Abstracts: November 9th, 2006

This document summarises the outcome of the campaign to raise awareness and encourage the use of online services provided by local authorities which was launched in May 2006. The campaign was targeted at existing internet users, the group most able to make use of the 16 types of services available online. Advertising was placed in national media for the first month, followed by a month in regional media, before individual councils continued with local campaigns.Pre-and post-campaign research confirmed an increase in awareness of council services in general and in those available online. Respondents also demonstrated a greater intention to make use of these services and a significant number took action as a result of the campaign. At the same time an online advertising campaign on websites and search engines generated 225m page impressions and 860,000 click-through visits into the campaign web. During the national and regional phases of the campaign the mycouncil domain and other local government pages of the Directgov website attracted an estimated 1.3 million visits, 2/3rds of which were generated by the online campaign alone. Traffic volumes into these sites were up markedly, by 32% in May compared to the previous month.

An exit poll, conducted by the independent organisation SOCITM, found that 10% out of an estimated 14 million visitors to council sites during the campaign attributed the source of their visit to either the campaign’s mycouncil website or another page in the Directgov domain. This figure was also confirmed in the monitor of web traffic by the Hitwise, another independent organisation.