OurSay Insights

Building Community Trust in Local Government – In a Post-Truth World

We are very much in a post-truth world. Facts and evidence have given way to what ‘feels right’. Some say this is a distinctively modern issue, but others contest it has always been the case, only it’s now further exacerbated by our access to the Internet, and by our politicians and pundits’ more brazen willingness to exploit it to their own ends.   In the post-truth world, how can anyone learn the truth. If the experts can’t agree, how can we? Environmental activist Lois Gibbs refers to this debacle as “duelling PhD’s.” One side’s expert says, “I eat it for breakfast”, while the other side’s expert says, “Even thinking about it will give you cancer.” The public’s response to this tends to be to throw up their hands and revert back to what they ‘feel’ rather than what they ‘know’. And our evolution to a post-truth world is complete. In this environment, is there any way for public institutions to build trust and engage in important issues, without being drawn in a partisan circus?… Read more »

Online Engagement vs Social Media

Our relationship to social media is constantly evolving. What started out as just a bit of fun has now become the primary source of news and information for many people. The lines between social media platforms and more ‘official’ websites are becoming blurred. Many citizens see no difference between the organisational website and Facebook page, and are coming to expect the same service on both. At the same time, organisations are working hard to present an integrated and consistent front on both their corporate and social pages. In this context, do we actually need a corporate site at all? Can we just put all of our eggs in the social basket? In our view, there are very particular ways to use both official and social platforms well to get the best results for your engagement dollars. Here we present four tips for optimising your brand presence.… Read more »

How to Pull a Community Engagement Program Together at the Last Minute

Often community engagement comes as an afterthought. It shouldn’t, but it’s true.   Here at OurSay, we frequently hear from experienced communication and community engagement experts that they are the last to hear about a project! This can be frustrating to say the least. For us, a big part of our job is to make sure our colleagues understand that we need to be given plenty of time and plenty of warning to help them deliver an outstanding community engagement activity.  … Read more »

Forum Moderation Best Practices

When we launch online engagement campaigns we inevitably spend a decent chunk of time discussing the issue of community moderation with our government partners. In an online context, community moderation is the task of limiting or eliminating the unpleasant extremes of community input. Forum moderation can be a frustrating task. If done poorly, there is also the potential to ruin the overall trust and legitimacy of a community engagement project. We need to get it right.… Read more »

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