OurSay Insights

Why Close the Loop in Online Engagement

  We’ve all heard that communication is a two-way street. But what does this mean in terms of the online engagement process? Communication is not what is said or stated. Communication is what is heard and received. All too often we have been informed by council that they have communicated this, that or the other to the community. But when asked about the community’s response we hear nothing but crickets. Zilch. Nada. So how do we know that we have effectively communicated what we wanted to? Unless there are feedback mechanisms in place, we have no idea. The loop has been left open-ended.… Read more »

Online Engagement is Not a Replacement for Traditional Methods

  For organisations that have built capacity and achieved success with traditional community engagement strategies, there can still be a real hesitance to take their efforts ‘online’. We typically see two barriers: The perception that engagement is either online or offline; and Even if organisations embrace online and achieve good results, they still believe they need to be seen to be advertising in traditional media.… Read more »

Break Through the Jargon and Increase Participation

If Nike wrote their advertisements in the same way that public institutions often communicate with their communities, they wouldn’t sell any shoes. This is the thrust of Dave Meslin’s excellent TED talk, “The Antidote to Apathy”. He argues that public sector communication strategies often end up effectively actively excluding participation. Apathy doesn’t exist. People do care. But the use of industry jargon creates obstacles that actively discourage public participation. How do we frame our messaging in a way that actively facilitates and encourages community engagement – that is an invitation rather than an obstacle?… Read more »

How to Ask Engaging Questions

Many community engagement projects are let down by asking the wrong kind of questions of the community. Not framing your ‘ask’ in the right way leads to opinion rather than ownership, and greatly reduces the impact of your effort from the very first instance. Asking engaging questions requires you to decide on two factors, before you even begin: Setting the scope of the question (what are we actually looking for?) Understanding exactly who we are asking, so we can ask it in an engaging way. Let’s take a look a framework that will assist you in asking engaging questions.… Read more »

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