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The Importance of Verified Civic Engagement

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In 2014, Surrey Schools already had a strong and representative working committee. However, as the revision of the social media policy began it was recognised that the changes would impact a great many people and so the School Board identified an opportunity to consult more widely with parents, students and the larger community on the issue.Surrey

To maximise reach, participation, flexibility and because of the consultation topic the School Board wanted to host their consultation online. While engaging and receiving feedback from a larger audience was a key priority it was necessary to ensure that those contributing to the discussion fell within the relevant catchment area and the feedback generated was of a high enough standard.  These were key requirements in the search for a suitable community engagement software solution that would enable them to take advantage of the opportunity.

After a thorough search Surrey Schools selected PlaceSpeak. PlaceSpeak is an online location-based engagement platform that allows schools to collaborate with families and local residents on matters that are important to the community. 

PlaceSpeak’s ability to uniquely geo-verify users as they sign up ensures that Surrey could be confident they were engaging with residents and families located within a specific catchment area. This enabled a consultation that was both accessible and transparent and allowed Surrey School Board to collect legitimate, evidence-based feedback to inform decision-making.

PlaceSpeak’s cost-effective tool is specifically designed to help achieve school objectives, promote informed outcomes, and foster long-term engagement with the community.

This initial consultation was a significant success. The topic  reached and engaged a much larger audience than would have been possible during an in person meeting with 90 geo-verified  connected participates from within the catchment area contributing 62 discussion comments.

Building on their early success, Surrey School Board have continued launching well-received consultations that have generated legitimate feedback for informed decision-making. One major advantage of further consultations has been the ability to re-engage with residents that have already signed up to the platform. This saw Surrey quickly increase it geo-verified participant base during the second consultation from 90 up to 238 connected users who contributed 181 comments. As Surrey continues to host more consultations this engaged user base continues to increase in size making it easier and more cost effective to reach a large number of residents on each occasion.


Read more on PlaceSpeak for School Boards