Building eGovernment Websites


Launching a Website

How Do I Launch My Website?

It's no good having a website if you don't inform potential users of its existence. Uploading a website and then expecting it to attract visitors automatically by itself is not realistic.

This is especially true of e-government websites: the development of e-government web applications is still a relatively recent phenomenon, especially in developing countries, so citizens and organisations may not necessarily expect their government to be involved in online communication (especially if they are not familiar with the internet). The spontaneous demand for an e-government website may therefore initially be limited, with citizens and other stakeholders opting "by default" to handle their exchanges of information with government through other more traditional communication channels (e.g. the telephone, the post, the press, but also a visit to the agency's offices or counters).

In order to "switch" at least a part of this audience to your website, you will need to promote it appropriately (see: How Do I Maintain Awareness Of My eGovernment Website? ) and the initial launch of the site represents perhaps the best opportunity for you to start doing so.

Needless to say, to promote the launch of a new communication enterprise you will have to make use of your existing communication channels.

A press release and an invitation to journalists to contact the agency for more information may be a good idea. Producing leaflets and making them available at offices and counters for visitors to take, or sending them out in a postal campaign, will also help in raising awareness among your potential audience. If you have at your disposal a list of e-mail contacts to which you think it would be appropriate to send general information about the agency and its activities, make sure you use this to inform your contacts about the launch of the site: people who use e-mail are also extremely likely to have access to the web, and are therefore more likely to be part of your primary target audience.

You should specify a specific launch date for your site and, if your budget allows it, you could also organise a little ceremony or reception to mark the event, inviting staff, business partners, representatives of citizens' organisations and the press, if possible. After all, with all the hard work you have done, you and your team will also deserve a bit of a party!

As much as the launch of a website is an important occasion for its promotion, it should be noted that promoting a website does not stop at that, and that more work will need to be done during the life of the site (see: How Do I Maintain Awareness Of My eGovernment Website?).



Page Author: Andrea Bardelli Danieli. Last updated on 19 October, 2008.
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