As a pioneering civic network, PlaceSpeak empowers communities to build robust digital networks which are connected to physical places, such as streets, neighbourhoods, schools, and more.
The North Saanich Residents’ Association (NSRA) was recently considering ways to heighten engagement with its members and the community at large. Traffic to their website was low, and the popular Council Summaries were still manually sent out via email to registered members. There was no way for members to engage in dialogue with each other online and the membership numbers were not reflective of the size of the population in this rural community.
As methods of online engagement became more ubiquitous, the NSRA recognized the importance of providing an online space to stay up to date and engage in respectful dialogue on the issues impacting North Saanich, the Saanich Peninsula and Capital Regional District (CRD).
At the same time, they wanted to ensure that the selected platform was safe, secure and privacy-protecting, unlike many popular social media platforms.
After much deliberation, they decided to use PlaceSpeak to enhance their engagement efforts. PlaceSpeak’s unique geo-verification technology ensured that the NSRA is hearing exclusively from residents within North Saanich – not from bots, trolls or special interests. By gathering defensible feedback from the public, the NSRA can take an informed and evidence-based stance when advocating on issues to the District and other levels of government.
In addition, the platform was already familiar to the community. It had previously been used by local and regional governments in the area to engage with the public, as well as by the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). There was an existing base of civically engaged North Saanich residents on PlaceSpeak, even if they were not yet engaged with the NSRA.
Within several months of incorporating PlaceSpeak as part of their digital outreach, the NSRA saw an increase in traffic to their website, as well as higher levels of attendance at community meetings. The NSRA was also able to leverage PlaceSpeak’s civic network and reach out to existing PlaceSpeak users in the community, and invite them to join and engage with local issues and concerns.
To learn how your neighbourhood association can engage more effectively with members and the community at large, contact us.
Mary is the Communications Manager at PlaceSpeak. She was attracted to PlaceSpeak’s innovative approach in using verifiable, location-based technology for citizen engagement and hyperlocal governance. In her spare time, Mary enjoys dog videos set to ’90s hip-hop.