbets