IRS.GOV - WHERE'S MY STIMULUS CHECK APP
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNER
Brian Balla joined the Service on January 4, 2020. He quickly jumped in to learn about how Online Services supports the IRS.gov, the largest communication channel at the IRS, through Content Strategy. Brian was key in providing critical support to the Service during the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked directly with key leaders across the IRS to create critical content necessary to build what would become the most visited pages on IRS.gov since its inception.
When the Get My Payment online application, which allowed the American people to check the status of their economic impact payment, the traffic spiked to over 74 million. This was record-breaking for the website with the prior highest traffic day in the history of the site spiked at 7.4 million sessions. Brian’s willingness to work long hours and make himself available to write clear, plain language content was second to none. He listened to external user needs through survey responses, social and traditional media to recommend content that would help answer taxpayer questions in near real-time.
Brian continues to bring valuable support to taxpayers through leading content strategy and editorial teams at the Service. Brian also led the IRS.gov Communications team and took lead on a huge effort to put together the first-ever IRS.gov Content Conference. The Conference took place in the Fall of 2020, at beginning of the FY 2021, and was a success. The conference was attended by senior IRS executives, IRS.gov Core Representatives, and Key stakeholders across the Service who represented the IRS.gov content community. Brian created several presentations that introduced industry-leading concepts including a Unified Content Strategy model to be adopted by the IRS to help reduce web content redundancy, eliminate silos in content creation and build stronger partnerships across the IRS to improve the user experience for taxpayers using the website.
Brian’s leadership in supporting IRS.gov through clear, plain language content contributed to the organization's success as an Agency in helping millions of American people find the status of their economic impact payments. Additionally, Brian’s leadership during the Content Conference has led to the creation of a Unified Content Strategy portal that was recently launched Service-wide in March 2021.