EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- After intensive collaboration with local government leaders struggling to more actively engage citizens on multiple fronts, Vision today launched visionPulse ™, a new community engagement platform that helps agencies gauge public opinion and turn feedback into action. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161117/440631LOGO According to Ashley Fruechting, Vision's senior director of marketing, the company created visonPulse because local governments want to involve more people in decision-making, but were not able to do so with existing solutions. "visionPulse integrates an engagement platform into a community's existing website where it works seamlessly with other communications channels like blogs and social media. This approach streamlines administration for staff, ensures consistency between messages on each platform and makes it easier for residents to participate," she said. In Vision's 2016 survey of local gov agencies, 98 percent of respondents identified "citizen engagement" as "essential" or "important" to their agency, and 100 percent predicted it would have a significant impact on local government operations by 2020. Yet only 5 percent considered their agency to be "outstanding" in effective engagement and more than 81 percent cited it as one of the top three issues needing improvement. Additional research supports the idea that local government agencies are right to be concerned about engagement because citizens are demanding it. In a 2015 Accenture report on Digital Government, respondents were asked to name the activities they would prefer to conduct digitally. Among the top 10 activities cited were: share views and opinions (#7) and participate digitally in public hearings (#9). So why isn't engagement happening? "Residents simply don't know about the opportunities available to them to provide feedback because engagement tools are usually buried in municipal websites," said Fruechting. "Government staff struggle to keep multiple systems up to date and consistent because each one requires a separate log-in and administration. Effectively engaging citizens day-in and day-out, year-round requires local leaders to provide information and functionality that citizens value and internal staff can manage."