Last week, we talked about how to promote your online engagement efforts using email and your website. However, it is important not to limit you efforts to digital media. Even as more people search for information online, many still receive information from a variety of offline sources as well.
Here are 5 ways to promote your online engagement with more traditional engagement methods:
1. Distribute a traditional media release with a catchy headline to your local media outlets, e.g. “Organization X wants you to Speak Your Mind about…” Be sure to include your topic page’s web address. Follow up with a telephone call to key media contacts. To get additional mileage from the release, post an edited version on your website and share the link on your social profile.
2. Submit an opinion/editorial piece to your local newspaper. Many community newspapers are eager for content, and the op-ed page is one of the most read news section. Be sure to mention the topic’s web address.
3. Appear on local radio and TV shows to discuss your topic. Be sure to mention the specific topic URL. If your issue is regional in scope try to get on regional TV. Many stations set aside time for community affairs segments.
4. Ensure your topic’s web address is prominent in any project collateral you produce; such as flyers, mailers, newsletters, and posters. This is especially important if you will be holding public meetings. Direct links can account for around another 1/3rd of your total traffic.
5. Prepare and distribute postcards with your topic page’s web address prominently displayed at public events. Also place posters or flyers in public places such as local retailers, community centres. libraries, transit centres, and other places that people meet in your community.
Combining these steps with your online promotion efforts, will significantly increase awareness of, and participation in, your online engagement efforts.
Image: Creative Commons © NS Newsflash on Flickr
on FlickrTags: engagement, online engagement, PlaceSpeak
Civic engagement, public participation, community consultation—or whatever your preferred term is—is a process that uses resident input to influence the decision-making process. Civic engagement focuses on ensuring citizen and stakeholder are aware of—and involved in—civic priority-setting, decision-making, program development, and service delivery.
This is a growing movement. Many local governments are now expanding their efforts to engage residents through in-person and—increasingly—online engagement. While the purposes of civic engagement are varied and numerous, a set of common goals can be discerned. Increasingly civic engagement is being used to:
a) improve decision-making by increasing the quality of decisions reached and the effectiveness of programs and services provided; and,
b) help organizations improve how they address the range of issues that communities are now facing.
Contemporary civic engagement efforts also seeks to meet rising citizen expectations of openness and responsiveness. It is making information for residents easier to access, and offer more—and more varied—opportunities for residents to have input on topics that affect them.
At its foundation, civic engagement helps participants find common ground. It also helps to ensure that decisions are perceived as fair for all involved. Other benefits for decision-makers and residents include:
• Allowing policy makers and staff to hear new perspectives, learn new things, and gain more representative input. This should improve decision-making and the policies, programs, and services that follow.
• From the perspective of residents, Increased opportunities for residents to engage and collaborate with decision makers. This deepen residents’
impact on, understanding of, and ownership of the decisions reached.
How do you define civic engagement? What are its strongest benefits? Please leave a comment and let us know!
This post was based on material published by HB Lanrac for the City of Albany’s Digital Sustainability Conversations.
Image from page 9 of Digital Sustainability Conversations.Tags: Civic engagement, engagement
The Vancouver Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability recently released its interim report. Entitled, ‘Bold Ideas Towards an Affordable City,’ the report outlines a number of new steps that the City of Vancouver can take to increase and protect the stock of affordable housing in Vancouver.
Some key recommendations made by the Task Force include:
The Task Force set the benchmark of affordability at a range of $21,500 annual income for an individual, up to a combined annual household income of $86,500.
“The question the task force repeatedly came back to was ‘where will our children live in Vancouver?’ said Task Force co-chair Olga Ilich. “To answer it, the City needs to enable a range of housing that is broader than condominiums and single-family homes. People want choice – the opportunity to scale up if they are starting a family, and downsize as they retire. The report we’ve produced aims to cover a wide-range of needs, and I’m hopeful that City Hall will act on it to address a problem as urgent as the lack of affordable housing.”
PlaceSpeak is proud to be hosting an online survey and discussion forum to allow residents of Vancouver to provide feedback on the Task Force’s recommendation
The Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability will submit a final report to City Council in the fall that incorporates input from the re:THINK Housing Ideas Competition and public feedback.
Tags: Affordable housing, City Council, City of Vancouver, PlaceSpeak, Task Force, Vancouver Mayor
Sarath Jayewardena is one of PlaceSpeak’s talented software designers. He holds a PhD in Physics from University of Berne, Switzerland.
Sarath saw firsthand the emergence of the world-wide-web, and grew with it. Like many physicists of his time he was attracted to the latest advancements in IT and soon became a full-time IT guy.
A long time Linux affiliate, Sarath worked as an instructor in Computing Science in Sri Lanka and Canada for many years while at the same time helping the organizations he worked for build open-technology-based IT infrastructure. He draws enormous satisfaction from creating functionally beautiful software.
Most recently he has had a lot of fun with Python and Django which, together with his Linux know-how, landed him at PlaceSpeak.
Tags: Canada, computing science, Django, PlaceSpeak, Python, software, Sri Lanka, technology
You may have heard that PlaceSpeak is helping conduct the Metro Vancouver 2012 Urban Futures Survey. The survey is about transportation, housing, arts and culture, land use, and climate change — the key issues for our region’s world-renowned quality of life.
Completing the Urban Futures Survey gives our region the information it needs to plan a better future for you, your family, and your community. I hope you can take 20 minutes to take the survey. You can do so by clicking on this link:
If you are more comfortable reading Chinese, PlaceSpeak has translated the Urban Future into Chinese Traditional text. The Chinese version can be found here:
Chair, PlaceSpeak Board of Directors
Former Premier of British Columbia (1991-1996) and Mayor of Vancouver (1980-1986).
PS: I would really appreciate it if you would help spread the word about this important survey. Please invite your friends and neighbours to take the survey as well. You can also share it on Facebook or Twitter.
Tags: Greater Vancouver, housing, Metro Vancouver, Mike Harcourt, PlaceSpeak, quality of life, transportation, Urban Futures Survey, Vancouver, Video
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