Digital Sustainability Conversations
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Digital Sustainability Conversations



How Local Governments can Engage Residents Online

How Local Governments can Engage Residents Online



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    Digital Sustainability Conversations Digital Sustainability Conversations Presentation Transcript

    • Digital Sustainability Conversations How Local Governments can Engage Residents Online
    • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Executive Summary Why should As local governments face impacts from climate change, public health concerns, and public demand for increased accountability you read this Funding for the guidebook was provided by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) Urban Sustainability Innovation (USI) Fund with funds provided by the Summit and transparency, it is becoming increasingly important to engage Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and The Home Depot Foundation. with the public on important sustainability topics. Guidebook? With over 75% of Americans now online, and 82% of them interacting with government online, local governments have This guidebook is designed to help City the opportunity to engage residents on Facebook, Twitter, Managers, Mayors, Directors of Sustainability, and a myriad of other “digital engagement” tools. In fact, local Communications Directors, other governments that do not participate in digital engagement risk This guidebook is a collaborative product made possible through the leadership and department heads, and project managers in remaining unaware of online mobilization, until it manifests at contributions of: local governments learn how to: public meetings and other face-to-face events. • City of Albany, NY Mayor’s Office of Energy & Sustainability • Create a business case for using digital This guidebook provides case studies and a step-by-step guide to »» Douglas Melnick, AICP, Director engagement as part of a community support local government digital engagement efforts. sustainability effort »» Sarah Reginelli, Principal Planner Case studies included in this guidebook are very diverse, • Create a business case for using digital • City of Richmond, VA covering: small and large initiatives; projects intended to tools as part of an engagement strategy inform and empower; and, digital engagement that has been »» Andreas D. Addison, Civic Innovation Team Manager • Understand legal challenges associated implemented for the many functions of local government, like • Case Study participants with digital engagement governance, service provision, and specific initiatives and policies.Authors of the Guidebook are: »» Amanda Mitchell , Olive Dempsey, and Tracy Vaughan, City of Vancouver • Learn about successful digital Our step-by-step guide takes both the digital novice and adept • Daniella Fergusson & engagement implementation through a 16-step process. The process includes: goal-setting, Vince Verlaan, »» Beth McMillan, Atlanta BeltLine HB Lanarc Golder • Plan, choose digital tools for, and defining audiences, selecting digital engagement tools, gaining »» Gina Knepp and Renee Traud, Sacramento 311 internal commitment, creating digital teams, clarifying roles and • Susanna Haas Lyons overcome challenges associated with »» Gregory Claxton, City of Austin digital engagement implementation responsibilities, listening online, combining digital engagementThe Spectrum of Public with face-to-face events, mitigating risk, evaluating and measuring »» Jake Barton, Local Projects • Assess your local government’s internal impact, and incorporating organizational learning.Participation and IAP2name and logo are used readiness and your community’s »» Mackenzie Kelly, Williamson County Emergency Managementwith permission from the readiness for digital engagement We hope that you will find this guide useful for strengtheningInternational Association for »» Ritchard Ludlow, Denton Wiki government responsiveness and augmenting your in-person • Develop, implement, and evaluate aPublic Participation. »» Ross Collicutt, City of Nanaimo engagement tactics with new, online tools. digital engagement strategyMarch 2012 »» Sara Solomon and Rebecca Winkler, Get Fit Philly Good luck with your digital engagement initiatives!
    • TABLE OF CONTENTS Only got a few minutes? Section I: “Business Case” for Digital Engagement by and with Local Government....... 1 DO YOU WANT TO... Chapter 1: Understanding Local Governments & Sustainability.............................................................................3 A. What is sustainability?................................................................................................................................ 3 1 B. Why are local governments addressing sustainability?.......................................................................... 4 Understand the business case for C. How can local governments address sustainability?............................................................................... 6 digital engagement? Start by reading Section I to find tips on obtaining senior staff or D. Behavior Change, Sustainability, and Local Governments..................................................................... 7 Council approval to pursue a digital engagement strategy. E. References.................................................................................................................................................. 8 Learn about the risks of digital To assess your internal and external readiness for digital Chapter 2: Understanding Local Governments & Civic Engagement.....................................................................9 engagement? engagement, consult Appendix I. A. Governance : Responsive Local Government ...................................................................................... 9 B. Civic Engagement: What is it? .............................................................................................................. 10 C. The Spectrum of Public Participation..................................................................................................... 11 2 D. Digital Engagement: What is it? ............................................................................................................ 13 Explore how other local E. How sustainability efforts benefit from digital engagement ............................................................... 14 governments have used digital engagement? Jump into Section II to understand more about appropriate times Chapter 3: Business Case for Government Use of Digital Engagement...............................................................15 and techniques for using digital engagement tools. A. Benefits of Digital Engagement ........................................................................................................... 15 Browse tools that you could use in Appendix III contains a list of digital engagement tools. B. Cost of Not Engaging Digitally............................................................................................................... 18 your department? C. Expenses of Using Digital Engagement................................................................................................ 18 D. Return on Investment.............................................................................................................................. 19Quick Start Get going! I want to know how to 3 Quick Start with Section III to find out specific “how to” instructions and tips on developing, implementing, and evaluating a Digital Engagement Strategy. Chapter 4: E. References................................................................................................................................................ 19 Understanding & Overcoming Risks....................................................................................................20 A. Discrimination: Demographics, Geography, and Accessibility ........................................................... 20 do digital engagement B. State Specific Laws: Public Records, Data Retention, and Open Meetings....................................... 22 Look to Appendix II for worksheets referenced in this section. C. First Amendment Laws: Moderation, Terms of Use, and Employee Usage Policies.......................... 23 Appendix IV contains details on “how to” instructions and best D. Privacy: Information Collection, Anonymity and Minors...................................................................... 25 practices for using common digital engagement tools including: E. Intellectual Property................................................................................................................................. 27 Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, YouTube, and LinkedIn. F. References................................................................................................................................................ 28
    • Section II: Digital Tactics for your Engagement Goals.......................................................... 1 Section III: Preparing, Implementing & Evaluating your Digital Engagement Strategy..... 1Chapter 5: Digital Engagement for Governance.....................................................................................................3 Chapter 8: Get Ready: Assess your readiness for digital engagement...................................................................5 A. Inform: Help public understand the issues ............................................................................................. 4 A. Are you ready? Assess your Capacity for Digital Engagement.............................................................. 6 B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services or options..................................................................... 7 B. Have you set your engagement goals? ................................................................................................... 6 C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential advice........................................................................................ 8 C. Do you know your target audiences? ...................................................................................................... 7 D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choices................................................................... 9 D. Have you decided which tools to use?.................................................................................................... 8 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions........................................................................................... 11 Chapter 9: Prepare your Organization for Digital Engagement............................................................................13 F. References................................................................................................................................................ 12 A. Do you have internal commitment? ..................................................................................................... 14Chapter 6: Digital Engagement for Service Provision...........................................................................................13 B. Do you have digital engagement teams?.............................................................................................. 15 A. Inform: Help public understand the issues ........................................................................................... 14 C. Roles and Responsibilities for Digital Engagement.............................................................................. 16 B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services or options................................................................... 17 D. References................................................................................................................................................ 18 C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential advice...................................................................................... 18 Chapter 10: Implement your Digital Engagement Strategy....................................................................................19 D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choices................................................................. 21 A. Listening Online to find influencers, controversial issues, and where residents spend time online.20 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions........................................................................................... 23 B. Using Digital Engagement Tools at Face-to-Face Events ................................................................... 22 F. References................................................................................................................................................ 24 C. Messaging for Sustainability................................................................................................................... 23Chapter 7: Digital Engagement for Specific Initiatives or Policies........................................................................25 D. Managing Conversations........................................................................................................................ 29 A. Inform: Help public understand the issues ........................................................................................... 26 E. References................................................................................................................................................ 30 B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services or options................................................................... 29 Chapter 11: Evaluate: Make sense of your initiative’s feedback.............................................................................31 C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential advice...................................................................................... 32 A. Set Engagement Targets......................................................................................................................... 32 D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choices................................................................. 39 B. Measure your Impact............................................................................................................................... 35 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions........................................................................................... 40 C. Close the Loop......................................................................................................................................... 37
    • 1Section IV: Appendix................................................................................................................. 1Appendix I: Internal & External Capacity Assessment..............................................................................................3 Self-Assessment Worksheet............................................................................................................................. 4 Internal & External Interviews Guide............................................................................................................... 7 Section I: “Business Case” for Digital Engagement by and withAppendix II: Digital Engagement Goals, Target Audiences, and Messages.............................................................9 Identify your Digital Engagement Goals........................................................................................................ 9 Identify Your Target Audiences...................................................................................................................... 10 Messages for your Audiences........................................................................................................................ 12 Local GovernmentAppendix III: Digital Engagement Tools Reference..................................................................................................15Appendix IV: Best Practices for Using Common Digital Engagement Tools............................................................19 1. Facebook Page........................................................................................................................................... 20 2. Twitter 22 3. Google+...................................................................................................................................................... 24 4. Flickr 26 5. YouTube....................................................................................................................................................... 28 6. LinkedIn Groups.......................................................................................................................................... 30 Business Case Digital Sustainability Conversations How Local Governments can 1 Engage Residents Online
    • Chapter 1: UNDERSTANDING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS & SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability Environment WHAT’S IN THIS SECTION: This section of the Guidebook will help you: A. What is sustainability? Sustainability is a catch-all word representing a systems-thinking approach • Chapter 1: Create a business case for using digital engagement as part to ecological and human systems. Human systems include ways we Economy Society of a sustainability effort mediate our relationships with each other, like economic transactions. Often understood as seeking a better balance between the environment, • Chapter 2: Understand what digital engagement means for local society, and the economy, sustainability is a process of collective improvement requiring human activities to reflect and respect ecological government, and where it fits in with your existing communications limits. Figure 1: Traditional definition of sustainability: This graphic is often used to depict sustainability as a balance between and engagement efforts environmental, economic, and social systems. A challenge with The two diagrams to the right represent the most common understandings this graphic is that it suggests the environment, the economy, and society are three separate systems that only partially • Chapter 3: Create a business case for using digital tools as part of an of sustainability. interact. The diagram also does not recognize ecological limits engagement strategy While hundreds of definitions for sustainability exist, common themes to economic growth. include: • Chapter 4: Understand and overcome risks associated with digital Ecological • Inter-generational Equity: Actions taken today impact the quality of Systems engagementBusiness Case Business Case life experienced by our children, our grandchildren, and their children. So, we should take care to use resources wisely to ensure that future Human generations experience a good quality of life. Systems • Intra-generational Equity: North America and Europe have enjoyed Section II to understand more over a century of unlimited industrialization and economic growth, but SKIP AHEAD TO about appropriate times and have made the largest impact on the planet in terms of consumption Economic of resources and generation of waste, like carbon emissions. Systems techniques for using digital engagement tools. • Precautionary Principle: Our actions today may cause harm to the public and to the environment. Although there may not be scientific consensus that our actions are harmful, the burden of proof falls on us Section III to find out how to prove that our actions are safe. Figure 2: Nested model of sustainability: Sustainability to develop, implement, requires that human impacts remain within limits that can • Ecological Integrity: Ecological systems and services (including potable be managed by ecological systems. This representation of and evaluate a Digital 2 water, clean air, pollination, and arable land) have limits, past which sustainability shows that the economy is one aspect of society, and reminds us that humans are just one of many living 3 Engagement Strategy. they cease to function properly. Ecological systems can reach “tipping creatures on our planet. points,” where they rapidly and irreversibly change.
    • Sustainable development is development B. Why are local governments addressing Even with modest UN projections for road networks and servicing impacts future generations, because it determines community walkability and how sustainability? that meets the needs of the present population growth, consumption and soon infrastructure will reach capacity or will need to be without compromising the needs of future Local governments are experiencing challenges that can climate change, by 2030 humanity will replaced. be addressed by fostering more sustainable behavior. New generations to meet their own needs. 1 realities include: need the capacity of two Earths to • Resident Demand: Residents are asking for more absorb CO2 waste and keep up with local government services and regulations that foster • Carrying Capacity: The rate at which we use natural • Budget constraints: Local governments are looking to cut operating costs and find ways to finance capital projects. natural resource consumption. 6 sustainable living. 9 Examples include: recycling of paper, resources should equal or be less than the rate at which plastics, glass, metals, and electronics; composting the environment produces those resources. When our Reducing government building-energy consumption, residential and commercial organics; rainwater harvesting; zones for native plants. Climate change impacts vary by population or consumption levels grow faster than the replacing energy-inefficient street lighting, metering food gardens and urban agriculture; safe, separated bike location. environment can provide resources and absorb waste, we water services, and increasing composting and recycling lanes; pleasant sidewalks with trees and benches; and are living past an ecological system’s carrying capacity. can reduce government expenditures. Large capital • Growing scientific consensus on climate change: In energy efficiency incentives. costs, like upgrading the stormwater system, siting response to the lack of international leadership on • Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources: Some and constructing a new landfill, and negotiating water sustainability, local governments across North America • Economic Development: Financial crisis, offshore resources, such as ancient aquifers, petroleum, agreements can be avoided by using existing resources are taking action to reduce emissions in both their manufacturing, and other macroeconomic trends are and petroleum derivatives (plastics, fertilizers, more efficiently. corporate and community-wide activities. 5 causing local governments to investigate local economic pharmaceuticals), are formed over millennia. As a result, development and jobs creation. Sustainability’s “buy these “fossil” resources are non-renewable. When a • Growing cities: Greenfield, suburban development can • Public Health Concerns: Air quality-related respiratory local” focus encourages new industry and business non-renewable resource “peaks” (like Peak Oil), the burden local governments by requiring more miles of illnesses and obesity are major problems in the US. development. resource is experiencing declining production rates from road paving and utility servicing than an equivalent According to the Centers for Disease Control and year to year. Renewable sources of energy, such as the compact development. Urban infill and compact, Prevention (CDC), the US has experienced a dramatic solar thermal, solar electric, wind power, tidal power, walkable development are also more amenable to transit increase in the rate of obesity in past two decades. InBusiness Case Business Case hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal energy recharge provision, while protecting farm and industrial lands from 2010, over one-third of US adults were obese. 6 Creating over a much shorter period of time. encroachment. more compact, walkable communities with green buildings can help address (indoor and outdoor) air Bicycling and walking projects • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: Faced with a • Shrinking cities: As some communities get smaller, local quality and obesity concerns. 7 create 11-14 jobs per $1 million governments are challenged to service the smaller world with higher global average temperatures, increased likelihood of severe weather events, and unpredictable and less dense population. As urban parcels become • Equity and Diversity: Offering a variety of housing and spent, compared to just 7 jobs impacts on food systems, local governments are available, local governments have the opportunity to transportation choices helps create a more diverse and created per $1 million spent on preparing to adapt. create greener and more creative cities with urban economically-viable community, attracting new talent, highway projects. Cost benefit farming, arts districts, and building rehabilitation. and reducing congestion. analysis show that up to $11.80 in Sustainable development is • Experiencing climate change impacts: Already • Infrastructure Decay: land use patterns created by roads benefits can be gained for every $1 concerned with the development suffering from the urban heat island effect, US cities are and infrastructure have lifespans of 50 or more years. In invested in bicycling and walking. of a society where the costs of experiencing more extreme heat in the summer. 4 Other 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers issued a development are not transferred climate change-related impacts include severe weather report card on America’s infrastructure, highlighting its While bicycling and walking fell 4 to future generations, or at least an events (like hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and floods), current state of disrepair. Four sectors received C’s and 5 rising sea levels, invasive species, and changing climate the remaining 11 earned D’s. 8 Long-range planning for 66% between 1960 and 2009, attempt is made to compensate for obesity levels increased 156%. 10 such costs. 2
    • C. How can local governments address sustainability? • Encourage sustainable behavior choices: Easy to use recycling systems, composting classes, metered water, People need to engage in meaningful Through beacon projects, regulation, public education, service and smart power meters can help residents make more discussions about sustainability to provision, and working with state and regional partners, local sustainable choices. uncover their own priorities and governments can directly and positively impact many aspects of their community’s sustainability. Local governments can: • Foster local economic development: Local foods, clothes, understand each other’s values before soaps, furniture, arts, building supplies, and other making decisions. • Increase awareness & shift consumption: Provide consumables are great products that keep dollars within information about environmental risks and sustainability the local economy. Local currencies, business incubators, information and opportunities for dialog are better-suited opportunities in the community via face-to-face, technical assistance, and tax breaks can also promote D. Behavior Change, Sustainability, and Local for influencing individual behaviors and supporting collective traditional, and online media. local businesses. Governments choices (e.g. policy). To foster this kind of public participation, • Improve air quality: Reduce the need to drive by • Plan for resilient infrastructure: Design for a world 30 to Many actions required to achieve a more sustainable governments use tools like interactive public meetings, online providing a complete and diverse community with 50 years from now where transportation and energy costs community require individuals to make choices different from discussions, and planning charrettes. compact design, mixed-uses, and a high-quality walking are much more expensive. Even if fossil fuels and water their usual habits. Governments thus often find themselves Incorporating participatory approaches into government- or biking experience. remain abundant, your residents will still be able to live in working to elicit behavior change in citizens. led sustainability programs requires a strategic approach. A • Reduce carbon emissions: Reduce building and a well-designed, vibrant, and walkable community. number of key principles can help local governments foster It is often thought that if people just knew more about transportation fossil fuel use through energy-efficient • Influence energy supply and prices: Protect and climate change and other sustainability issues, they would change in their communities: 16 building codes, promotion of renewable energy encourage renewable energy generation through act more sustainably. This “information deficit” model of 1. Establish a Sense of Urgency by identifying and generation, and demand-side management regulations and incentives (solar shading bylaws, smart civic engagement is an expert-driven approach and assumes discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities meter implementation, energy-efficient building codes, that education will change people’s values, attitudes, and and how they relate to the public’s values and priorities • Reduce corporate resource use and emissions: Although energy-efficiency building permit fast-tracking or fee- behaviors. Governments often use open houses, publicBusiness Case Business Case a local government’s corporate emissions comprise a based incentives, Energy Star incentives, property- presentations, and advertising campaigns to raise public 2. Create a Guiding Coalition (a group with enough small fraction of community-wide carbon emissions, assessed clean energy financing, etc.) 11 Advocate to state awareness about issues and solutions. power to lead the change effort) representative of the local governments can reduce operating costs and be agencies for net metering laws and renewable energy community and your government, which has committed a role model for local businesses. Choosing sustainable We now realize that people need more than information to portfolio standards. to work as a team alternatives to capital projects can also stretch local shift behaviors. The public understands sustainability through budgets. • Influence water supply and prices: Anticipating floods and multiple and conflicting values, moral positions, and belief 3. Engage the Community in developing a change vision to droughts, local governments can design streets and parks systems. 12 They also have ingrained behaviors and habits that help direct the change effort and develop strategies for • Reduce obesity rates: The provision of local food, that can absorb excess stormwater and survive droughts. are hard to change. achieving that vision farmers’ markets that accept food stamps, recreation services, and neighborhoods that are enjoyable to walk Zoning regulations can discourage impermeable surfaces As a result, people need to engage in meaningful discussions 4. Communicate and Ask for Feedback about the vision to can help promote a healthy and active lifestyle. to decrease the risk of flooding. Tree-cutting ordinances about sustainability to uncover their own priorities and deepen buy-in through every vehicle possible. Also teach can protect lands from erosion, which chokes local understand each other’s values before making decisions and new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition • Provide housing and transportation choices: Such choices water sources. Local governments may also permit rain changing behaviors. This occurs through an active processes mean that people have access to affordable housing that barrels and greywater recycling systems, while recovering 5. Empower Broad-based Action by removing obstacles to of reflection, negotiation, and reevaluation. is well connected to jobs and services by transit, bike potable water from water treatment facilities. change, particularly systems or structures that seriously 6 paths, or sidewalks. A more interactive approach to behavior change requires undermine the vision. Support community leadership 7 providing community-specific information and opportunities by fostering networking, risk-taking, and non-traditional for mutual understanding and personal reflection. Local ideas, activities, and actions
    • 6. Generate Short-term Wins with visible improvements that recognize and reward community members or employees E. References Chapter 2: UNDERSTANDING LOCAL who are involved in the successes 1. United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). 1987. Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.un- GOVERNMENTS & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT 7. Never Let Up. Use increased credibility to change 2. Pearce, D. 1993. Measuring Sustainable Development. London: Earthscan. systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the 3. WWF. 2010. Living Planet Report 2010. Governance vision. Hire, promote, and develop employees who can wwf_lpr2010_lr_en.pdf This chapter briefly describes and defines “responsive local implement the vision. Identify, support, and encourage 4. A US heat wave in July 2011 caused more than 1,400 record-high temperatures, with more than 132 million people living under an excessive heat warning or heat government” and the role of engagement in creating and ensuring Civic community members who can advance the vision. advisory. Two dozen people died in New York City alone. http://www.nytimes. responsiveness. Engagement Reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and com/2011/07/23/nyregion/heat-wave-envelops-the-northeast.html change agents. 5. In 2007, 600 Mayors in all 50 states across the US signed the U.S. Conference of The “nested hierarchy” image at right illustrates that digital Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, an agreement where supporting mayors engagement activities are just one part of your organization’s 8. Incorporate Changes into the Culture of your government pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. As of January 2012, over 1,000 Mayors have signed this pledge. http:// engagement activities. Efforts to share information with, consult with, and community by articulating the connections between Digital and involve residents and stakeholders in the decision-making and the new behaviors and success. Also develop the means Engagement 6. In 2010, at least 20% of the population in each state was obese, with a 25% business processes of government are part of an overall governance to ensure leadership development and succession prevalence of obesity in 36 states. In Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, function. 9. Evaluate Your Efforts and Keep Lines of Feedback Open Texas, and West Virginia, at least 30% of the population was obese. For more information, see: This image is used as an organizing principle for this chapter, and in order to find out how well you are achieving your vision 7. In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet 87% we will return to it as we move from the general to the specific: from and how the efforts are being perceived by the public Figure 3: Digital engagement complements and enhances of these trips were by car. More than 1 in every 4 trips was shorter than a mile. governance to digital engagement. and key stakeholders Still, Americans used their cars for 62% of these trips. For more information, your face-to-face engagement methods and, therefore, your see: Alliance for Biking & Walking. 2012. Bicycling and Walking in the United governance philosophy Strategic engagement efforts and the effective use of digital States: 2012 Benchmarking Report. Case Business Case benchmarking engagement tools can help local governments effectuate 8. American Society of Civil Engineers. 2009. “Report Card for America’s these behavior changes. Infrastructure.” A. Governance : Responsive Local Government 9. Residents have been finding that food gardens, outdoors laundry lines, and rain barrels have violated zoning codes. See: Dillon, Raquel Maria. 2010. “Urban It may seem obvious, but residents pay taxes and elect local officials in order to have a good quality of life in their local gardeners versus zoning laws.”For more information, see: http://daily.sightline. org/projects/making-sustainability-legal-series/ and community. People care deeply about their communities — where they live, play, shop, socialize, raise families, and perhaps The-Culture/Gardening/2010/0216/Urban-gardeners-versus-zoning-laws work and educate themselves. Residents are more than taxpayers or service consumers; they expect to see their tax dollars at 10. Alliance for Biking & Walking. 2012. Bicycling and Walking in the United States: work providing good roads, public safety, parks and programs, garbage pick-up, etc. They also expect government to make 2012 Benchmarking Report. wise decisions around potentially competing priorities, needs, or opportunities. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES benchmarking 11. For examples of regulations and incentives being offered by local, regional, A local government is responsive when it demonstrably seeks out and listens to input from residents and stakeholders about See Chapter 10 for more information on state and Federal government, check out the Database of State Incentives for what services and programs are most needed, how to address changing needs, and what policy issues should be addressed. Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) communicating sustainability. The chapter 12. Robinson, J. 2004. “Squaring the circle? Some thoughts on the idea of Since local government exists to meet the needs of its residents and taxpayers, and is physically very “close” to these people, it includes ten principles for sustainability sustainable development. Ecological Economics 48: 369– 384. http://ipidumn. is critical that it remain open and responsive. communications and tips for avoiding common 8 13. Kotter, J. 1996. Leading Change. Harvard Business School Press. http://www. Digital tools are helping local governments remain open and responsive. The text box on page 12 describes the principles of 9 missteps. open government, or Gov 2.0.
    • C. The Spectrum of Public Participation HOW DO LOCAL As an organizational concept in this Guidebook, we use the International Association of Public Important! Tools and case studies in Section II GOVERNMENTS Participation (IAP2) “Spectrum of Public Participation” (Figure 4). The Spectrum helps us decide who to are organized using the Spectrum of Participation. engage, why to engage them, how to engage them, and on what issues and decisions to engage them. ENGAGE THEIR It is also a useful way of selecting appropriate digital tools. RESIDENTS? Each level of participation, from inform to empower, is legitimate. The level selected for a particular engagement program depends on the goals, time frame, resources, and public impact of the decision to be made. B. Civic Engagement: What is it? Engagement, or public participation, is a process that Increasing Level of Public Impact Civic engagement, or public participation, focuses on ensuring citizen and stakeholder awareness of and involvement in civic priority-setting, decision- involves residents in problem- solving or decision-making, using Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower making, program development, and service delivery. This is a growing movement, with many local governments experimenting with in-person and input to influence the decisions. To provide the public To obtain public To work directly with To partner with To place final online engagement. Governments involve residents to with balanced and feedback on analysis, the public throughout the public in each decision-making The ultimate goal of efforts to enhance and expand civic engagement are make decisions in three areas: objective information alternatives, and/or the process to ensure aspect of the power in the hands of Public to assist them in decisions. that public concerns decision including the public. to: a) improve government decision-making by increasing the quality of understanding the and aspirations the development of decisions reached and the effectiveness of programs and services; and, b) • Governance: Providing good participation problem, alternatives, are consistently alternatives and the to help government better address the range of issues that communities information on city decision- goal opportunities, and/or understood and identification of the now face. making and governance, solutions. considered. preferred solution. This movement also seeks to meet rising citizen expectations of opennessBusiness Case Business Case • Services: Improve government and responsiveness, to make information for residents easier to access, and We will keep you We will keep you We will work with We will look to We will implement service provision by informed. informed, listen to you to ensure that you for advice what you decide. to offer more – and more varied—opportunities for residents to have input into matters that affect them. responding to service and acknowledge your concerns and and innovation in complaints and requests, and concerns and aspirations are formulating solutions Civic engagement primarily helps participants find finding common Promise to aspirations, and directly reflected and incorporate ground and improves the perception that decisions are fair. Additional civic provide feedback in the alternatives your advice and • Initiatives: Hearing from the the public on how public input developed and recommendations engagement benefits for policy makers and residents include: public and stakeholders on influenced the provide feedback into the decisions to specific larger project or policy decision. on how public input the maximum extent • Civic engagement enables policy makers and staff to hear new influenced the possible. perspectives, learn new things, and gain more representative input initiatives. decision. that improves decision-making and the policies, programs, and services that follow. Important! Tools and case • Fact sheets • Public comment • Workshops • Citizen advisory • Citizen juries studies in Section II are organized • Websites • Focus groups • Deliberative committees • Ballots • From the perspective of residents, increased opportunities for into these three ways that Example • Open houses • Surveys polling • Consensus- • Delegated10 engagement and collaboration with government deepen residents’ governments engage residents. techniques • Public meetings building decision 11 impact on, understanding of, and ownership of the decisions reached. • Participatory decision-making Figure 4: IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation. © International Association for Public Participation
    • Digital engagement does not replace OPEN GOVERNMENT options, writing a Wiki, and convening in person after collaborating online. traditional face-to-face engagement. Open government, or Gov 2.0, is the idea that people Instead, digital engagement enhances have the right to access documents and government A number of website and mobile applications allow people and adds to your in-person efforts proceedings to provide government oversight. Principles to report problems in their communities, like potholes and of open government include: transparency, participation, graffiti, so that a local government can efficiently address collaboration, and innovation. these issues. SeeClickFix, my311, and Open 311 are used by local governments such as New Haven, Tucson, San Transparency Francisco, Richmond, Sacramento, Washington D.C., Transparency makes government accountable for its Boston, and Baltimore. Digital Engagement is... actions while helping residents understand how decisions Collaboration are made and how to get involved in decision-making. Transparency is deeply linked to providing online access to Working across government bodies as well as between D. Digital Engagement: What is it? important, up-to-date government data and activities. government and private organizations can improve the workings of government. Networking, coordinating, Digital engagement uses electronic Social Media Some communities, like the City of Nanaimo, broadcast cooperating, and collaborating are all part of this principle. communications tools to expand and strengthen council meetings online. In other communities, mayors and the relationship between governments and the council members write their own blogs about what is going Many larger governments use websites only available to public. Digital engagement tools range from on. Numerous local governments have opened their data staff internally (wikis or SharePoint sites) to collaborate. those as simple as the use of email and websites, sets, allowing passionate volunteers to make useful tools or Collaboration between government and external to social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube)Business Case Business Case findings. stakeholders can occur in many ways, such as informally and collaborative discussions or workgroups that via social networking, or more formally via news feeds or Multimedia are supported by online and mobile tools. Participation online brainstorming (Crowd Sourcing). Online and mobile engagement allows residents Public involvement in decision making enhances Innovation to better understand and communicate with government’s effectiveness, because knowledge is Gov 2.0 spurs innovation by giving people the incentive government. However, digital engagement does distributed within a community. Meaningful participation and new resources to think creatively about solving not replace traditional face-to-face engagement. also helps government meet residents’ needs. problems. For example, New York City hosts the annual Big Instead, digital engagement enhances the Digital engagement allows both broad and deep Apps competition to reward innovative uses of government techniques you already use to engage your Online Tools engagement, allowing each person to choose how much data. residents. he or she wishes to participate. Broad engagement For more information about the benefits of includes reading websites, participating in surveys, sharing digital engagement, please see Chapter 3: or favoriting a link, and subscribing to updates. Deep Business Case for Digital Engagement. engagement includes brainstorming and prioritizing12 Mobile 13 Figure 5: Digital engagement includes social media, multimedia, other online tools, and mobile applications
    • Chapter 3: BUSINESS CASE FOR GOVERNMENT USE OF DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT E. How sustainability efforts benefit from digital Over three-quarters of Americans, or approximately 240 Digital engagement increases and diversifies engagement million people, are online. 14 Of this internet-using population, engagement 82% (61% of American adults) have looked for information Governments can benefit from using digital engagement for Digital engagement can also help people create a community or completed a transaction on a government website. 15 The Digital engagement can give the public a more interactive, sustainability by using online and mobile tools to: that supports their passion. For sustainability issues most popular activities involve looking for information about fun, and informative way to participate in decision-making. specifically, digital engagement helps residents: a public policy or issue, researching services provided by Governments can use their online presence to ask their • Listen to what’s important to community members on constituents for feedback, new ideas, spending priorities, issues of sustainability in existing or new online spaces governments, locating government documents or statistics, • Learn more about sustainability initiatives and programs; and policy and issue discussions. Digital engagement can and downloading forms. • Share information about pressing issues and new also increase public understanding of decisions and foster • Share success stories and positive messages; opportunities through email, social media updates, and Nearly a quarter of internet users have engaged in an online potential support for ongoing implementation. new posts to websites and other online spaces • Share lessons learned and ask questions, leading to discussion related to government policies or public issues online, but not necessarily on an official government site. Expand engagement opportunities by taking discussions learning; • Receive feedback on existing and potential services and This indicates that governments that lack a significant online into online environments where your public is already active programs through private or public comment tools • Find a supportive network of like-minded people in a presence may be unaware of issues that are important to their and by hosting your own convenient digital engagementBusiness Case Business Case niche community; residents. In other words, even if you can’t hear it, people are opportunities. Be sure to leverage existing digital • Ask the public to consider options or trade-offs through talking about you! communities by bringing your engagement efforts directly to digital discussion and learning tools • Turn online reaction into real world action; and, them. • Measure public support through surveys and interactive • Monitor and correct misconceptions or A. Benefits of Digital Engagement A key benefit of digital engagement for local governments choicebooks misunderstandings about key sustainability issues. is engaging hard-to-reach people, expanding input beyond Digital engagement can improve service delivery the “usual suspects” who come to meetings often or write • Support community action through online collaboration many letters to council. Diversify and increase engagement tools Digital tools increase your government’s availability to the by connecting with demographic groups – like young people, public, which enables service issues to be quickly reported • Sustain involvement by updating individuals and families, people with physical disabilities – who are less likely and results to be efficiently shared. You can make use of communities through online and mobile updates to attend a public meeting, but are comfortable participating the public’s distributed view of your community and source digitally. For example, although people may be too busy to information about potholes, graffiti, and other issues directly attend an Open House, they may have a few minutes after from people using these services. Furthermore, receiving work or on transit to log into Facebook. 14 input digitally is more cost effective than phone calls. 15
    • HOW AMERICANS USE GOVERNMENT WEBSITES Nearly a quarter of internet users have engaged in an online discussion related to government policies or public issues online, but not necessarily on an official The most Digital engagement is cost effective LOOKING FOR LOCATING government site. 16 INFORMATION GOVERNMENT Use online ads and discussions to promote services or popular ABOUT A PUBLIC POLICY OR ISSUE DOCUMENTS OR STATISTICS engagement opportunities that your community might not be aware of. Digital tools allow you to share information in a cost-effective manner. For example, a Facebook page might activities DOWNLOADING RESEARCHING take 1.5 hours a day of staff time to moderate, while a radio ad could cost tens of thousands of dollars. involve FORMS SERVICES PROVIDED BY GOVERNMENTS You can also monitor discussions about your community in real-time to quickly respond to communication needs. Digital engagement makes government data more useful to the public This improves customer service and can be essential during emergency situations. Governments around the world are making their data available for re-use. This “open data” approach advances Digital engagement helps local government listen the notion that residents should be given the information Of internet-users, and transparency required to hold government accountable. 82% to and share information with existing community networks Besides transparency and accountability, open data has other benefits like innovative use of under-used data or improvingBusiness Case Business Case Nearly a quarter of internet users have engaged in an online relationships between government and partner organizations. discussion related to government policies or public issues Making data freely available in a usable format adds value for (61% of American adults) online, but not necessarily on an official government site. 16 all residents. have looked for information This indicates that governments that lack a significant online presence may be unaware of issues that are important to their Digital engagement improves internal collaboration or completed a transaction residents. Foster collaboration by involving multiple departments in on a government website.1 People may already be active on the issues facing your developing content, managing, and responding to civic Over 3/4 of Americans, government, and moving part of your engagement online engagement projects. Leverage employee strengths by can tap into the existing capacity of these individuals and providing opportunities to communicate directly with the communities. Just as we will hold a public meeting or conduct public or share information about their projects. or approximately 240 million people, stoop surveys in the neighborhood affected by government are online.2 decisions, local governments can go to the virtual places where their constituents organize themselves and spend time, Digital tools aren’t just for engaging the public, though. Use internal websites, discussion forums, listservs, and other tools16 like Facebook. to tap into employee wisdom and preferences. 17 2 Internet World Stats. 2010. “United States of America Internet and Facebook User Stats.” 1 Smith, Aaron. 2010. “Government Online: The internet gives residents new paths to government ser- vices and information.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. Government-Online.aspx
    • B. Cost of Not Engaging Digitally C. Expenses of Using Digital Engagement are on Facebook! Digital communication also makes it easy to Inability to respond to existing conversation Staff time creating your own app is a ‘high capacity’ endeavor that most track who you’re talking to with the use of analytics programs. governments won’t need to do. But you may be interested in Let’s face it; people are talking online about your community, Some key areas of staff time for digital engagement are: customizing an existing app for your agency. Responsive policy perhaps specifically about your government. If you’re not at least listening to these conversations, you and your leadership • Strategy development: identify goals that support Lastly, be sure your staff’s hardware and software is suitable Policies that are developed in response to civic engagement may be left unaware of important conversations. Avoid organizational directions, involving key leaders across all for digital engagement. For example, staying active on can be more aligned with on-the-ground conditions. Digital potentially embarrassing situations by at least monitoring relevant departments, getting Council approval Twitter requires full-time access to the site, which may require engagement also opens new venues for feedback, which can online discussions, even if you’re not actively involved. • Tool selection: Choosing and becoming comfortable with purchasing a smart phone for that staff member. Also, ensure help improve services and supporting policies. the right tool for the right project can be time consuming that your government’s firewall allows access to the tools you Reduced public relevance are promoting. • Piloting & testing tools: Before making a website, survey, Citizen satisfaction The public is online and expects its services and organizations forum, or other tool public, it is important to test that the Digital engagement satisfies the public’s desire to have an Legal to be there too. Ensure that your government’s website shows software works, that the user experience makes sense, easy way to share their opinion. Publicly displaying these up on the first page of search results. Find out where your and that the proper data is captured Involve your legal team in developing appropriate policies contributions (as is the norm with discussion-oriented tools) community is most active online and develop a web presence and procedures that ensure your activities are legal, but can foster feelings of efficacy and being heard by government. in one or more of those spaces. • Monitoring: Listen to online conversations about your are still flexible enough to respond to social media’s ever government, projects and community changing conditions. Legal teams may also be of use in responding to freedom of information and other requests. Employee engagement Under-engage some audiences • Implementation & content creation: Write andBusiness Case Business Case disseminate new information, respond to comments Government employees appreciate the opportunity to try Some publics, who are unlikely to attend traditional D. Return on Investment innovative engagement approaches, share their projects with engagement events like public hearings or open houses, • Management: Moderate online interactions, buy ads the public and to hear directly from their community. are more receptive to digital opportunities. As well, online • Evaluation: Set objectives, measure progress, and share Citizen engagement channels of communication can connect you with diverse lessons learned with all levels and departments audiences that don’t pay attention to newspapers or other Using digital tools makes it easier for many populations to be traditional information sources. involved and informed, which strengthens the government- E. References IT infrastructure public relationship. Public support for policy is another area of 14. Internet World Stats. 2010. “United States of America Internet and Facebook Over-reliance on resource intensive face-to-face potential return on investment. Being involved in the decision Your technology department or contractor(s) may advise User Stats.” methods making process, even if your ideas aren’t acted on, can that you need to make some investments for your digital 15. Smith, Aaron. 2010. “Government Online: The internet gives residents new paths improve awareness of why a decision is being made. to government services and information.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. engagement efforts. Some projects require updating Digital engagement is a complement to face-to-face methods your website or integrating with in third-party services like (not a replacement), but it’s an important approach for cost- Increased audience for communication messages 16. Smith, Aaron. 2010. “Government Online: The internet gives residents new paths Facebook and Twitter. If you’re creating new online spaces, to government services and information.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. effective and interactive engagement. you may need to pay for hosting or server space. Apps are18 interesting opportunities for engaging people digitally; Online engagement can reach many more people than almost any in-person approach. For example, over half of Americans 19
    • Chapter 4: UNDERSTANDING Minority users are just as likely as whites & OVERCOMING RISKS to interact with governments on social networking sites, blogs, email, video, or mobile devices. Similarly, seniors are just as likely as young adults to access government information this way. 19 It is important to understand the risks associated with digital Demographic and Geographic Discrepancies and email, video, or mobile devices. Similarly, seniors are just as be able to access and use information that is comparable engagement, because many of them can be overcome with Trends likely as young adults to access government information this to information accessed and used by individuals without good preparation, such as staff internet usage policies and way. 20 Minority internet users are more likely to believe that disabilities, “unless an undue burden would be imposed on terms of use statements for the public. While the vast majority of Americans are online, access to the social media makes governments and government officials the agency.” 22 internet varies by geography and demography. Be sure to more accessible and transparent, and they are more likely Digital engagement risks fall into five areas: investigate the degree of basic and high speed access in your to look for government updates and alerts on social media In summary, the standard requires that web content be municipality. networks. Combining the use of social media as a channel accessible to people with audio or vision impairment, as A. Discrimination: Demographics, Geography, and Accessibility and appropriate messaging, like “I know what challenges well as people with color-blindness or susceptibility to B. State Specific Laws: Public Records, Data Retention, and Even within the online population, engagement is not evenly seizures. For a detailed explanation of the specific Section Open Meetings distributed. High-income and well-educated internet users are you are facing,” is a great way to engage “hard to reach” populations.211 508 requirements and what implications for websites, please C. First Amendment Laws: Moderation, Terms of Use, and more likely to interact with governments online. 17 Urban users consult W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative 23 and WebAIM’s Employee Usage Policies are more likely than rural users to have access to high-speed As a result, your digital engagement strategy should consider Section 508 Checklist. 24Business Case Business Case D. Privacy: Information Collection, Anonymity and Minors internet. Also, African Americans and Latinos are less likely to whether online tools are appropriate for your target audiences E. Intellectual Property debate political issues online or seek out government data. and how online tools can complement in-person engagement If the digital engagement tool you wish to use is inaccessible Nevertheless, African Americans are signing up for at-home activities. Some helpful tools include to people using screen readers or other assisting devices, your broadband internet access at the fastest rate of any group in ( and Internet World Stats government should post an accessible alternative on your A. Discrimination: Demographics, Geography, and website. A link to mirrored content located on your website the US. 18 ( Both can Accessibility should be visible on the third party site. Additionally, simply having access to the internet is not help you figure out whether your target audiences have good It is important that governments do not favor or discriminate access to the internet. Inclusive design helps ensure that engagement reaches past enough. There is a “participation gap” online, where people against any population. Digital discrimination relates to the “usual suspects” and invites all residents to participate. who have access to home computers with high-speed, whether people have access to online tools and, once they unfiltered internet access are more comfortable and confident Accessible Design Although Section 508 explicitly applies to Federal agencies, are online, whether those tools are accessible to people it contains good principles for accessible design that should using online tools. 19 with visual impairment (including color-blindness), auditory In 1998, Congress required that Federal agencies make their be considered for all levels of government. Furthermore, impairment, or susceptibility to seizures. Importantly, evidence Nevertheless, government outreach on social media sites electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to state and local governments are also impacted if they shows that online tools should complement, not replace, is particularly well-suited to reach young and minority people with disabilities. This legislation, known as “Section receive Federal funding; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and in-person, telephone, and written interactions between20 government and residents. constituents. Minority users are just as likely as whites to interact with governments on social networking sites, blogs, 508,” requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use EIT, Federal employees with disabilities must the Americans with Disabilities Act generally require that 21
    • Combining the use of social media as a channel and appropriate messaging, like “I know what challenges you are facing,” is a great way to engage “hard to reach” populations. 21 C. First Amendment Laws: Moderation, Terms of Use, and Employee Usage Policies Generally, public agency websites and social media sites are considered public forums; therefore, there are limitations on what speech can be removed from such sites. As a result, public officials should take care when discussing State and local governments provide equal access to their Check your local jurisdiction for whether records must be issues online, in case they form an illegal public meeting. programs, services, and activities, with some exceptions. 25 kept for online engagement, and if so, for how long. Keep in Moderation Policy & Terms of Use For example, officials may violate sunshine laws if they make Some digital engagement tools, like Ideascale, have built-in mind that if you delete an account or post from your website online comments to each other on issues that might go before Website Terms of Use policies can help define and limit the Section 508 compliance. or social media page, keep a record of the deletion (such as the board or council, similar to if they met with each other scope of activity on a website or social media site, allowing a screen shot) to ensure that the deletion complied with your or held a conference call. By contrast, participating in an public agencies to remove hate speech, spam, and profanity. B. State Specific Laws: Public Records, Data Retention, Terms of Use (see below) and did not violate First Amendment advertised digital engagement event where records are kept Terms of Use policies should: and Open Meetings rights. Also, see chapter 11 for details on how to backup your would not violate sunshine laws. social media activities, which may address record keeping Public records, data retention requirements, and open • Explain that the purpose of the site is “to serve as a requirements. Communicate to officials not to engage in discussions on meeting laws vary among States. Some online tools are mechanism for communication between the agency and issues within an agency’s subject matter jurisdiction on fellow the public.” designed with government requirements in mind, like Open Open Meetings (Sunshine) Laws elected officials’ blogs, Facebook pages, emails, or otherBusiness Case Business Case Town Hall. online tools. On personal Facebook pages, blogs, or Twitter • Define what kinds of content fall outside that purpose. Open meetings laws typically apply to local and regional accounts, officials can mitigate risk by: Include commercial, campaign, discriminatory or profane Public Records, Data Retention, and Freedom of governments, though they may also apply to state and postings as outside of scope. Information local commissions, school boards, hospital boards, advisory • Putting a disclaimer on their account that “this is not a committees, and other organizations that have been public record” • Include a warning that content outside the site’s purpose Generally, posts made on a website or social media site, which delegated tasks from a state. are subject to removal. has been explicitly set up for official government use, are • Ensuring that content is more personal than official. This subject to public records law and consequent data retention Open meetings laws generally state that any formal or casual includes: • Be included on all official agency web presences, requirements and Freedom of Information requests.266 In gathering between a quorum of the same commission to including Facebook Page and Twitter profiles. On non- »» Not putting an official title on the account, except official sites, add “If you are looking for more information practice due to the fact that local agency officials have discuss some matters that the commission as a whole may when running for office; about [Government Entity], please visit [website URL]” to discretion concerning records-keeping practices, social media take action on must be made open to the public, reasonable posts, especially those hosted on third-party sites tend not to notice of the meeting given, and minutes of the meeting »» Only “friending” contacts gained outside of your profile. be subject to data retention requirements. 27 taken and recorded. official duties; and, • Disclose that any information may be collected and22 »» Not referencing personal social media sites during public meetings or on official documents. stored to comply with public records laws and direct website users to your privacy policy. 23
    • form to create boilerplate social media policies for employees DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT ( Please note that it is advisable to seek legal advice before using boilerplate text, to COMMUNICATION ensure that the document produced by this tool is appropriate PRINCIPLES FOR for the user’s circumstances and jurisdiction. GOVERNMENTS D. Privacy: Information Collection, Anonymity and • Be credible. Be accurate, fair, Minors thorough, and transparent. For examples of great local government Terms of Use policies, • They can refer to clear and consistent guidelines from When setting your government social media account settings, see the Social Media Governance website. 28 As an example, your organization to deal with online engagement it is advisable to use the most open or public settings • Be consistent. Encourage the City of Seattle’s Social Media Policy is particularly good.29 challenges possible, which will avoid people having to sign up for a social constructive criticism and For a Facebook-specific terms of use, the City of Parksville, media account just to see your content. deliberation. Be cordial, honest, and BC, offers a comprehensive example.30 • State public records laws generally supersede privacy rights, so any written content will be subject to public Generally, state public records laws supersede state privacy professional at all times. disclosure or review rights. As a result, it is important to disclose to employees Employee Usage Policies • Be responsive. When you gain and the public that under certain circumstances, individual • The same communications restrictions for employee on insight, share it where appropriate. Employee internet usage policies describe the expected information may be subject to public disclosure. traditional channels (for example, sexual harassment and online behavior of staff, which activity is prohibited, and what discrimination) also apply to social media channels the consequences of prohibited activities are. For example, “Liking” or becoming a fan of your organization • Be integrated. Wherever possible,Business Case Business Case on Facebook may make someone’s information a disclosable align online participation with other • Personal social media activities can adversely affect Compared to usage policies for businesses or non-profits, public record. In your privacy policy, you can advise users employment, though employment decisions based on offline communications. government usage policies are subject to additional to review and adjust their personal privacy settings to help religion, race or sexual orientation are just as unlawful considerations. A good employee internet or social media prevent the disclosure of personal information. • Be a civil servant. Remember that if the information is acquired through social media as usage policy will provide guidelines for good communications through other means. you are an ambassador for your (see ”Digital Engagement Communication Principles for Information Collection Government” box). A good policy will also advise staff of Also, your organization should be cautious not to take adverse organization. Wherever possible, important communications restrictions: 31 employment actions in response to an employee’s exercise In your privacy policy, take care to explain what information disclose your position as a of protected activity (for example, speech concerning public is collected, how it is stored, and how it will be shared. The representative of your Department • They may not delete postings simply because they may concern, whistle blowing, and participating in union activities) City of Seattle, for example, does maintain records of posted be critical of the agency or agency officials. or Agency. via social medial sites, just as an agency shouldn’t take communication and subscribers to social media accounts. 33 • Content removed based on the Terms of Use policy must adverse action based on the employee’s protected expression Please note that your privacy policy should contain be retained, including the time, date and identity of the through other channels. information related to third-party plug-ins, widgets, applets, or Source: UK Central Office of Information, 200924 poster when available. Consider capturing a screenshot of each instance. The Institute for Local Government offers sample social media other items that may have different privacy policies than your government. 25 policies on its website.322 PolicyTool offers a free, interactive
    • PolicyTool offers an inexpensive interactive form to create There is no way to know whether anonymous users belong to under the age of 13 must post a clearly written privacy policy free, worldwide license to use any content that you post, boilerplate privacy policies for users of your website (http:// the jurisdiction that your online tool is consulting on that describe the type of information collected, how the ending when you delete the content or your account. Please note that it is advisable to seek information is collected and used, and who to contact to legal advice before using boilerplate text, to ensure that the • A few tactics are available to people wishing to allow review, correct, and delete information collected. 34 While Please note that other users may flag your content as document produced by this tool is appropriate for the user’s anonymous users while preventing abuse on their many local government websites are not likely to be directed violating copyright, even if it doesn’t. False-positive copyright circumstances and jurisdiction. engagement tools: to children, the privacy policy requirements under COPPA are complaints tend to occur on YouTube in particular. 38 • Define abusive behavior in your terms of use. Clearly good practices regardless. To protect yourself from the automatic deletion of videos Anonymity communicate and use a strong, fair, and transparent and potential suspension of your YouTube account, don’t moderation system E. Intellectual Property upload all of your photos, videos, or other materials to just Individuals may choose to participate online anonymously one website. Keep local copies on your network, and use or with a pseudonym. Permitting anonymous comments is • Engage users on a personal level, make them feel Information posted by government additional video and photo hosting websites, like Vimeo, important because: part of a community, and support user responses to as backup. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also has a inappropriate behavior. This encourages users to protect If your work can be protected by copyright, 35 consider great “Guide to YouTube Removals” that contains useful • Anonymity allows people to voice their views with less the space against offensive users. uploading your content, including large datasets, into the fear or political, employer, or social repercussions. This information on what to do in the case of a Takedown Notice. 39 public domain 36 or under Creative Commons licensing. Under allows whistle-blowing and other forms of democratic • Use a reputation system that rewards good participation public domain, you dedicate your copyright to the public; action to happen. In short, requiring real names may limit and punishes abusive behavior. however, with Creative Commons licensing, you retain your Information posted by participantsBusiness Case Business Case free speech. copyright but allow other people to copy and distribute your If place-based online consultation is important to your project, When allowing users to upload content to your website, • There is no enforceable method to require people to use some online tools can check that participants belong to the work under certain conditions. 37 blog, or social media account, be aware that the user may be their “real” names, and on the internet, many people’s particular jurisdiction while protecting their privacy rights. If you use copyrighted material from another organization in sharing copyrighted material that they do not hold rights to. In online personas, or “handles,” are better associated with PlaceSpeak verifies that users live in the area pertaining to your creative work, get permission to use the work or ensure your Terms of Use policy: the person than his or her “real” name consultation. With other tools, you can ask participants to that the work can be considered “fair use.” Fair use includes provide a zip/postal code to gain access to adding comments. • State that your organization “cannot be held responsible However, concerns exist about allowing anonymous teaching, critiques, comments, reporting, and research of for content found at [community submission portion participation, including: copyrighted work. of your website]. Any content posted in these areas Minors expresses the views of the author and should not be held • ‘Trolls,’ ‘ragers,’ ‘spammers, ’and other abusive users can When posting content to third-party websites, take care Many websites ask that people under the age of 18 receive to read their terms of use statements. Some websites may to reflect any of [your organization’s] view.” crowd out online dialog space by making it feel hostile to other users. These types of users exist, partially because parental or guardian permission to use the website before require you to forfeit your copyright as a condition of use. • Warn users that they agree to not post material that their anonymity gives them confidence to behave setting up an account. Other websites, like Facebook and Flickr for example, ask you is in violation of intellectual property rights, rights of offensively to grant a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty- confidentiality, or rights of privacy, invasive of a person’s Under Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA),26 websites and online services that are directed to children privacy, or otherwise in violation of any law. State in your 27
    • 2 Terms of Use, “Do not include any copyright material 22. United States Government. “Section508 Standards.” http:// without the express permission of the copyright holder. 23. [Your organization] does not accept liability for copyright 24. WebAIM. “WebAIM Section 508 Checklist.” Web Accessibility In Mind. http:// breaches you commit, and will remove any offending entries. “ • Explain to users that by contributing to your website, 25. US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. 2003. “Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities.” Section II: Digital Tactics for your users acknowledge that their material will be read by others 26. Salkin, Patricia E. 2011. “Social Networking and land Use Planning and Regulation: Practical Benefits, Pitfalls, and Ethical Considerations.” Pace Law Review 31:1 (2). Engagement Goals • Explain that materials violating the Terms of Use will be 27. Institute for Local Government. 2010. “Social Media and Public Agencies: Legal removed and that the user posting the material may be Issues to be Aware of.” Social_Media_Paper_6-24-10_0.pdf banned 28. • Include relevant terms of use for your social media 29. accounts, also. 30. 31. Institute for Local Government. 2010. “Social Media and Public Agencies: Legal You may decide that information uploaded by users to your Issues to be Aware of.” online tool be incorporated into your site-wide copyright Social_Media_Paper_6-24-10_0.pdf standards. For example, if your online materials are protected 32. Institute for Local Government. 2011. “Sample Social Media Policies.” http:// by Creative Commons copyright and you decide that 33. contributed materials will fall under the same protection, 34. Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center. “Children’s Privacy.” Federal include in your Terms of Use that users grant you this right. Trade Commission.’s-privacyBusiness Case Digital Tactics 35. Creative Commons. 2011. “Before licensing.” Creative Commons Wiki. September 7. F. References 36. 37. 17. Smith, Aaron. 2010. “Government Online: The internet gives residents new paths to government services and information.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. 38. Doctorow, Cory. 2011. “The Pirates of YouTube.” December 12. 39. Electronic Frontier Foundation. “A Guide to YouTube Removals.” https://www. 18. Smith, Aaron. 2010. “Home Broadband 2010.” Pew Internet & American Life Project. 19. Jenkins, Henry, et. al. 2006. “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: 40. Media Education for the 21st Century.” MacArthur Foundation Occasional paper on digital media and learning. cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_ Digital Sustainability Conversations PAPER.PDF 20. Ibid. 21. Hannon, Celia and Charlie Tims. 2010. An Anatomy of Youth. London, UK: How Local Governments can28 Demos. Engage Residents Online 1
    • WHAT’S IN THIS SECTION: This section of the Guidebook will help you: Chapter 5: DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT • Understand which digital tools are suitable for your engagement purpose (governance, service provision, initiatives) and when to use them FOR GOVERNANCE • Browse through case studies of successful digital engagement implementation. Find case studies by clicking on the logos in the table below. Rather than read this whole section, navigate to the chapter that describes the engagement purpose that you are interested in: Governance Increasing Level of Public Impact Engagement ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT CHAPTER? Purpose: Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower Engagement on governance means providing good information on government decision-making. This Ch 5: Governance information may be useful if you are an elected official, or if your role in local government is in organizational leadership or information management. Ch 6: Service ProvisionDigital Tactics Digital Tactics Ch 7: Specific The tips and examples in this section are organized by level of public Initiatives & Policies involvement. The level of public involvement depends on how much power sharing the participants have. As described in Section I, we use IAP2’s Spectrum of Public Participation to describe five levels of engagement: NOT WHAT YOU’RE Section I to find tips on obtaining senior staff or Increasing Level of Public Impact LOOKING FOR? Council approval to pursue a Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower Go to digital engagement strategy. The levels of public involvement are cumulative; if you are just getting Section III to find out how started, consider beginning with “inform” or “consult,” and adding 2 to develop, implement, and increasing levels of public participation as you gain experience. 3 evaluate a digital engagement strategy.
    • Examples Increasing Level of Public Impact Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower The City of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada, used open source software to put Council videos on their website. The City links council agendas to bookmarked times on the videos, so people can skip ahead to A. Inform: Help public understand the issues parts relevant to their interests. The website also offers social sharing buttons for important documents and Engagement activities intended to “inform” the public The table below explains some best practices for using digital information. Much of the City’s data can be downloaded provide residents with balanced and objective information to engagement tools to inform residents about governance for free and opened in free Google Earth software. The assist them in understanding the issues, alternative options to issues. City takes care to note that this free data is not officially address the issues, and how decisions are made on the issues. supported or maintained for accuracy. Governance Governance DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TO “INFORM” In March 2012, OpenPlans launched Meeting Matters, TOOL a community-edited directory of public meetings. If the Website • Use website to host: tool is popular in your community, it could be a good »» Council meetings, agendas, and minutes »» Information on committees, including membership, meeting schedules, and how to apply for membership way to increase awareness of your public meetings. »» Bylaws and policies »» Data, such as Graphic Information Systems (GIS) layers, that are available to the public »» Services provided by your government. Consider organizing your website by service area rather than department • Ensure site is accessible for all users, limiting technologies like Flash that are not accessible to people who require screen readers or utilize older systems • Index website on major search engines, like Google, so your residents can easily find it. You can also ask your IT staff to install a Google search boxDigital Tactics Digital Tactics on your website, so that all information on it is searchable • Choose website software (content management software) that staff can easily update, so it stays up-to-date • Offer users the option to subscribe to website updates through RSS (Really Simple Syndication), a format for delivering regularly changing web content • Make it easy for residents to share important items, such as Council videos, with friends by embedding “social sharing” widgets into your website Constituent Relationship • This software consolidates all of your contacts to assist with customer service and civic engagement Management (CRM) • All departments should have access to the CRM software to add new contacts or access lists of contacts • Organize names, organizations, email addresses in the database. It is also helpful to include details about topics and projects each person is interested in, as well as when someone has been contacted by staff for a specific project or service e-Newsletter, • Provide area on website for residents to subscribe to email updates. Email updates can provide a general overview, but should also include specific information on getting involved in government. • Updates could include information on committees, including who members are, meeting schedules, and how to apply for membership Mapping • Use online mapping and downloadable datasets to help residents find information and innovate using local government data Media-Sharing Sites • Post council videos on website and social media-sharing site, like YouTube or Vimeo • Post event photos on social media-sharing site, like Flickr, Picasa, or Instagram 4 • Consider sharing your photographs on Flickr under a Creative Commons license. City of Edmonton, Alberta, hosts high quality photographs on their website that can be used by residents 5 Webcast & Discussion • Consider using webinars or online discussions when launching new policies or addressing controversial issues. More interactive than a Figure 6: City of Nanaimo’s website homepage has links to council videos. When browsing council agendas and minutes, residents can skip to the video footage press release or presentation, residents can ask questions and you can set the facts straight they are most interested in seeing.
    • CITY OF NANAIMO PARTICIPANTS LEGAL AND POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS Increasing Level of Public ImpactSOCIAL MEDIA & VIDEO The City designed its website and video livestreaming to be accessible to community The City of Nanaimo’s Facebook Code of Conduct Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower members from most income, age, and educational succinctly states: “Please keep all comments cleanBACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF brackets. Before implementing the livestreaming and respectful. Posts deemed inappropriate willENGAGEMENT video project, the City conducted research finding be removed.” that over 78% of Nanaimo resident have high-City of Nanaimo uses social media and online On its website, the City of Nanaimo offers an easyvideo to increase community engagement with speed internet access. to read Privacy Policy.2 B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services or optionscouncil decisions, to promote more open and RESOURCEStransparent decision-making, and to keep the LESSONS LEARNED Engagement activities intended to “consult” the public ask residents Examplepublic informed regarding current events in the The City of Nanaimo uses few resources to ENGAGEMENT archive and livestream Council meetings. The video livestreaming and archiving is to provide feedback on analysis, alternatives, and decisions. The keyCity. particularly effective for the following reasons: STATISTICS (JAN 2012) difference between “inform” and “consult” is that consult provides The City of Seattle offers a good example of The City recycled an old computer and usedENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES commercial-off-the-shelf and open source • Links to Council videos appear prominently Facebook Likes 4,100 a method for residents to give their input to the government about indexing all relevant social media accounts.Beginning in August 2009, the City implemented software costing approximately $1,200 to begin on the City website’s homepage. governance issues. The City’s website prominently displays links livestreaming videos. Implementation required Twitter 2,800 • Videos are time-stamped to match Council to elected officials’ and department-specific Governance Governancea broad range of online engagement measures. about one person-month of labour. Very little Followers meeting minutes. This allows residents toIn particular, the City began to offer live internet ongoing maintenance is required as the system directly jump to an area of interest. YouTube 3,400 views on The following table explains some best practices for using digital accounts. 41streaming and time-stamped video archiving is largely automated. Strong support from Mayor,of Council meetings on its website. Community • The website makes it easy for residents to 22 videos engagement tools to consult residents about governance issues. Council, and senior management, combinedmembers can easily search and view these videos share video clips via email, Facebook, Twitter, with teamwork in the application development,by date and topic, and share individual clips via and other social media tools. DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS technical support, and legislative services teamsemail, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media made this project possible. • City re-used existing hardware and offers ENGAGEMENT TO “CONSULT”tools. This project was nominated for a Provincial open source software, making this solutionCommunity Excellence Award for Best Practices in The City estimates that the cost to implement a affordable, flexible, and shareable with other TOOLCivic Engagement in 2010.1 similar system would be $7,500. Proud of its low- local governments. DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT Website • On your website, clearly show how to get in contact with staff and cost solution, City of Nanaimo is happy to share Council.The City’s Facebook Page, Twitter account, TOOLS its software with other local governments under an Lessons learned and tips include: »» For staff, consider providing a contact person’s name, emailYouTube channel and website also support open source license. • Interactive Website withcommunity engagement. The Facebook Page for address, and phone number on relevant topic pages as well as • It is important to check whether residents use social sharing, RSS , andDigital Tactics Digital Tacticsthe City is primarily focused on activities relating To update and manage social media, 1 or 2 staff a staff directory a tool before launching it. The City offered mobile formatto arts and recreation. A “questions” section devote an hour or less each day to tasks like FourSquare Check-In and other deals at its »» For council, consider uploading a photograph and short responding to queries, scheduling new posts • Facebookhas been used for at least two surveys, focused aquatic facilities (including free locker tokens biographies of Council members. List telephone, email, andon swimming lessons. The Facebook Page also for the next few days and uploading photos. • Twitter social media contact information for members and free day passes). However, the city lacksincludes a series photos and short videos, linking Additional time is required for developing content a critical mass of FourSquare users to make • Google +1 button »» For general inquiries, provide a general email address orto the City’s YouTube channel. The page is posted within departments before it can be posted. this incentive program worthwhile. • Online payment feedback form. You can also post a photo of City Hall with aon regularly by City staff and includes occasional • City staff rely on MediaFunnel to post • Online Parks and Google map, so people can find driving or transit directions tocomments and feedback from residents. The City’s EVALUATING IMPACT content to Facebook and Twitter. Recreation program your office. Don’t forget to include your hours of operation!Twitter account is very similar, providing helpful City of Nanaimo has strong support for MediaFunnel tracks multiple user accounts registration • On your website, clearly identify how to add topics to the councillinks, athletic and arts-related information, and transparency. The livestreaming and archiving of and social media accounts at an affordable • Videos (self-hosted and on agendaanswering questions from residents. videos supports transparency by making Council price. The tool easily handles two users YouTube) Social Media • If your council members use social media, brief them on rules meetings much more accessible and relevant for from each department posting their own • Emergency Call Alert regarding the use of social media during council meets and citizens. content to Facebook and Twitter, with central System Sunshine Laws. See Chapter 4 for more information on digital oversight of posts before they are published. engagement legal challenges. You can use Twitter to host a “Twitter With a population in excess of 80,000, community attendance at Nanaimo Council meetings was • Don’t be afraid to try new things. Although Town Hall” or Google+ Hangout with the Mayor or councilors to extremely low. Statistics in 2010 showed that the City does not have a Google+ page set talk about specific issues between 50 and 200 people watched the recorded up, it is exploring options and has provided Media-Sharing Sites • Consider whether you will allow comments on your YouTube 1 City of Nanaimo. 2010. “Live Streaming and Video Archiving council meetings the following day, representing “Google +1” buttons on the website for channel or Flickr website. While allowing residents to comment 6 7 of Council Meetings.” Program Summary for UBCM Com- residents that do use this service. munity Excellence Awards: Best Practices – Civic Engage- a tenfold increase in council meeting viewings on these media-sharing websites offers governments a good For more information, contact: ment. compared to in-person attendance. opportunity to hear feedback on specific council issues, care should live_streaming_and_video_archiving_of_council_meetings- 2 Privacy Policy. Cam Scott cam.scott@nanaimo. Figure 7: City of Seattle’s website includes a comprehensive -nanaimo--2010.pdf privacy-policy.html ca or Ross Collicutt ross. be taken to monitor comments for off-topic, vulgar, or abusive list of all social media accounts for public officials and language departments.
    • Increasing Level of Public Impact Increasing Level of Public Impact Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choices advice Crowd Sourcing Example Engagement activities intended to “collaborate” with the public ask Ideation Example Engagement activities intended to “involve” the Some local governments use online budget challenges to involve the residents to partner with government in each aspect of decision-making, public ask residents to express their concerns public in generating ideas to solve the challenge. In 2011, Los Angeles and incorporating public input into the final decision to the maximum extent The City of Austin used IdeaScale to collect ideas Philadelphia used Next 10 Budget Challenge software. When asking the possible. The key difference between “involve” and “collaborate” is that for how to make its data more available and Governance Governance and aspirations about options or alternatives. The key difference between “consult” and public for input on budgets, it is important to be clear about how public collaborating with the public results in significant public influence over the useful. New York City and City of San Diego offer “involve” is that when local governments involve input will influence the budgetary process and why the online tool contains final decision. “app competitions” that challenge individuals the public, input is directly reflected in outcomes the budget parameters offered. For example, TriMet, the Portland, OR, and organizations to solve public issues. 45 developed by government. metropolitan transit authority, asked the public for input on its budget.42 The following table explains some best practices for using digital The City posts a challenge, teams discuss and However, the tool has received a fair amount of criticism online for engagement tools to collaborate with residents about governance issues. propose solutions to the challenge, and the The following table explains some best practices appearing to be biased and only offering limited options. 43 public vote on their favorite solutions. for using digital engagement tools to involve residents in governance issues. This could be a great way to get ideas and support for improving corporate sustainability, DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TO either by engaging city staff or the community.Digital Tactics Digital Tactics ENGAGEMENT “COLLABORATE” DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS TOOL ENGAGEMENT ON USING THESE TOOLS TO TOOL “INVOLVE” Discussion Forum • Does your local government have a citizen advisory committee or Wiki Example / Online Message group? You could use an online discussion forum, like Open Town Hall, Crowd Sourcing • Crowd sourcing, or asking many Board to help members draft agendas, review materials, and discuss issues. Denton Wiki is a community-based Wiki that people for input on an issue with a Online forums require a fair amount of time and attention to participate quantitative or knowable answer, can Figure 8: The California Budget Challenge used Next 10 Budget Challenge software to ask in meaningfully records information about local culture and be a great way to solve complicated residents how they would balance the State budget. Ideation • If you are looking for new ideas on Open Government initiatives or business in Denton, Texas. Denton Wiki is issues, like setting the budget ways to use data, consider running a competition using ideation completely separate from any local government Structured Online • Tool that allows participants to software, like IdeaScale, ChallengePost, or UserVoice Deliberation explore the pros and cons of Exploring the Options Example initiative; however, a local government could an issue and quickly gauge the encourage interested residents to do something level of support for or against the Washington State’s Living Voters Guide 44 lists state and local ballot Collaborative Writing • Wikis, like Wikipedia, are a way for groups to work together to produce similar by offering webhosting space, data, or issue. These tools help decrease & Wikis a written product. For local governments, Wikis are a great way to polarization around issues and initiatives, providing a way for people to identify the pros and cons of each record local knowledge about history and culture. technical assistance. For example, a Wiki could encourage people to vote on local ballot initiative, learn more about the nuances of the initiative, and share describe sustainability-related topics like locally- and state ballot measures the initiative with friends online. owned shops, local farmers and food systems, 8 Survey or Choicebook • For governance issues, use surveys to measure public perception of The Living Voters Guide is an example of “involve,” because the forum is etc. 9 government responsiveness or citizen satisfaction intended to help the public discuss issues, and there is no mechanism to actually vote on the issues.
    • Increasing Level of Public Impact Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower E. Empower: Stakeholders own the Governance Governance decisionsCASE STUDY: DENTON ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES Legal and Political Considerations Engagement activities intended to “empower” Online-Offline Community Collaboration Examples DentonWiki is hosted by the non-profitWIKI1 Denton Wiki is entirely volunteer-based with 11 editors. The primary authors of the site use organization Wiki Spot. As a result, site put final decision-making in the hands of the administrators may restrict commercial content on public. CityCamp is an international unconference and online community that Facebook and Twitter to encourage people to editBACKGROUND AND PURPOSE OF the Wiki, as well as to organize real-life meet ups the Wiki. focuses on helping local governments and organizations innovate bothENGAGEMENT (or “Tweet Ups”). The organizers also take care to The following table explains some best practices internally and externally. 46 This format is a great way to brainstorm and hand out stickers with the address of the Wiki to LESSONS LEARNED for using digital engagement tools to engageDenton Wiki is a collaborative, community-driven people they meet to encourage their participation ENGAGEMENT implement solutions, which is especially applicable to sustainability Wikis are challenging engagement tools, becausewebsite that allows residents to tell “stories of on the website. STATISTICS (JAN 2012) with residents about governance issues.,” a collaborative way to celebrate local writing an article is a high-engagement activity, compared to sharing a link or “Liking” somethingDigital Tactics Digital Tacticscommunity character and record local history. PARTICIPANTS Twitter followers 480The purpose of the site is to record information on Facebook. Nevertheless, Denton Wiki has DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS CityCamp events:about Denton and let everyone create and update The primary audience is Denton residents. encouraged people to participate on the website ENGAGEMENT ON USING THESE TOOLS TOthe information. Not affiliated with the local Participants seem to be young professionals and with the following techniques: Facebook Group 230 TOOL “EMPOWER” • Are organized organically and at the grassroots level, using the students. The non-commercial, grassroots focus Followersgovernment, Denton Wiki is hosted by a non- • Creating a Facebook Group for site Online-Offline • Online-Offline community CityCamp online community to get goingprofit organization, Wiki Spot. of the Wiki has encouraged a community of youth administrators and editors to discuss Denton and advocates to participate on the website. Community collaboration tools use in-person Wiki strategy and organization Registered Wiki Users 65Denton Wiki began in 2010 and moved to the Collaboration events and online collaboration • Bring together local government officials, agency employees,Local Wiki software in late 2011. The Local Wiki • Inviting participants to meet each other in tools to help people turn ideasproject, a non-profit organization funded by RESOURCES meet ups, and sharing the meet up invite via Wiki Pages 1,000 experts, programmers, designers, residents and journalists to share and priorities into action. Thesethe Knight Foundation, provided software and Denton Wiki was set up using volunteer time and Facebook tools attract a few, but dedicated, perspectives and insights about the cities in which they livefunding for Denton Wiki. Local Wiki is run by open source software. The Local Wiki project • Handing out stickers to people to remind participants and often require aPhilip Neustrom and Mike Ivanov, the founders provided software and funding for Denton Wiki. them to add content to the wiki community organizer or activator to • Create and maintain patterns for using the Web to facilitate localof the hugely successful Davis Wiki in California. maintain focus and interest in theDenton Wiki is a pilot project, testing the Davis The site has a primary editor and 10 additional • Seeding the wiki with good content that is government transparency and effective local governance editors who volunteer their time. The founding emulated by new members. initiativemodel and the Local Wiki software in other towns. members spend little time organizing the wiki, • Using fun and people’s love of local character DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT • Foster communities of practice and advocacy on the role of the Web,Denton Wiki is an interesting example noting that it essentially runs itself. to get them involved in the wiki. The wiki has TOOLS mobile communication, online information, and open data in citiesof placemaking and storytelling for local a strong sense of authenticity and grassrootsgovernments. Local governments could EVALUATING IMPACT organizing through language choice and • Interactive, Open Source Website (LocalWiki) • Create actionable outcomes that participants will implement after the 10encourage similar projects by providing webhosting grants or internships. Users have added almost 1,000 pages to Denton Wiki in the site’s first 6 months. moderating commercial posts • Facebook page event 11 • Twitter 1
    • F. References 41. 42. 43. Bonnemann, Tim. 2012. “TriMet Challenges & Choices Chapter 6: DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT FOR Budget Discussion Guide. Intellitics Blog. http://www.intellitics. com/blog/2012/01/18/trimet-challenges-choices-budget- SERVICE PROVISION discussion-guide/ 44. 45. and 46. 47. Governance ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT CHAPTER? Services Engagement on service provision means responding Figure 9: Code for America uses coders, researchers, and designers to solve civic problems. to service complaints and requests. You may find this information helpful if your role in local government Online-Offline Community Collaboration Examples, Sign up for digital is service-oriented, like public safety, parks and Continued engagement tools before you recreation, current planning, utilities, emergency know you need one. management, or other general services.Digital Tactics Digital Tactics Code for America 47 is a non-profit organization that helps governments become more participatory, open, and efficient. Cities can apply to become a Code for America City to solve This gives you the chance The tips and examples in this section are organized by level of public a civic participation challenge. Using a matching funding model, Code for America provides fellow teams to perform the to claim your organization’s involvement. The level of public involvement depends on how much power technical work. name before someone else sharing the participants have. As described in Section I, we use IAP2’s Encourage staff to join social media or online community does. Spectrum of Public Participation to describe five levels of engagement: manager communities of practice. Communities of practice Increasing Level of Public Impact are a great way to learn best practices from other experts and You can also practice with the Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower collectively solve problems. Twitter, LinkedIn, and MeetUp. tool before going live. com are great ways to meet other practitioners. is especially great, because the website is used to convene The levels of public involvement are cumulative; if you are just getting face-to-face social events. For example, Social Media Club started, consider beginning with “inform” or “consult,” and adding 12 is a popular group that has chapters in many communities. increasing levels of public participation as you gain experience. 13
    • Website Example Increasing Level of Public Impact Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower The City of Austin has a great website based on an open-source content management system (CMS) that enables many city staff to update Only start conversations you can stay content. The website supports online payments, involved in. Make sure there is a point is service-oriented, and features a search bar person in charge of responding to prominently on the homepage to make it easy for people to locate information. The City of Calgary, emails, social media channels, and Alberta, has a similar layout with more focus on keeping the webpage updated. searching for information. A. Inform: Help public understand the issues Social Media Example Digital engagement tools are particularly well-suited to Services Services You may decide to use a single social media account keeping the public up-to-date on service provision, such as to inform, consult, and engage your residents on snow removal, emergency alerts, recycling schedules, and arts Figure 10: The City of Austin, TX, website was built using open-source software so any member of all local government activities. Or, you may choose staff can edit content. The homepage features a large search bar to make it more user friendly. and culture events. to create separate accounts for various services. The benefit of using many accounts is that people can get involved in topics that they find especially DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TO “INFORM” interesting. For example, Parkland County, Alberta, ENGAGEMENT TOOL set up a pet adoption Facebook Page for its animal Website • Effective local government websites are organized by service rather than by department. So, your department may have to share web shelter. With 500 Likes, this page has helped theDigital Tactics Digital Tactics pages with other departments. • Display a search box prominently to help residents locate what they need. County place more animals in homes. 48 • Put links to your most frequently requested services on the homepage If you have many accounts, prominently provide e-Newsletter • Update residents and stakeholders by email with pertinent information. E-newsletters are especially useful for keeping residents up-to- links to social media accounts on your website. If date about new services • Collecting and storing email addresses in an organized way is important for this to be effective you do have multiple social media accounts, create • Recipients can forward your email, expanding the reach of your message. But, don’t let email be your only tool, since ignoring emails is an index of all accounts. The City of Seattle offers as easy as forwarding them a good example. 49 Crowd Sourcing • Everyblock is an online tool that combines all kinds of city data, ranging from restaurant health department ratings to crime statistics. Residents can sign up to receive updates about their neighborhood through this tool. SMS (Text Messaging) Example Online Payment • Use tools, like PayPal, to let residents pay for utilities, fines, and fees. Avoid using a vendor that charges high service fees to accept online payments The City of Albany, New York uses an email and text message notification system to alert Bulk text messaging (SMS), • Use microblogging, text messages, and/or RSS for important live updates, such as service outages and emergency alerts RSS (Really Simple Syndication) residents when snow emergencies or road closures occur. Staff state that since this program 14 Mapping • Provide interactive maps that pin-point the location of local amenities, emergency shelters, utilities, etc. was initiated, the number of cars ticketed for 15 Social Media • Use Twitter or Facebook to provide up-to-the-minute updates on service provision illegal parking during snow emergencies has Figure 11: The City of Calgary, Alberta, also has a website with a large search bar. Search results been reduced by 75%. on the city website are not limited to content on the city website, however.
    • WILLIAMSON Facebook and Twitter, but phrases the post to each site differently to suit the technology. LEGAL AND POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS Increasing Level of Public ImpactCOUNTY EMERGENCY On Facebook and Twitter, OEM principally shares OEM takes care to archive Facebook and Twitter Inform Consult Involve Collaborate EmpowerMANAGEMENT advisories on inclement weather and provides emergency preparedness tips. OEM engages posts and staff replies, in order to respond to potential Freedom of Information requests. OEM participants on both sites by asking readers may delete abusive posts, according to its policies;BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF questions, providing helpful links, sharing photos, however, OEM tends not to ban users due to freeENGAGEMENT and by providing useful and timely information. speech concerns. OEM does not include Terms of Use or a Privacy Policy on its website, Facebook Page, The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) assists PARTICIPANTS B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services orWilliamson County (TX) in preparing for, responding or Twitter account, although the organization has DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESEto, and recovering from disasters, many of which are The Facebook page has a large amount of developed such policies. options ENGAGEMENT TOOLS TO “CONSULT” ENGAGEMENTdirectly related to climate change, such as wildfires. participation; each post has many likes, shares, TOOL and comments. Participation is also varied; the LESSONS LEARNED STATISTICS (JAN Engagement activities intended to “consult” the publicThe county’s digital engagement tools include:online payment of tickets and property taxes; public same people do not dominate the conversation. 2012) Blogging (with • Blogs, Vlogs, Photo blogs, or Podcasts are regularly The Facebook page is particularly effective for the ask residents to provide feedback on analysis, alternatives, comments updated written, video, photo, or audio commentariesrecords search; Commissioner agendas and minutes; High engagement on Facebook for emergency following reasons: Twitter 1,200interactive map; Flickr; YouTube; and, Facebook. management issues is not surprising; according to Followers and decisions. The key difference between “inform” and permitted) about a particular topic. Enabled commenting means that people who listen can write back to the author inOEM started their social media campaign in research by FEMA and the Red Cross, Facebook is the • The Facebook Page is public, so there is no Facebook Fans 7,800 “consult” is that consult provides a method for residents public. primary place where people post emergency-related need for users to sign in or sign up for an Services Servicesmid-2011 as a regular public service, intended to eyewitness accounts, and 75% of people expect help account. to give their input to the government about governance • Blogging is a good platform for keeping residentsprovide preparedness information and emergencynotifications to community residents. OEM uses to arrive within an hour if they make an emergency- • The Page uses a custom-built application to issues. informed about an ongoing process or news. Blogs related post to a government organization. provide more background information about are frequently used by local governments to showcaseFacebook and Twitter to supplement its website and OEM. This application gives OEM “faces” and The following table explains some best practices for great new initiatives. Communications staff rewrite presstelephone-based emergency notification system. RESOURCES personality, which shows in the GovFresh votes. DIGITAL releases in a more engaging way to create blog posts.OEM uses Facebook for emergency preparedness, Nominations and comments supporting OEM using digital engagement tools to consult residents about OEM established a social media presence after hiring a ENGAGEMENT Social Media • Set up service-specific Facebook Pages for differenteducation, alerts and warnings, recruiting volunteers, tended to thank staff by name for their work. service provision. (Facebook Page) departments, like emergency management, publicadvertising training and events, promoting situational junior technician with social media and communications TOOLS experience. Although social media was not initially • The custom application on OEM’s Facebook safety, parks and recreation, the animal shelter, andawareness (e.g. asking people during a wildfire to Page also includes an email contact form. • Twitter only fires, not smoke), dispelling rumors and part of her job description, Mackenzie-Anne Kelly, Emergency Management Technician, researched • OEM uses Twitter to direct traffic to Facebook, • Facebook Social Media Example • Separating topics not only makes it easier for the publiccorrecting disinformation, helping organize and the best practices for social media applications for indicating to readers that Facebook is the to engage with issues they care about, but it alsoDigital Tactics Digital Tacticsmonitor recovery efforts, managing communityexpectations, soliciting donations, mitigating hazards, emergency management and created partnerships with principle way to engage with OEM. The Victoria Police Department in British Columbia, spreads out the time requirements and responsibility to other departments to start the Facebook Page and • Page keeps fans up-to-date on inclement monitor social media among many members of staff.and promoting ongoing work. During the 2011 Canada, uses Twitter and Facebook to inform residentsCentral Texas wildfires, OEM’s use of Facebook and Twitter account. Mackenzie spends about 10% of her weather. Weather is the most popular topic that Webcast & • Webcasts are live events, such as video conference calls,Twitter helped the organization successfully reach time engaging people on and monitoring social media draws Americans online. about public safety, answer questions about parking Discussion chat rooms, and webinars where people observe andresidents of affected areas and people who were during non-emergency situations. Lessons learned and tips include: tickets and other issues, and investigate crimes. With participate in a presentation from different locations.concerned about protecting their homes. about 3,500 followers on Twitter now and almost 1,000 • Webcasts are useful tools for teaching, such as EVALUATING IMPACT • Assign multiple staff people to be administrators explaining a new policy or showing steps for how to useENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES Before the Labor Day fires occurred in Central Texas, on your Facebook Page. This way, if someone likes on Facebook, Victoria PD has found that a bit a new tool is too busy to respond to an issue or if a staff of humor and personality behind their social mediaOn Twitter, @PreparingWilCo announces emergency OEM’s social media accounts had only been active for Media-Sharing • Media sharing sites let local governments share photos, person leaves, other people can be responsibleservices events, asks people what they are doing to two months. With only 500 Likes on Facebook before the accounts has humanized the Department, making it more Sites (photo and/ videos, presentations, and audio online. Not only do for the account.prepare for emergencies, shares tips on safety, and fires, Facebook Likes jumped to 7,800 by the time the or video sharing these websites reduce the bandwidth burden on local fires were put out. On Twitter, the number of followers • Prepare a social media engagement plan approachable to young people. The Department stilldirects followers to the Facebook page. with comments governments, but they can also give people greater rose from 320 to 1,200 in the same time period. to present to your organization in order to relies on Crime Stoppers and officer discretion to use permitted) access to government documents and resources.On Facebook, PreparingWilCo uses a custom generate partnerships with IT, Human Resources,Facebook application to turn their Facebook Page This initiative received the most votes for “Best Use Communications, and senior leadership. tips from social media. A department-wide social media Survey or • Check in with residents by using a survey to find out how of Social Media for Emergency Management” forinto a mini website. The application provides • Be sure to manage public expectations and policy for officers provides an outline of appropriate Choicebook effective your service provision is.information about OEM, emergency preparedness GovFresh 2011 Awards.1 dispel rumors quickly. social media use and guidelines for when to delete • Surveys can include preamble text to help participantstips, emergency recovery tips, and contact • Don’t be afraid to try something new! learn more about specific issues, too. inappropriate comments. 50 16information. Facebook Wall posts correspond totweets and provide more in-depth information and Mackenzie, who taught herself HTML and Facebook, coded the custom Facebook For more information, contact: Mackenzie- 17links. Importantly, OEM posts the same topic to 1 application that greets all visitors to the Page. awards Anne Kelly makelly@
    • SACRAMENTO CITY 311 Customers typically call the most about animal care services and garbage. 311 agents also Sacramento City 311 has also helped reduce non- emergency calls to 911. Increasing Level of Public Impact address calls regarding: green waste & recycle Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF pickup; building permits; graffiti; water and sewer LEGAL AND POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT lines; potholes; street signs and lights; abandoned CONSIDERATIONS cars; plugged street drains; park maintenance; City of Sacramento launched Sacramento City and, virtually every city related topic imaginable. Sacramento City 311 falls under general City 311 in late in 2008 as a companion number to 911 of Sacramento web policies.3 Sacramento City to offer city residents, visitors, and businesses a 311 telephone service is accessible to hearing- PARTICIPANTS single point of contact for city services. impaired individuals and staff can respond in over C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential advice Senior management was engaged early on to 150 languages. The system reminds callers that Before Sacramento City 311, the City was not participate in the call center’s development. As calls may be recorded. Engagement activities intended to “involve” the public ask actively engaged in helping residents find the call center grew and the 311 concept was ENGAGEMENT solutions to non-emergency situations, and the STATISTICS (JAN 2012) residents to express their concerns and aspirations about proven, staff interest in the center increased and LESSONS LEARNED City had over 500 listings in the Sacramento support grew to have the call center handle all options or alternatives. The key difference between “consult” phone book. Each department had different initial customer contacts with the City. Virtually Success factors for Sacramento City 311 include: 311 Calls 30,000 - 40,000 contacts and procedures for addressing concerns, monthly and “involve” is that when local governments involve the and little collaboration occurred between every City of Sacramento department has provided • Organization-wide commitment and information to ensure that call center agents can public, input is directly reflected in outcomes developed by departments.1 handle each call received. In 2011, approximately participation is imperative to the success of a shared model call center. Having the support 311 Emails Average 1,600 Services Services government. The City uses the 311 call center data to identify 35,000 calls and 1,600 emails were received monthly. of senior staff ensured organization-wide monthly trends, evaluate programs, and allocate resources participation The following table explains some best practices for using digital to city programs. RESOURCES • Beginning the program as a pilot program SeeClickFix 6 Issues engagement tools to involve residents in service provision. Sacramento City 311 has also been leveraged Sacramento City 311 was launched following demonstrated the benefits of and justified a Reported for a variety of special projects: processing strong senior-level support for accountability and full-scale implementation requests for free smoke detectors, carbon transparency, as well as a shrinking municipal • Residents want multiple channels, such monoxide detectors, rabies vaccination data entry, budget that required departments to provide as email, telephone, and social media, to DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE community outreach processing, water quality services more effectively. communicate to governments ENGAGEMENT TOOLS TO “INVOLVE” testing, and billboard projects to name a few. • Reducing wait time, improving resident In 2009, Sacramento City 311 had approximately TOOL Sacramento City 311 has successfully reduced 20 full time-equivalent employees and an access to government, and increasing non-emergency calls made to 911, allowing 911 operating budget of $1.8 million.2 issue resolution helped residents feel moreDigital Tactics Digital Tactics Crowd Sourcing • Yelp, 311, SeeClickFix, and Everyblock are examples of Public Safety Dispatchers more time to handle life satisfied with government online tools that gather data from residents to improve city threatening emergencies. EVALUATING IMPACT services Lessons learned and tips include: DIGITAL • On Yelp, people can review anything with an address. The system has been very popular with the public ENGAGEMENT TOOLS Business owners can offer people rewards for “checking in” ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES • Before launching a new digital engagement and staff. In March 2011 Sacramento City 311 tracked tool, it is important to check whether your to the location with their mobile phone. Consider raising Residents can dial 311, fax, email, or report issues its millionth call. Sacramento City has experienced a • Interactive website with community uses it. The low number of online forms the profile of your parks, libraries, and community centers in person to the City. A seven digit phone number number of benefits with the system: requests offered through SeeClickFix could by updating their profiles on Yelp and offering rewards to is also available, for calls from outside the 311 • 311 calls based on Oracle Centralized service request processing creates the be related to the public’s limited familiarity your patrons. Perhaps a library user could be forgiven for a area. Agents are available to process requests Siebel system opportunity to record and standardize policies and with the tool. late fee, or a community center user could get a free class for service 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The • Email - Service requests & procedures that are informally followed by staff. • Ensure that software systems integrate or of yoga. Residents who love your facilities will likely write City also uses the online tool, SeeClickFix (http:// information sharing positive reviews, helping them compete with commercially-, although the application has not The call center let the city to consolidate multiple “talk” to each other. Otherwise data must be transmitted between systems via manual • SeeClickFix mobile app run alternatives. been widely embraced by the community. A smart citywide call centers. The shared service model intervention or duplicate entry. For example, • Facebook • 311 services are call centers and online applications phone application and enhanced web reporting allows fewer staff to process more requests, reducing are currently being developed and should be the cost per call and improving customer satisfaction. when residents report issues via SeeClickFix, that centralize service requests and status reporting. available the first quarter of 2012. This new mobile staff have to manually enter data into the 311 SeeClickFix is an example of a paid and online-only 311 The City now has a single point of contact for city tool will seamlessly integrate with the 311 system, system. Sacramento City 311’s new mobile service. Open 311 is an open source alternative. While issues 24 hours a day, presenting a consistent unlike SeeClickFix. application will seamlessly integrate, instead. 311 services are overwhelmingly used by people calling message to all callers. in, online 311 services let people report issues from their 18 mobile phone and more specifically identify the location of an issue on a map. Figure 12: Online and mobile interfaces for 311 systems should be intuitive 1 Oracle. 2009. City of Sacramento: A 311 Success Story. 2 FY2009/10 Proposed Budget. Section 16: General Services. 19 For more information, contact: and attractive for users. Web interfaces should also connect well to the sacramento-311-171702.pdf ments/16_GenSvcs2010P.pdf 3 Gina Knepp, gknepp@ “behind the scenes” software that run your 311 system, so staff do not have to duplicate efforts or risk losing service requests.
    • CITY OF RICHMOND RESOURCES • Implementing new or improved approaches in addressing significant community need, or significantly Increasing Level of Public ImpactMPACT INITIATIVE MPACT utilizes SeeClickFix’s premium access, which provides a mobile application, data support, • improving an existing one; Reflecting excellence in management; Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower and other reporting needs for $225 per month. • Increasing citizen participation;BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF Most MPACT funding was spent on marketing and • Striving toward higher service levels;ENGAGEMENT outreach efforts. Town Hall meetings had a small • Possessing ideas and approaches that make a project or program relevant to other local governments;The Mayor’s Office wanted to improve cost, but they satisfy program goals for other city • Having a long-term value to the community; and,communication between residents and City Hall initiatives. A key, yet unpredictable, cost was the • Showing a documented record of effectiveness thatto address neighborhood quality of life issues need to invest in hardware and software. Because illustrates how a project or program has achieved itsthroughout the city. To address these issues, the MPACT is a very public program, performance goals.Mayor’s Participation Action and Communication or communication failure due to the increase in ENGAGEMENT D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influentialTeam, or MPACT, was launched. MPACT’s task was customer service volume was not an option. The LEGAL AND POLITICAL STATISTICS (JAN 2012) choicesto create a single point of contact for residents to City invested approximately $7,500 for the first CONSIDERATIONSreport issues and a streamlined system for staff to year of MPACT operations Visitors to 9,836address reported issues. The Frequently Asked Questions area of the website Engagement activities intended to “collaborate” the public EVALUATING IMPACT MPACT website explains how customer dataBefore MPACT, Richmond’s 311 system struggled is used. The website states: “After you provide 311 Calls 9,500 ask residents to partner with government in each aspect of Monthlywith openness, transparency, and accountability. MPACT has been very popular with residents and your contact number and or email, only the city decision-making, incorporating public input into the final Services ServicesTo overcome these concerns, Richmond decided staff. Staff have achieved an average issue closing customer service agents will have access to your SeeClickFix 25 rate of 95%. Increases in staffing and equipment Top Users decision to the maximum extent possible. The key differenceto use SeeClickFix as a portal for residents to contact information. The address of the servicereport issues to City Hall. have helped lead the way to success as well. On request will be posted on the MPACT website MPACT 31605 between “involve” and “collaborate” is that collaborating average service requests are closed within 10 days. with a description of the request but no other requests with the public results in significant public influence over theENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES Resident feedback via program surveys and identifying information will be released.”1 MPACT issues 29992 final decision. monthly meetings held in the community have has its own Terms of Use closedResidents can dial 311, visit the MPACT website, helped MPACT focus on the needs of its residents statement.2 In person 25-75utilize the mobile SeeClickFix application on their and accommodate their needs in a more timely attendance at The following table explains some best practices for usingsmartphone, or visit the website.Online reports are available to staff in real-time to and efficient manner. As the program primarily LESSONS LEARNED MPACT Town digital engagement tools to collaborate with residents about addresses nuisance issues, MPACT has created Hallsview the status of issues resolution. Success factors for Richmond MPACT include: service provision. employment opportunities and empoweredDigital Tactics Digital TacticsPARTICIPANTS residents to feel responsible for the appearance of • MPACT created a heightened priority for service- their communities. oriented operation investment. The City invested inMPACT handles approximately 25,000 to new equipment, streamlined work processes, and Bi-direction communication between residents addressed other operational areas of improvement DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING35,000 calls monthly, leading to infrastructureimprovements, more stringent code enforcement and City Hall has allowed for a more transparent, in response to the rapid increase in work orders ENGAGEMENT THESE TOOLS TO “COLLABORATE” responsive and accountable government. In caused by the new system. The City’s ability toto combat blight, and improved levels of TOOL 2011, MPACT was awarded the Virginia Municipal rapidly respond to increased public demand helped DIGITALcustomer service. residents feel more satisfied with government Crowd Funding • Crowd funding is an alternative to tax increment League Achievement Award. This award reflects ENGAGEMENT TOOLSCivic engagement and grass roots outreach has • Combining the online SeeClickFix tool with financing, bonds, and other traditional methods of the very best public service ideas in Virginia monthly, in-person precinct meetings helps • Interactive website raising capital funds.been equally important. Based on the Police which emphasizes innovation, efficiency and residents feel that their government is responsivePrecinct model, MPACT hosts monthly meetings entrepreneurship. MPACT was also awarded the • Toll-free 311 calls • Tools like CivicSponsor can help local governments to their needsin each precinct to discuss resident’s concerns, Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference • SeeClickFix mobile app raise money for capital improvement projects.prioritize development opportunities within their Award for its commitment, time, and energy Lessons learned and tips include: • SeeClickFix online website CivicSponsor showcases individual and corporatecommunities, and provide informational updates of those who tirelessly volunteer to make their • Be prepared and ready to act when engaging the used by 311 agents for donors, and helps make people feel like they made aon City programs, projects, and initiatives that neighborhoods the places they are proud to call public in a new and meaningful way. citizen issues tangible impact on their community.directly benefit and affect quality of life. home. • It is difficult to budget for the needs of a program • Although with Crowd Funding individuals do not haveThrough improvements to the 311 Call Center and that is as broad as a 311 system. a say over specific design details, crowd funding tools Generally speaking, MPACT has helped inemployee engagement seminars, MPACT stressed do guarantee that donations go towards the intended accomplishing projects and implementingthe importance of timely and accurate information For more information, refer to project. programs that enhance the vitality of the City of the City of Richmond MPACT 20 21sharing with citizens. For many, 311 is the initial Richmond by: • Crowd Funding offers many levels of financial entrypoint of contact with the City. 1 website: http://www.richmond for individual and corporate donors Figure 13: CivicSponsor is a new platform with few projects. It remains to be • Developing more innovative ways of delivering ActionCommunicationTeam/FAQ.aspx seen whether this form of crowdfunding is successful. government services; ActionCommunicationTeam/index. 2 aspx
    • NYC CHANGEBYUS1 responses to their favorite ideas. The website includes a brief biography and photo of the Before the project launch, the team discussed what the website’s policy would be towards Increasing Level of Public Impact Response Leaders, providing a personal face to groups involved in controversial political activities,BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF the initiative. Favored ideas are passed on to the or activities contrary to City policies. There was Inform Consult Involve Collaborate EmpowerENGAGEMENT appropriate City staff. concern that hosting project pages for such groups could constitute an endorsement byChangeByUs NYC was created by Local Projects PARTICIPANTS the City. To maintain a policy of openness andand run by the City of New York, beginning in July transparency, while honoring free speech and2011. The purpose of the ChangeByUs tool is to ChangeByUs targeted neighborhood assembly, the City placed a clear terms of useask New Yorkers to put their ideas into action by advocates and community groups interested in statement on the website. The site developerscreating projects and building teams to make the neighborhood-scale sustainability projects. also built in a feature for the City to sanctioncity a better place to live. “official” groups, differentiating them from theChangeByUs NYC is run by New York City’s Office RESOURCES broader category of any user-contributed group.of the Mayor, with participation from the Citizens The cost of the ChangeByUs website is unknown. In reality, the moderators were faced with few, if ENGAGEMENTCommittee for New York City, Pratt Center for To implement ideas, the City of New York and the any, difficult decisions. The site set a tone in whichCommunity Development, ioby, and the United Citizens Committee for New York City offered 20 to STATISTICS (JAN 2012) users focused on projects for the bettermentStates Forest Service. Other innovations in 40 grants ranging from $500 to $1,000.NYC include NYC Simplicity Market, Save NYC of their neighborhoods, rather than negative Twitter 780 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions The funding for the community grants, which total assessments or criticism. followers Services Servicessuggestion Box, and the NYC BigApps competition. $15,000, was provided by the Campaign for NewChangeByUs functions as “a social network for York’s Future and the Rockefeller Foundation, and LESSONS LEARNED Registered 2,250 Engagement activities intended to “empower” put final Users decision-making power in the hands of the public.civic activity.” Using both text messaging and the grants were supported by the Mayor’s Fund Factors influencing ChangeByUs’ success include:the site itself, New Yorkers can submit ideas for a to Advance New York City. Grant applications Submitted 2,500more sustainable city. Based on those ideas, the were reviewed by non-profit partner Citizens • People are more likely to participate when Ideas The following table explains some best practices for usingsite then connects visitors, and invites them into Committee for New York City, and recipients they feel their responses are valued. Oneproject groups. Project groups can then easily were selected by a panel composed of members way to value responses is to appoint “response Proposed 250 digital engagement tools to engage with residents about Projectsform connections to existing city resources and various City departments. The grant program will leaders,” or local leaders who read user-submitted service organizations that can help them be administered by non-profit partner Citizens answers or ideas. This way, residents are Funded 19 communicating with local leadership on issues they Projectsachieve their goal.2 Committee for New York City and grants will be care about, rather than “the government” more awarded to groups in all five boroughs.3 generally.ChangeByUs launched with the question,Digital Tactics Digital Tactics • Providing a way for people to self-organize based “Hey NYC, how can we make our EVALUATING IMPACT on projects and receive funding to implement city a greener, better place to live?” the project empowers residents and makes them The City of New York awarded grants to popular feel like they can make a positive impact in their DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USINGAs part of PlaNYC 2.0, New Yorkers ChangeByUs and well-supported projects. Grants were community DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT THESE TOOLS TO “EMPOWER”gives New Yorkers a way to take the principles awarded to projects on the website in three • It is important to incorporate social sharing widgets ENGAGEMENT TOOLS TOOLin New York’s plan and implement them in categories: community gardening and agriculture, on the engagement platform, so participants can advocate good ideas and encourage further • Interactive, Open-Source Online-Offline • Online-Offline community creation tools use in-neighborhoods. composting, and tree and park stewardship – participation by word-of-mouth. Website (Local Projects’ Community Creation person events and online forums to get people to some of the focus areas outlined in PlaNYC, the • ChangeByUs consciously framed the issues in Change by Us platform) convene and act on specific issues.ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES City’s roadmap for creating its sustainable future. Nineteen projects in 5 boroughs received grants:4 a positive manner to encourage participants • SMS (text messaging)Types of participation possible on ChangeByUs to focus on solutions rather than problems or • Facebookinclude: • 611 volunteers gave over 3,800 hours of service challenges. • Twitter • 85 trees were maintained through stewardship efforts• Share Ideas Lessons learned and tips include: • SpigIt tool for employee • 9 community gardens were expanded or enhanced• Join or Create Projects idea market • 9 composting sites were created• Build Teams • ChangeByUs learned from the Give A Minute • 10,000+ lbs of food and yard waste was composted platform, increasing functionality to allow people • Open data app• Find Resources competition with voting to self-organize by topics to act on ideas.Public input is reviewed by community leaders LEGAL AND POLITICAL • The tone and messaging of a website shapes the and discussion Figure 14: ChangeByUs is a multi-city platform that lets residents generatefrom the public and private sector. An 8-person CONSIDERATIONS user contributions. A positive message focused ideas and self-organize to implement the ideas. This screen capture is from on empowerment and local improvement New York City’s implementation. 22team of “Response Leaders” send personal 1 3 is more likely to encourage positive contributions. For more information, contact: 23 Stu Loeser or Julie Wood 2 4 (212) 788-2958
    • Chapter 7: DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT FOR SPECIFIC INITIATIVES OR POLICIES Online-Offline Community Collaboration Example F. References 48. The City of New York used the ChangeByUs platform to Shelter/107863592643185 engage dedicated residents on implementing specific aspects 49. of its Comprehensive Plan. This and similar platforms can Initiatives 50. Boychuk, Jenny. 2012. “Click here to follow @VicPDCanada.” Martlet. January Services be used to gather support and volunteers for implementing 13. ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT CHAPTER? other services that cities cannot directly provide but residents demand. Engagement on initiatives means hearing from the public and stakeholders on specific project or policy initiatives. This area is most geared towards long- range planning and other departments that engage the public on specific, one-time policies or initiatives.Digital Tactics Digital Tactics The tips and examples in this section are organized by level of public involvement. The level of public involvement depends on how much power sharing the participants have. As described in Section I, we use IAP2’s Spectrum of Public Participation to describe five levels of engagement: Increasing Level of Public Impact Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower The levels of public involvement are cumulative; if you are just getting started, consider beginning with “inform” or “consult,” and adding 24 increasing levels of public participation as you gain experience. 25 Figure 15: Some top ideas from New York City’s ChangeByUs include local food projects and urban beautification.
    • Increasing Level of Public Impact Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TO “INFORM” ENGAGEMENT TOOL Website • For initiatives that last a year or less, try to incorporate information about it as part of your regular website. Alternatively, use a Facebook Page instead. • For longer term or larger scope projects that have significant branding and opportunities for online engagement, it may be better to create a separate branded website for the initiative. If you anticipate your project having many updates, consider using a blogging platform instead of a A. Inform: Help public understand the website. Blogs can be a more interactive and timely way of sharing information. issues • Important information to provide on initiative websites includes: »» Homepage: News and latest uploads, brief description of project, links Initiatives Initiatives Digital engagement tools are particularly well- »» Process and timeline: Scope of work of the project, when to get involved, and when decisions are made »» How to get involved: Explanation of engagement principles, level of public input, opportunities to get involved, area for people to sign up suited to keeping the public up-to-date on for email updates projects and initiatives, providing information »» Resources: Upload or link to relevant background documents, studies, or other helpful information. All of your print collateral should be on what the initiative is, why it matters, what downloadable from your website. Consider including event posters, so proponents can advertise your initiative. the lifetime of the initiative is, and how to get »» About the project: Why it is being undertaken, why it matters, who is responsible for the project. • It is likely that content for your website will change over time, so take care to design a website that can be updated over time even if staff involved in the initiative. change. e-Newsletter, • Email is still the principle way that people choose to receive updates about a project. Use a tool like MailChimp or ConstantContact to create Listserv, Email attractive newsletters. Notification • These tools track user engagement, so you can track opened emails or opened linksDigital Tactics Digital Tactics • ConstantContact and MailChimp provide a free “Sign Up for our E-newsletter” widget that can be embedded into your website • Don’t forget to bring a web-connected laptop to events to help residents sign up for the newsletter Crowd Sourcing • Storify is an online platform that aggregates tweets, pictures, videos, blog posts, and other information onto a publicly visible website. It is a good way to tell a story across the social web, showing how people have interacted online with an event. Storify could be a good way to summarize an engagement event that had a mix of online and offline participation. Event Registration • If you’re hosting an event, consider using Facebook Events or EventBrite to promote it, even if you do not need RSVPs. These tools help people put the event into their calendar and make it easy to share the event with friends. • Facebook Events make it easy for you to advertise your events to a specific target audience. Microblogging • When updating your website, announcing new events, and reminding participants of important issues, don’t forget to use Twitter to send updates. Online Advertising • You can advertise your Facebook Page to Facebook users who meet specific demographic and/or geographic characteristics. Google AdWords 26 advertising, which is less targeted, is a great way to promote your website on Google searches. You may want to promote your website when many competing websites about your initiative exist. 27 Figure 16: Food Fit Philly’s Facebook page features the program’s posters and window clings in its photo gallery.
    • GET HEALTHY PHILLY 1 PARTICIPANTS convenience store and laundromat posters; text messaging; ads in weekly newspapers; and, online Get Healthy Philly’s website focuses on resources for Increasing Level of Public Impact resources.BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF low-income communities. The program’s print, radio, Inform Consult Involve Collaborate EmpowerENGAGEMENT and television campaign links to the website and As of January 2012, approximately 85% of Philadelphia targets low-income African American caregivers of residents reported exposure to at least one of theFood Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a program children 3 to 11 years old. Though still in its infancy, campaign messages, with 60% aware of Philadelphia’sof the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. the Get Healthy Philly team is examining ways to sugary beverage reduction message as well as 35%Through partnership with government agencies, expand their social media presence. recognizing Get Healthy Philly as the source.4community-based organizations, and academicinstitutions, Get Healthy Philly aims to reduce and RESOURCES LEGAL AND POLITICALprevent obesity and related chronic diseases, like Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a CONSIDERATIONSheart disease and diabetes, by increasing access to program that received funding from the Centers Facebook has clear terms of use: “Comments arehealthy foods that people can afford and by providing for Disease Control and Prevention.2 With strong welcome. Profanity, personal insults, extraneous B. Consult: Obtain feedback on existing services oropportunities for physical activity in daily living. ENGAGEMENT support from the Mayor, the 2010 – 2012 Get comments, business solicitations, and political ads STATISTICS (JAN 2012) optionsBy working in a variety of sectors (e.g. schools, Healthy Philly program helped residents make are not. Comments and posts by fans of the pageworksites, the built environment, food retail, media, healthier choices by improving fresh food and and Facebook users do not constitute the opinion The following table explains some best practices for usingand policy), Get Healthy Philly addresses the Consumer 3625 Unique Engagement activities intended to “consult” the public ask active transportation options. The following or official position of the Philadelphia Department digital engagement tools to consult residents about specific Initiatives Initiativesunderlying factors that make it difficult for healthy list highlights some of Food Fit Philly’s main of Public Health or the City of Philadelphia.” Website Visitors residents to provide feedback on analysis, alternatives, andeating and active living to be a daily activity. engagement-related achievements:3’s website links to the City of Text Messaging 3600 Active decisions. The key difference between “inform” and “consult” policies or initiatives. • Opened 10 new farmers’ markets in low-income Philadelphia’s website Terms of Use, which also Subscribers Subscribers is that consult provides a method for residents to give theirENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES communities serving approximately 30,000 houses a mobile privacy statement.5 residents; and increased SNAP (food stamp) Facebook Fans 460 input to the government about governance issues.Get Healthy Philly combines online engagement redemption at markets by over 120%with real-life resources: • Recruited over 600 corner stores to sell healthier LESSONS LEARNED YouTube 1,950 views on• “Healthy Corner Store Network” decal & online list products in low-income neighborhoods that reach Factors of success include: 2 uploads of healthy corner stores that accept food stamps almost half of Philadelphia’s population; • Paid advertising on Facebook helped grow the e-Newsletter 2000• Online list of farmers’ markets, 311 information • Completed a pedestrian and bike plan for nearly hotline two-thirds of the city; program by targeting specific groups of people Recipients where they feel comfortable online. While the number• Healthy food cart individual and organizational • Engaged 170 public schools with over 100,000 of “Likes” on Facebook is lower for Food Fit Philly students to incorporate physical activity into theDigital Tactics Digital Tactics vendor applications compared to other case studies in this Guidebook,• Online list of participating school wellness councils school-day and remove junk foods from classrooms, the level of engagement is much higher, with 70 in school district as well as afterschool programs school stores and fundraisers; people talking about the brand in January 2012.• Information on how to join the “Campaign for • Developed food and fitness standards for over 200 Healthier Schools” as well as an online portal to Out-of-School Time afterschool programs; • The Get Healthy Philly team created critical internal DIGITAL and external partnerships . submit success stories for current members • Implemented a citywide media campaign raising • Engagement combined online activities with real- ENGAGEMENT TOOLS• Online recreation department activity list and awareness about the health harms of sugary drinks; world places, resources, and benefits; community • Consumer & Government locator tool • City implemented menu labeling law; feedback recognized the value of online tips, facts,• Instructional peer-to-peer nutrition and physical • Introduced beverage vending standards for over and mapping tools. Websites activity student vignettes 200 vending machines at City • Consumer-oriented website with unique brand • Facebook• Walkability checklist, text messaging application to • Created a new bicycle lane that runs north to south helped explain Get Healthy Philly initiatives and • YouTube improve streets and police tip line to ensure safe through the city. resources for specific target audiences. environments • Text Messaging• Bike maps and trip planners with safety info EVALUATING IMPACT Lessons learned and tips include: • e-Newsletter• Healthy drink recipes, “rate your child’s drinking The program was promoted via: cable TV advertising; • Partnering with academic institutions helped the • Online Calculators & habits” table, and diabetes prevention toolkit radio advertising; interior bus and subway cards; team develop messages. Locator Tools• Downloadable media campaign materials including • While the program prioritized a mass media mass transit signs, corner store posters and clings campaign, it was important to have scalable digital 2 Philadelphia Dept. Public Health. 2010. “The Get Healthy• “Fit” portal website in partnership with WHYY Philadelphia Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative Fact engagement public radio featuring audio stories, webchats, Sheet.” recipes and more PA%20Fact%20Sheet_10.10.pdf 281,, 3 For full list of initiatives see: Philadelphia Dept. Public Health. 2011. Healthy Eating and Active Living. Get Healthy 4 The Annenberg Public Policy Center, Philadelphia Healthy Lifestyles Initiative (PHLI), Monitoring Survey Results, Wave 1 (Baseline) to Wave #7, 1/13/12 29 and http://www. Philly Annual Report., GHP_AnnualReport_2011_NPW_090711.pdf 5 For more information, contact: Sara Figure 17: The Give A Minute Chicago website emphasizes the question that organizers want residents to answer. Notice that they ask a “what” question rather than Solomon a “why” or “how” questions. “What” questions are easier and quicker to answer, especially using short-format methods like SMS (text messaging).
    • CHICAGO GIVE A MINUTE PARTICIPANTS the technology did not support conversations between participants or ways to see how popular The project team sought to engage the general ideas are. This could lead to user dissatisfaction. public in a constructive dialog and conversation BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF on transportation issues. Specific audiences and ENGAGEMENT LESSONS LEARNED the success in reaching them is unknown at time Local Projects, CEOs for Cities, Rockefeller of writing. Success factors for Give A Minute include: Foundation, Knight Foundation, and the • People are more likely to participate Chicago Transit worked together to create an RESOURCES when they feel their responses are valued. DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TO “CONSULT” online tool, Give A Minute Chicago, to consult The online tool was created through a partnership One way to value responses is to appoint ENGAGEMENT on sustainability through lower-impact forms between Local Projects and CEOs for Cities. The “response leaders,” or local leaders who TOOL of transportation, such as walking, cycling, and Chicago Transit Authority donated 500 transit ads, read user-submitted answers or ideas. This public transit. Blogging (with • Blogs, Vlogs, Photo blogs, or Podcasts are regularly updated written/video/photo/audio commentary about a particular topic. Enabled and the initiative was advertised in the Chicago way, residents are communicating with local comments commenting means that people who listen can write back to the author in public. The purposes of Give a Minute include: Tribune. Three local leaders volunteered their leadership on issues they care about, rather permitted) • Blogs can be a great way to create a project website, because staff can update them effortlessly and residents can subscribe to new updates time to read submissions. No information on the than “the government” more generally. • Increase public buy-in and interest in active very easily. The WordPress platform is a good option, as it is free, flexible, and easy to use software. project budget or staff requirements was available • The initiative consciously framed the issues transportation • Don’t forget to provide a way for people to subscribe to new updates or posts by RSS (Really Simply Syndication) feeds. at time of writing. in a positive manner to get people thinking ENGAGEMENT • Gather input from the public in the form of about the solutions instead of focusing on or STATISTICS (JAN 2012) Initiatives Initiatives Social Media • Facebook Pages replicate much of the functionality of simple web pages. With polls, photo and video galleries, event functionality, and areas for concise ideas The online tool is also being used by Memphis, New York, and San Jose. It could easily be identifying the problems or challenges. (Facebook Page) conversation, Facebook Pages offer a much more interactive experience than a simple website or blog. • Promote action by linking together people adapted for other engagement initiatives. • Transit posters and print media ads drove Number of 2,900 • Involver is a family of Facebook applications that let you put an RSS feed, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, Flickr feed, Scribd documents, or static with similar ideas traffic to the online tool. Transit posters Give A Minute HTML page as a tab on your Facebook Page. These abilities can transform your Page into a highly functional website. were appropriate for this initiative, because ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES EVALUATING IMPACT Posts • Consider naming your Facebook Page after your initiative’s vision rather than your department. To explain, it’s much easier and more satisfying the focus of engagement was on active to Like “Carbon-Free Greenville” than “Greenville Mayor’s Bureau of Sustainability.” The Give a Minute website gathers public input Give a Minute has gathered a significant number Facebook Likes 40 transportation. via the web or text message (SMS), and represents of responses. It received over 500 responses Survey or • Many online tools contain survey tools. Survey Monkey and Survey Gizmo are sophisticated an inexpensive tools that can create graphically rich • Social sharing widgets on the online tool these as virtual post-it notes. The focus is on during first 14 days, and this figure has since Choicebook surveys and survey analyses. Both support iPad and tablet use, as well as social media integration. help participants encourage their friends to soliciting responses to a broad question about reached over 2,900. • When creating a survey, try to make one that is identical online, on iPads, and on paper. This way, during events participants can fill out paper submit ideas. transportation: and online surveys unassisted, or be walked through a survey on an iPad. The overall tone of posted messages appears Lessons learned and tips include: “Hey Chicago, what would to be highly positive and generally focused on the appropriate topic. However, it is not clearDigital Tactics Digital Tactics encourage you to walk, bike, and • With the tool, it is difficult to identify how Microblogging • Tumblr, a microblogging software that makes it easy to share practically any content, has a great submission feature, so you can invite people to take transit more often?” from the website how these ideas are used, how many ideas have been submitted and how (Tumblr), Media submit photos, videos, or text for competitions. This is a great tool to use for visioning, and it seamlessly integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and the information is collated, or in what way it will many people have shared popular ideas. sharing email. Public input is reviewed by community leaders impact policies and programs. As a result, the • Submissions are ordered by date or DIGITAL • Flickr is another great tool for photo competitions. You can use groups to solicit submissions and comments to count votes from the public and private sector. A three-person project team has worked on a new platform, popularity, but there is no way to filter or ENGAGEMENT TOOLS • Try not to ask the community for videos. Video contests rarely get many submissions. team of “Response Leaders” sends personal ChangeByUs, that can better address issues and sort responses by topic or user. Give A responses to their favorite ideas. The website encourage participants to work together to solve • Interactive Website (Local Ideation • A focused brainstorming process where people submit a proposal or idea/question. Minute’s successor, ChangeByUs, increased includes a brief biography and photo of the problems.2 Projects’ Change by Us • The question asked for ideation is really important. Try to use “what” rather than “why” or “how” questions. functionality to allow people to self-organize Response Leaders, providing a personal face to platform) by topics to act on ideas. the initiative.1 Favored ideas are passed on to the LEGAL AND POLITICAL • SMS can be an important channel to reach • Text message (SMS) Microblogging • Twitter and online chat platforms can be used to hold a Town Hall or question/answer session online. This is a good way to get input on a time- appropriate City staff. CONSIDERATIONS non-web users. More than 60% of ideas • Give A Minute texting and (Twitter), online Chat sensitive topic and form stronger online ties between people interested in a topic Posts on the Give a Minute website can be sorted crowdsourcing tool While the platform offers an exciting way to in Chicago came from cell phone text by date or popularity (most shared). Each post messages. • Facebook engage with civic leadership on specific issues, can be selected and shared via Facebook. The the technology did not adequately create a initiative and website are promoted through work flow to address concerns or act on ideas. In Bulk text messaging • During meetings, you can use Twitter and text messaging to solicit input and spread messages. public advertisements (e.g. newspapers, bus other words, the software lacks an issue tracking (SMS) • Consider “live tweeting” your meeting. Start your meeting by letting people know which user or hashtag to follow. Then, with the help of a advertisements) that prominently feature the system that allows participants and staff to see the co-worker or SAP’s PowerPoint Auto Tweet plugin, tweet your presentation’s take home points. People following your account or hashtag will Response Leaders. whether an issue is being addressed or not. While retweets salient points with their followers. the platform was intended to improve civic dialog, 30 • You can also use SAP’s PowerPoint Auto Tweet plugin or a platform like CrowdBrite to solicit SMS or Twitter answers to questions, using submissions to create polls or word clouds. 1 The team includes representatives from the Transportation 2 Intellics. 2011. “Give A Minute Chicago Follow-Up.” http:// 31 Authority, a local NGO that promotes active transportation, and a local business that manufactures bicycle parts. follow-up/
    • TALK GREEN VANCOUVER ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES goals and related issues. Flickr and YouTube supported the engagement. Increasing Level of Public Impact 1. Phase I As part of its Greenest City 2020 initiative, Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, used The website was the hub of PARTICIPANTS brainstorming, online discussions, social media, Phase I. The website explained the rationale for Public engagement activities were intentionally and in-person meetings to gather ideas for its being the greenest city in the world, provided designed to hear from the diversity of Vancouver sustainability action plan. background information about the ten goal neighborhoods, paying particular attention to areas, and collected public input. The City age, income, and sector. Although more difficult utilized UserVoice, a crowd brainstorming tool, BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF to track, engagement planners also endeavored to encourage participants to submit an idea for ENGAGEMENT achieving a green goal, comment on an existing to reach out to people with varying degrees of ENGAGEMENT commitment to ‘green’ issues. STATISTICS (JAN 2012) In early 2009 Mayor Gregor Robertson brought idea, and vote for ideas they most support. together a group of independent experts, the A moderator managed the discussion and, The City conducted a survey towards the end C. Involve: Solicit non-binding, influential Greenest City Action Team (GCAT), to imagine importantly, labeled updated the implementation of the process to learn more about online Unique ideas from 730 advice Figure 18: HB Lanarc - Golder used iPads to engage residents in City of North Vancouver on what Vancouver should do to become the status of ideas as ‘in progress’ or ‘completed’ participants. Based on 385 responses, the survey P1 online forum community issues and priorities. greenest city worldwide by 2020. The GCAT as appropriate. This instant feedback loop indicates that most respondents were aged 25-44 Registered users in 3,400 published Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green increased the City’s credibility and demonstrated (61%) and much of the remainder were aged Engagement activities intended to “involve” the P1 and P2 online Future, which outlined 10 goals and related commitment to the effort. Two-way dialogue 45-64 (27%). The vast majority of respondents public ask residents to express their concerns forums Initiatives Initiatives targets to achieve greenest city status. Council between City staff and participants also occurred (95%) speak English at home. Finally, the survey DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TO and aspirations about options or alternatives. ENGAGEMENT “INVOLVE” unanimously approved the 14 targets in January when staff responded to questions in posts. respondents represented a fairly balanced Votes from P1 online 28,000 2010, and approved the Greenest City Action spectrum of household incomes; however, about forum The key difference between “consult” and TOOL Plans (implementation plans) in May 2011. Talk In-person activities ensured that online a quarter of respondents reported incomes of engagement had a real-world impact. The Comments from 2,300 “involve” is that when local governments involve Document • Often initiatives or policy-based projects result in a written document. Green Vancouver is the public engagement City launched Talk Green To Us with a special $100,000 or more. online forum the public, input is directly reflected in outcomes Commenting Local governments receive comments via letters or during public component, intended to assist the City in “Greenest City” edition of Pecha Kucha, which finalizing the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan RESOURCES Visitors to websites 36,000 meetings. Online document commenting systems can also help local was attended by over 2,000 people. Pecha Kucha developed by government. governments solicit feedback. through consultation. Number of cities 1,600+ is regularly-scheduled, worldwide celebration Two full time staff oversaw the public engagement • Google Docs, OpenCongress, and many WordPress plugins offer Vancouver’s two-phase public engagement across 100s of cities where young designers meet, process, plus additional staff time from additional visiting website The following table explains some best practices document commenting functions program was designed to: A) develop plans network, and present their work. Videos of the departments. Additional support was hired to People on City’s 2,300 for using digital engagement tools to involve • Challenges with document commenting include maintaining that reflected public priorities; and, B) cultivate evening’s presentations had almost 3,000 views. design the online tools, website, video creation, mailing list enthusiasm for upcoming implementation efforts. Phase I closed with an ideas slam, where people and coordination and facilitation of distributed residents in specific initiatives or policies. participants’ comments on facts and content, rather than grammar,Digital Tactics Digital Tactics Video views 21,400 style, or graphic layout. To overcome this challenge, it is better to offer who submitted the most popular ideas presented in-person discussions during Phase II. Significant Phase I, started in June 2010, sought to build Twitter followers 3,900 short passages of text to comment on, framing the input with a specific, to a panel of local celebrities, including the Mayor. volunteer hours were contributed by working support for the initiative, foster a sense of targeted question. Working groups analyzed the Phase II input to group members from the community and public Scenario Planners & Calculators Example community ownership, develop organizational draft action plans for each goal area. participants. Facebook fans 2,300 Mapping • Harness local knowledge about a place to identify important issues. partnerships for implementation, collect ideas Ushahidi is a relatively easy to use tool that maps text, photos, and from the public to assist staff Working Groups, 2. Phase II The budget for the overall Greenest City In person attendance 6,000 HB Lanarc – Golder and MetroQuest developed engagement effort was $358,000, excluding videos from user submissions and test new and innovative engagement Phase II featured a new website, at events an Issues & Priorities Survey, which is an methods and tools., and other engagement staff time. City of Vancouver received a Scenario Planners & • Online tools that help people choose between alternative scenarios or interactive, online tool that invites participants Calculators see the effects of decisions made today. Phase II, beginning in January 2011, asked the efforts designed to ask for comment on the draft $324,500 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund to conduct to explore the trade-offs between growth • Tools help make abstract concepts more comprehensible and help public to comment on a draft Action Plan. Phase II plans. Because the plans were long and dense, it the engagement work. Major expenditures for this residents understand trade-offs between decisions aimed to educate and communicate information was challenging to engage the public, resulting in DIGITAL management scenarios through electronic about the plan, collect feedback on the draft plan, less activity online. However, videos for each goal initiative included: ENGAGEMENT TOOLS Ideation & • A focused brainstorming process where people submit a proposal or voting and online surveys. Intended to elicit Prioritization gauge public levels of support, reflect Phase I area increased their accessibility. Decentralized • Pecha Kucha: $24,000 idea/question, users rank the submissions, and then people comment community-led meetings also played a large role • UserVoice ideation preferences and priorities from the public, this public comments, build support and ownership • Website & forum: $60,000 on the submissions. Normally used early in a process to generate ideas in Phase II engagement. The phase closed with • Drupal website for the final plan, and increase the number of city online tool make engagement more fun and and excitement. • Print—online ads: $76,000 staff and community members prepared to be a Greenest City Camp, a full day ‘unconference.’ • Facebook discussion s • Phase 1 engagement: $10,000 accessible, increasing participation. In City of Prediction Market • Speculative markets created for the purpose of predicting something, part of implementation. Approximately 225 people participated in 24 • Twitter where the market price is interpreted as a prediction of the probability sessions, live-tweeting and writing wiki entries for • Phase 2 engagement: $140,000 North Vancouver, for example, over 1,000 people of the event. people who could not to attend in person. • Multi-cultural Outreach: $48,000 • YouTube video sharing 32 participated in two months. • These tools are often used to predict the outcome of elections, and could be an interesting way of gaining insight into the likelihood of a Facebook and Twitter discussions cultivated • • Email updates 33 Flickr image sharing regular conversation about the Greenest City policy or legislation passing • Google analytics
    • behavior in online forums, such as Facebook. Participants also managed each other, ostracizing IMAGINE AUSTIN In addition to online opportunities for participants to give direct feedback, social media has been Some materials and a portion of the website were translated into Spanish. or disciplining problem users. Other policies used to spread awareness about the existence of to address privacy, records storage, and staff BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF Imagine Austin to the general public, as well as to RESOURCESEVALUATING IMPACT social media use concerns are currently being ENGAGEMENT publicize events and give updates on the status developed. Imagine Austin had a budget of $1.34 million for of the project. Media coverage of Imagine Austin,Over 35,000 people participated in the Greenest Imagine Austin is the City’s sustainability-focused its consultant work, which was supplemented by Politically, the desire for a transparent and including print, online, radio, television and otherCity public engagement efforts. More than Comprehensive Plan, which provides broad City staff time. At its peak, more than 100 City staff participatory process justified risk taking by giving video, is posted on both Twitter and Facebook,8,000 people participated during peak events. guidance on how Austin and its extra-territorial across every department in the City were involved up some control over the planning effort was creating a central repository for all plan-relatedImportantly, many participants expressed jurisdiction will grow and develop for the next in the process. required to have a. In return, the City has earned a content.enthusiasm about their experience: three decades. constituency that feels ownership over the issues Imagine Austin launched two campaigns to elicit EVALUATING IMPACT ENGAGEMENT The online component of ‘Talk and a broader public that is aware of Vancouver’s The Imagine Austin visioning process was named content from the public in ways that are unique STATISTICS (JAN 2012) Green to Us’ has been expertly effort to become the greenest city in the world. a national “best practice” by the Alliance for and engaging, both involving social media. The Imagine Austin website measures the managed. Too often I find that Innovation for “Building a Community Vision with “Show and Tell” asked Imagine Austin followers impact of public participation in terms of number Sustained Community Engagement.” of people attending events and materials # Participants for 2,500 organizations solicit my feedback, LESSONS LEARNED on Facebook and Twitter a number of questions Prioritization Tool related to the issues and challenges highlighted distributed. Online feedback was used to and then feed it into a black • Augmenting face-to-face activities with ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES in the plan. Users were asked to submit written refine the Imagine Austin plan draft. Over 2,500 Ideas on ideation 250 hole. Was I heard? Did it make online participation helped make Talk Green residents gave feedback on the priorities survey tool responses via Facebook and photos via Flickr, Initiatives Initiatives a difference? Is anyone really Vancouver successful: Imagine Austin held 3 community forum series which was moderately successful. The second towards the end of the Imagine Austin drafting (composed of public meetings, surveys, speaking # Votes on most 151 with 21 listening? Who knows! ... I’m • Efforts to connect online engagement with process, and the results were made available on engagements, and self-hosted meetings) to campaign, referred to informally as the “White popular idea comments seeing tangible outcomes from my in-person events, such as Tweet-ups at a Board Project,” used a fill-in-the-blank format to the website. consult the community on the community’s People on 2,300 participation which is remarkable bar or inviting event attendees to go online, get community members thinking about what vision for the future, challenges to achieve the mailing list and re-energizing. Hooray for not were crucial. vision, and how Austin should accommodate they imagine for Austin’s future. White boards with LEGAL AND POLITICAL feeling like you’ve wasted your • Creating partnerships with other an additional 750,000 residents over the next the Imagine Austin logo and the lead in phrase “I CONSIDERATIONS YouTube Video 114,282 for time! organizations helped staff reach diverse 30 years. Meetings were supplemented with imagine Austin…” were taken to various meetings views (for all City 295 uploads Because Imagine Austin is a City project, social publics 80,000 flyers, 360,000 utility bill stuffers, 200,000 and events for participants to fill in; they were of Austin)~ Participant of Phase I media staff have had to balance free speech • The Greenest City team experienced some newsletter surveys, and 10,000 door hangings in then photographed with their statement. The Twitter followers 1010 concerns with maintaining a welcoming venueGreenest City measuring impacts of engagement challenges with digital engagement, too: low participation neighborhoods. Other face- photographs were compiled on Flickr and have for the public to engage with staff. In particular,by: website analytics, discussion forum analysis, • It was also important to develop a social to-face activities included community events, been used for promotional materials. Facebook fans 2,180 staff struggled with a frequent commenter hostileonline survey disseminated via email, phoneDigital Tactics Digital Tactics media policy to guide the use of tools presentations to community groups, and expert to the process who uses graphic language and In person 14,900survey, and reports from in-person meetings. like Facebook and Twitter and to manage speaker series. PARTICIPANTS imagery. attendance atThe initiative achieved many of its goals for disruptive online conversations. Afterwards, seven working groups met 6 times Information on types of people reached through eventsPhases I and II, including building relationships • Internally, the initiative was time-intensive, each to develop actions to achieve the vision. A online tools is not available. However, the targetwith communities and individuals who expressed and staff required flexibility from their final series of community forum series was held audiences for Imagine Austin included residents ofa willingness to participate in implementation regular duties to respond to input. to review the plan and set priorities. During this Austin, neighborhood advocates, transportationefforts. Many ideas heard in the brainstorming • Residents were much more involved in idea fourth round of public input, the community was advocates, and other special interest groups. DIGITAL ENGAGEMENTphase were integrated into strategic plans for generation compared to providing feedback invited to submit comments on the plan at public During the plan review phase, 86 participants TOOLSthe ten goal areas, and participants receive on detailed plans. meetings, speaking engagements, by email, and signed up the ideation tool and submitted 31ongoing updates about the effort. Lastly, the ideas for changing the draft plan. • Interactive, Open Source • Some older participants had difficulty using through “Speak Up, Austin,” an ideation toolCity test drove new and innovative engagement Website (Drupal) the website, so they sent emails to City staff that allowed participants to vote for ideas they Nearly 70% of Imagine Austin’s 2,780+methods and tools, some of which are currently agree with as well as discuss individual ideas in • Ideation tool with who then inputted ideas into the online Facebook users are under the age of 45. This isbeing used by other departments. A social media comments. Facebook App integration forum. clear evidence that social media outlets are apractitioners group has begun meeting regularly (custom Drupal module)at the City to foster peer learning. • Staff struggled to track exactly who was Online engagement was intended to gather input powerful way for Imagine Austin staff to reach engaging due to multiple methods of young people, a demographic that is highly • Issue Prioritization tool on: engagement and some technical challenges underrepresented in many in-person public (icanmakeitbetter tool)LEGAL AND POLITICAL • How to prioritize Austin’s 8 programs • Facebook Page in the online venues. meetings. To compare, City statistics show thatCONSIDERATIONS included in the Comprehensive Plan Imagine Austin participants tended to be older, • TwitterThis project experimented with digital • General feedback on the Comprehensive whiter, more educated, wealthier, and more likely • Flickr photo groups 34engagement tools, which necessitated thedevelopment of new policies for the City. Clear • Plan Communicate out to the public on updates to own a home compared to city residents. • YouTube playlist 35 • QR codes on selected“Terms of Use” helped manage disruptive and events materials
    • ALBANY 2030 – CITY ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES Albany 2030’s most effective direct-address method. This method involved volunteers OF ALBANY, NY Albany 2030’s approach to community engagement held diversity as its core principle walking through underrepresented neighborhoods and working through LESSONS LEARNED COMPREHENSIVE PLAN – a commitment to both engage a diverse and 5-minute surveys with residents sitting on representative group of Albany community their stoops and porches. Complementing online activities with face-to-face activities members; and use diverse methods, both digital BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF • Digital: The hub of Albany 2030’s ENGAGEMENT STATISTICS helped make Imagine Austin successful: and person-to-person, to ensure the initiative’s ENGAGEMENT engagement methods met the needs of all digital engagement is its website: www. (JAN 2012) • Imagine Austin’s greatest success with social media was . This interactive site community stakeholders. promoting the “release party.” The draft plan was unveiled Albany 2030 is the City of Albany, NY’s first provided up-to-date information about Facebook Fans 500 to the public at the release party. comprehensive plan. The project is a consensus- Engagement activities can be sorted into four the project and upcoming events, while building process that included innovative and categories: providing the community a portal for Twitter Followers 400 • Social media was used to create awareness, in part by equitable approaches to guide (re)development commenting on draft documents and engaging vendors (such as musicians, food trailers, and • Promotion and Information Sharing: and (re)investment in a manner that meets sharing their ideas. An email distribution Flickr Photos 170 a mobile silkscreen press) who would be at the party in Consistent branding and promotion to raise the needs of residents and businesses while list of more than 1,000 members was dialogue to promote both their presence and the release public awareness including distribution of maintaining the desired character, quality of life, maintained. Twitter and Facebook2 were Distribution List Members 1,100 party itself. thousands of fliers, local event information and environmental and fiscal health of the City. also used extensively to share information • Social media outreach was critical for the large turnout and tables, links from local high-traffic websites, LinkedIn Group Members 65 The final Albany 2030 Plan includes a systems- and stimulate a dialogue about plan proactive media relations, public service Initiatives Initiatives mix of community member at the release party. The event based approach highlighting sustainability topics. LinkedIn helped reach professional Citizen Journal Posts 43 drew many people who have had little or no exposure to announcements, and listserv emails. and interconnections among recommended stakeholders and promote events. Online Imagine Austin previously and attendees came from all over strategies, actions and projects. Extensive • Meetings/Public Forums: Three rounds surveys powered by both Survey Monkey Website Unique Visitors 9,600 the City and represented a wide variety of backgrounds, community engagement was pursued on all of large public forums each held three and Google Docs were used throughout ages, and racial & ethnic groups. aspects of the Plan. meetings in diverse, accessible locations the process. Digital methods were also Survey Respondents 400+ • The Imagine Austin team had experienced some challenges throughout the City at different times of Albany 2030 Goals include: included in the public forums through with digital engagement, too: day. A well-attended supplemental forum Scribd Reads 570 PlaceMatters3 ’ intuitive, web-based • Social media was poorly-used during a long period. • Building consensus among Albany’s was also held in a neighborhood with “Brainstorm Anywhere” keypad polling With few opportunities to update the public on the diverse neighborhoods, residents and disproportionately low turn-out at the application and text message questions via plan, the Imagine Austin team often promoted stories stakeholders through a robust, engaging, major forum series. A condensed “Speed Text the Mob. with questionable connections to Imagine Austin just to varied, interactive and transparent public Planning” event was also developed to maintain daily social media updates. participation initiative that represents all engage young professionals. In addition, PARTICIPANTS DIGITAL ENGAGEMENTDigital Tactics Digital Tactics sectors of the Albany community; topical meetings were held on Climate TOOLS • Other tools, such as the ideation website (Speak Up, Albany 2030’s target audience included all Action and Economic Development. The Austin!), had modest success, but never seemed to take • Developing a strong, sustainable and members of the City of Albany community, • Interactive Drupal website process began and ended with a series off as a forum for Austinites to directly engage with one achievable Vision for Albany that expresses including residents, business owners, local of stakeholder interviews for strategic • Online “Citizen Journal” another. the citizens’ shared values and aspirations employees, visitors and adjacent municipalities. members of local interest groups. A final • Facebook • Imagine Austin created a branded website separate from based directly on community stakeholder Traditionally hard-to-reach populations were public hearing was held after Albany 2030’s • Twitter the main City page. This may have undercut the website’s input and sound research; specifically targeted to ensure participation six-month public review of the Draft Plan. success by failing to reach an existing audience for • Defining a citywide systems-based represented the entire City. • LinkedIn • Direct-Address Outreach: Dozens of Micro- commenting on City policies. framework for how all City plans, initiatives, • In-Forum “Brainstorm Meetings were held throughout the City investments, etc. fit together that will seeking participation from neighborhood RESOURCES Anywhere” keypad polling and sustainably guide the management “Text the Mob” polling associations, public health organizations, Albany 2030 received funding from the New of change and lay the foundation and • Survey Monkey and Google public school children, homeless men at York State Department of State Brownfield reference point for policy and decision Docs surveys the City Mission, Business Improvement Opportunity Areas and Quality Communities making; For more information, contact: Greg Claxton gregory.claxton@ Districts, living facilities for the elderly, etc. Programs; the Hudson River Greenway; • Flickr-enhanced walk-shops • Incorporating Climate Change Mitigation Capitalize Albany Corporation, Stakeholders Walk-shops, interactive walking tours of • Text-message questions and Adaptation in both government and Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy revitalizing neighborhoods1 , were also held • Local blog interaction community sectors; and, Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. to increase visibility of and participation • Email distribution list • Recommending discreet projects to be in the project. Community Drop-Ins were undertaken by the City and its partners • Google analytics set up at the entrances to local grocery that will aid the community in reaching the • Scribd online document 36 Vision by 2030. stores to ask shoppers to provide input for the project. Stoop Surveys, however, were 2!/albany2030 and http://www.face- hosting 37 • EventBrite online event 1 3 registration
    • LEGAL AND POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS Increasing Level of Public Impact No legal or political challenges have come up Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower surrounding Albany 2030’s digital engagementOf this total funding $55,000 was budgeted for methods to date. The Albany 2030 Facebookpublic participation and the expert services of page outlines the following acceptable useconsultant PlaceMatters and covered activities, policy: “This group page is intended to beincluding the Albany 2030 website, large interactive, and Albany 2030 welcomes forums, Climate Conversations, and the Comments or posts deemed to be inappropriateEnergy and Sustainability Office website. - spam, commercial solicitations, profanity, thoseThis funding was supplemented with significant defamatory or inflammatory in nature, politicalin-kind staff resources, roughly 30 percent of the ads, references to illegal activities, etc. - may bePrincipal Planner’s time and volunteer hours by removed. Comments or posts by users of this pageAlbany 2030 Board members and interns, to fill out do not necessarily represent the views of the Citythe project’s engagement efforts. of Albany or the Department of Development and Planning.” The Albany 2030 project has inspired D. Collaborate: Partner with the public on influential choicesEVALUATING IMPACT the use of digital engagement methods in other Initiatives Initiatives initiatives.The effort attracted more than 2,000 active Engagement activities intended to “collaborate” the public askparticipants and reached thousands more throughits promotional efforts. Throughout the process, LESSONS LEARNED residents to partner with government in each aspect of decision-making,voluntary socio-demographic information was Albany 2030’s lessons learned include: incorporating public input into the final decision to the maximum extentcollected to determine which groups were possible. The key difference between “involve” and “collaborate” is that • Important to develop a multi-media strategicmissing from the engagement. New methodswere tailored to meet the needs of these groups plan for engagement at the outset of a collaborating with the public results in significant public influence over the project.and ensure participation representative of the final decision.actual population of the City according to the • Imperative to incorporate new technologies,U.S. Census. Upon completion of the Plan, the but also be creative with low-tech face-to-face methods in order to reach the widest and The following table explains some best practices for using digitalengagement effort closely mirrored Census figureson all key socio-demographic indicators. most diverse audience possible. engagement tools to collaborate with residents about specific initiatives orDigital Tactics Digital Tactics • A consistent, professional brand is helpful policies.Upon completion of the Albany 2030 Plan, in maintaining interest in the project andsurvey respondents rated the quality of the Plan coordinating activities. Promotional materialsas a whole and the engagement activities used should be creative and engaging, as well ashighly and public discourse about Albany 2030 is placed in atypical locations in order to reachpositive and hopeful. The Plan has been delivered beyond typically-represented groups. DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TOto the Common Council for adoption, and • Important to track socio-demographics of ENGAGEMENT “COLLABORATE”recommendations are already being implemented TOOLby City departments. participants along the way. In addition to indicating who is participating, it – more Collaborative Writing • A major challenge online is the collaborative writing of documents.Based on the success of the Albany 2030 importantly – indicates who is not. This Wikis were designed to solve this problem, but Wikis can be aengagement efforts, the City of Albany as a whole provides an opportunity to develop methods confusing software to use for people without strong computer skills.are now embracing digital engagement in their directly targeting these groups. • Google Docs and Microsoft SharePoint are great ways to write aoperations. The Mayor’s Office of Energy and • Providing immediate results of the document collaboratively in a familiar environment. Writeboard andSustainability , for example, partnered with Albany engagement methods helps build trust in Adhocracy are other options accessible through a web browser.2030 throughout the effort and have developed a the community, shows a direct connectionregionally-focused website and launched Facebook between input and outcomes, and provides anand Twitter accounts. Staff is currently developing opportunity for verification.wider digital engagement policies. Figure 19: City of Albany created a branded website for • Important to provide adequate opportunity their comprehensive planning process, separate from the 38 39 for review of the final plan or outcome of the initiative. City website. Throughout the process, City of Albany used consistent and attractive branding. For more information contact: Douglas Melnick, AICP, Director of Planning
    • ATLANTA BELTLINE incorporated into public and private development that uses funding from the City. The development EVALUATING IMPACT Increasing Level of Public Impact The Open Town Hall forum received 300 of the BeltLine 5-year work plan included 5 public Inform Consult Collaborate comments for consultation on transit route Involve Empower meetings and 22 office-hour sessions. More than BACKGROUND & PURPOSE OF 10,000 online surveys and 500 handwritten surveys planning. Consultation using Open Town Hall on an environmental impact statement only received ENGAGEMENT were received and tabulated to help develop the 8 comments. By contrast, the Facebook and The Atlanta BeltLine is a comprehensive work plan. Twitter accounts have many followers and a high ENGAGEMENT redevelopment and mobility project that will level of engagement. STATISTICS (JAN 2012) Online engagement activities include: shape the way Atlanta grows throughout the next • Open Town Hall used by Metropolitan BeltLine staff feel fortunate that the project began several decades. Connecting 45 neighborhoods Unique ideas in 8 Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and as a grassroots project, so the organization has to each other, the project provides a network Open Town Hall Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. to complete a Tier 1 high levels of engagement with surrounding of public parks, multi-use trails, and transit for Environmental Environmental Impact Study2 neighborhoods. The BeltLine’s use of volunteer along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling Impact Statement ambassadors, and giving them the tools to downtown Atlanta. The Atlanta BeltLine is the • Facebook Page, Twitter, and e-newsletter for advocate for the BeltLine online, has helped Unique ideas in 300 E. Empower: Stakeholders own the decisions most comprehensive economic development general updates about the BeltLine and to improve online participation. Open Town Hall effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and keep residents aware of meetings, events, for Transit Route Engagement activities intended to “empower” put final power sharing in among the largest, most wide-ranging urban and new developments. redevelopment projects currently underway in the LEGAL AND POLITICAL Planning Initiatives Initiatives • Social Media Guide to help volunteers the hands of the public. United States. become advocates for the BeltLine CONSIDERATIONS Video views 53,000 for So far, the organization has not experienced any 120 uploads Atlanta BeltLine Inc. is responsible for planning, The following table explains some best practices for using digital implementing, and building the BeltLine, legal challenges with its online engagement. Twitter followers 4,500 PARTICIPANTS engagement tools to engage with residents about a specific initiative or including securing federal, state, and local Neither the Facebook Page or Twitter account funding, coordinating with City of Atlanta The organization does not collect demographic refer to a terms of use policy. policy. information on participants. Rather, the Facebook fans 8,400 departments, continuing the engagement process, and reporting to authorizing bodies. organization asks participants to submit their LESSONS LEARNED ZIP code to differentiate local comments from Website visitors Max 3,300 Atlanta BeltlLine Partnership reaches out to the Factors of success for BeltLine’s social media comments outside of the BeltLine. daily views community to raise awareness and funds with include: private, philanthropic, and community groups. Target audiences for engagement are the • Facebook Page shows YouTube channel The BeltLine is a grassroots initiative. The BeltLine residents of the 45 neighborhoods adjacent toDigital Tactics Digital Tactics videos, Flickr photos, provides a sign up form project began as a Georgia Tech student project, BeltLine properties, affordable housing advocates, for the e-newsletter, and connects to the receiving City Council support and spreading out land developers, youth, and outdoor recreation Open Town Hall forum neighborhood by neighborhood around Atlanta. advocates. • BeltLine Ambassador’s Program lets DIGITAL DIGITAL COMMON USES AND TIPS ON USING THESE TOOLS TO residents advocate on behalf of the BeltLine ENGAGEMENT TOOLS ENGAGEMENT “EMPOWER” ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES RESOURCES using flyers, social media, giving tours, and • Website with resources other activities.3 A Social Media Guide TOOL Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. created a community The BeltLine is primarily funded by Atlanta (not interactive or open shows ambassadors how to effectively use Online-Offline • Online-Offline community creation tools use in-person events and engagement framework to keep Atlanta residents BeltLine Tax Allocation District. While the BeltlLine source) Facebook and Twitter to spread the word Community Creation online forums to get people to convene and act on specific issues. informed and actively engaged in the BeltLine’s project has a $427 million funding stream over 5 about the BeltLine. • Open Town Hall – Forum • This is a relatively new type of engagement tool, and many of the creation. The BeltLine encourages participation years, much of this funding is dedicated to land • Facebook Page • It is important to engage broadly on topics, platforms are still under development. Keep an eye on ChangeByUs, through an advisory committee, a staff acquisition, transportation and transit investment, • Twitter but ask specific, pointed questions when Crabbgrass, and Residentspace Community Advocate, neighborhood-centered trail development, real estate incentives, and asking people to submit their opinions on a • Flickr focus groups, community representative on the other economic development incentives and topic. • Blog Board of Directors, and quarterly status reports studies. Discussion Forum, • Online forums can be a great way to help project organizers manage an published on the website.1 Specifically, the City • e-Newsletter The Director of Communications is responsible Online Message initiative. of Atlanta required the BeltLine to co-develop For more information, contact: Beth McMillan • Comprehensive events Board for online communications, and no budget is • Options include private Facebook groups or Pages, Google Groups, community benefit principles to ensure input from calendar allocated for online communications. Yahoo Groups, bulletin board forums, and Wikis the 45 surrounding neighborhoods would be • Social Media Guide for 40 1 Atlanta Development Authority. BeltLine. http://www.atlan- volunteers 41 3 jsp 2 tabid/3927/Default.aspx
    • Online-Offline Community Collaboration Example As explained in the previous section, the City of New York used the 3 Section III: reparing, Implementing P & Evaluating your Digital Engagement Strategy Initiatives ChangeByUs platform to engage dedicated residents on implementing specific aspects of its Comprehensive Plan. This and similar platforms can be used to gather support and volunteers for implementing other services that cities cannot directly provide but residents demand. In the case of the Atlanta BeltLine, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. created a downloadable guide to help volunteers become online advocates for the BeltLine. The guide shows volunteers how to set up a Facebook and Twitter accounts and how to promote the BeltLine on these services.Digital Tactics Digital Strategy Digital Sustainability Conversations How Local Governments can 42 1 Engage Residents Online Figure 20: Atlanta BeltLine empowered residents to advocate on behalf of the initiative by giving them guidelines for talking about the BeltLine on social media. As a result, the BeltLine’s Facebook and Twitter pages are quite active.
    • LEGEND GUIDEBOOK CHAPTER A STEP BY STEP GUIDE GET READY PREPARE WORKSHEET EXTERNAL LINK TO CREATING, IMPLEMENTING NO & EVAL UAT ING YO U R 1 OK, DONE! 5 DIGITAL Are you ready? Do you have internal YES commitment? WHAT’S IN THIS SECTION: Capacity Assessment Business Case for ENGAGEMENT Internal & External This section of the Guidebook will help you: Assessments Digital Engagement STRATEGY Gain internal commitment • Chapter 8: Get Ready: Assess your readiness for digital engagement 2 6 Have you set your Do you have a digital • Chapter 9: Prepare your organization for digital engagement engagement goals? engagement policy? START Clarify your Develop a digital • Chapter 10: Implement your digital engagement strategy engagement goals engagement policy Smart Chart for Writing Policies communications goals Policy Tool • Chapter 11: Evaluate: Make sense of your initiative’s feedback Policy Examples 3 Are you new to digital Do you know your 7DigitalStrategy engagement? target audiences? Do you have digital engagement teams? Social Media 101 Understanding Identify your target platforms audiences Organize digital NOT WHAT YOU’RE Section I to find tips on How to use common tools engagement teams obtaining senior staff or LOOKING FOR? Council approval to pursue a Have you set up your 4 Have you decided 8 Go to digital engagement strategy. accounts? which tools to use? Do you have digital engagement processes? Grab your organization’s name Select tools for audience Section II to understand more & get to know common tools & engagement goals Clarify roles & about appropriate times and Facebook Flickr Selecting Tools responsibilities techniques for using digital Twitter YouTube 2 engagement tools. Google+ LinkedIn Digital Engagement Tools Reference Managing tools Go to: Get Ready Go to: Prepare Go to: Implement
    • LEGEND IMPLEMENT EVALUATE GUIDEBOOK CHAPTER WORKSHEET 9 13 Do you know where your audience spends Have you set engagement EXTERNAL LINK time online and what their issues are? targets? NO Design for analysis OK, DONE! Chapter 8: GET READY: ASSESS Listen online and evaluation YES YOUR READINESS FOR DIGITAL Set engagement 10 targets ENGAGEMENT Do you know how digital engagement will What does success complement face-to-face interaction? look like? Section II demonstrated a variety of ways that digital tools can be used to engage the public in governance, service provision, and specific initiatives all the way from inform to Use digital tools for 14 16 face-to-face events Do you know how to Have you perfected your empower. measure your impact? strategy? HECK This chapter walks your through series of worksheets inREALITY C !!! Appendices I and II. The worksheets will help you choose tools Given Step 9 and 10, do the Step 4 tools Monitor and Analyze still make sense to use? Data Incorporate appropriate to your capacity level and resource availability. organizational Measure your impact learning Specifically, this chapter will help you decide: Selecting Tools 4 key social media Digital Engagement metrics A. Are you ready? Self-assess your capacity for digital Digital Strategy Tools Reference engagement and confirm it with internal and external key informant interviews 11 15 !!! Do you have a plan to keep Have you closed the loop? Are you sure? There is always B. Have you set your engagement goals? Create engagement your content fresh? room for improvement! goals and select your desired level of power sharing for the public Develop a content Report back to C. Do you know your target audience? Identify target strategy participants audiences Messaging for D. Have you decided which tools to use? Select tools to suit sustainability your capacity, engagement goals, and target audiences Effective Strategies FINISH 12 Are you prepared for disasters? Know the risks Managing reputation 5 Go to: Evaluate
    • A. Are you ready? Assess your Capacity for Digital Confirm your Self Assessment with Internal and C. Do you know your target audiences? Engagement External Interviews Ty e nc Who are you engaging? Why them? pic To begin, it will be helpful to determine your organization and After completing this self-assessment, we encourage { die a l“ your community’s capacity for digital engagement. Digital you to complete some internal and external interviews to Au Who needs to be involved (and how much) for your As media tools require a significant amount of time, commitment, gather more details about your engagement strengths et engagement effort to be legitimate, credible, and influential? ks rg ” and sometimes, financial resources for them to work well. So, and challenges. Interviews with community members are a Create, Ta it is important to determine if you have enough resources to great way to find out which online tools are best suited to Begin by listing the characteristics of your target audiences: Manage 1% whole Champions community audience follow your project through from beginning to end. communicate with residents. • How many people represented in this group; Committed Author or upload For tips on how to pick people to interview and what Advocates media, Moderate { Start by Self-Assessing your Capacity for Digital • What demographics they represent; and, questions to ask, see Appendix I. Pay bills, fees, fines, 9% whole Engagement Members { Comment audience • Whether the group represents stakeholders or the public The Self-Assessment worksheet in Appendix I walks B. Have you set your engagement goals? more generally. Create account, Share, Pin, Silent Majority Follow, Subscribe, Friend, Tag 90% whole you through questions intended to gauge whether your Before you start planning your engagement effort, carefully audience Remember that most projects have a number of stages and Read, Like, Find us on Facebook, organization or department meets critical conditions for consider what you want to achieve by involving the public in The Crowd you may wish to engage different people at different points Find us on Twitter engagement, and whether your residents are ready to engage your local government’s activities. Use Appendix II to answer on your timeline. See Appendix II for a worksheet to help you online. key questions like: Figure 22: Your digital engagement activities will involve various target identify these audiences. audiences who want to participate in different ways. The bottom of the pyramid • What is the issue that you are engaging on or what represents the vast majority of your target audience. They are only vaguely aware Your digital engagement activities will involve various target Successful Engagement decision is being made? audiences who want to participate in different ways: of your initiative and would rather just stay informed about it. As you move up the pyramid, your participants become more engaged in and passionate about • Champions your initiative. So, you should seek to get more in-depth feedback from themDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy • Why is now the right time? and give those participants more ways to get more involved. • Committed Advocates • Who will act on the results of this decision? • Members • Silent Majority Community • What are your desired outcomes? • Crowd Champions Capacity • What level of power sharing on the IAP2 Spectrum As shown in Figure 22, champions and decision-makers will Champions are external community leaders who are the main is appropriate for this initiative? Will the level of the comprise less than 1% of your whole audience on average. organizers supporting your initiative. Find champions who can participant’s power sharing vary throughout the project, About 9% of your whole audience will consist of committed act as a bridge to your target audiences. Champions may also and if so how? Power sharing may vary by audience and/ advocates and reviewers. More than 90% of your whole include elected officials, such as the Mayor or members of or by phase or timing in your initiative. audience will be the silent majority and crowd. council. Senior Support & Direction For additional resources on thinking strategically about your Consider this breakdown of audiences when selecting digital With champions, plan to meet face-to-face in small, regular communications goals and objectives, see: engagement tools; tools that require a lot of effort and meetings to keep each other appraised of the initiative’s involvement, like forums, are appropriate for your champions progress. • Spitfire Strategies’ Smart Chart 3.0 http://www.smartchart. 6 Figure 21: Effective engagement has senior-level support and direction, staff who can carry out the engagement, and community members who are willing org/ and committed advocates. However, 90% of your audience may 7 and able to participate. Assess your internal and external capacity to consider prefer to engage by subscribing to email updates or sharing whether you are ready for digital engagement. In other words, do you have a information with friends. strong foundation for digital engagement?
    • Committed Advocates Crowd Finally, review your engagement goals and the level of power If you would like to collaborate with or empower a target sharing that you selected. Which tools meet your audiences’ audience, consider investing some resources into your Committed advocates or activists are members of your The Crowd includes people who are aware of your initiative or needs and your engagement goals? digital engagement strategy and try a medium capacity tool. community who work with champions on activities that issues related to it. They may not know specific details related Designing a strong engagement program, monitoring and support (or oppose!) your initiative. Use your champions to to your project. Remember that a low capacity agency should choose one or responding to discussions, and analyzing and reporting back identify local advocates who are paying attention to your two tools listed below to experiment with, and avoid trying to feedback can be resource-intensive. Don’t forget to review the initiative and can share key messages with members, the silent Think about this audience in terms of people who are really use too many new methods at once. interested in your initiative, but just don’t know it yet. Target administrative tools at the end of this section, too. majority, and crowd. this audience with links to more information and ask them Does your target Low Capacity Digital Free or paid Consider recruiting committed advocates for focus group to participate in “broad engagement” techniques, such as audience use Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower Engagement Tools software? activities, volunteer canvassing polling or interviews, online surveys and other online opportunities for input. this tool? moderation, event volunteering, and other activities. Communities of Practice* D. Have you decided which tools to use? (LinkedIn Groups, Quora, Forums) Members At this point you have you have answered the questions in e-Newsletter* (Constant Members belong to organizations run by your champions Worksheets I and II to determine: whether you have low, Contact, MailChimp) and advocates. They also may be interested members of the medium, or high capacity for digital engagement; your Event Registration* public who do not officially belong to a particular group, but engagement goals; and, your target audiences. (EventBrite and feel strongly affiliated to an issue or neighborhood. Now, use the following tables to help you select appropriate Facebook Page* Consider inviting members to your in-person events using digital engagement tools. If you can, try to fill in the first online tools and ask them to share the invitation with column, “Does your target audience use it?” Listservs + Email Notification Systems* (Majordomo, their friends. Members are also a good group to invite toDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy For more details about the definitions, pros, and cons Google Groups, Yahoo demonstration projects, such as a tree planting or composting of digital engagement tools, please refer to the Digital Groups) demonstration. Engagement Reference Document in Appendix III. Microblogging* (Twitter, Tumblr) Silent Majority Low Capacity Tools Online Advertising (Facebook Ads, Google AdWords) The Silent Majority are people who are generally supportive If Appendix I indicated that you have low capacity for of and actively listening to issues surrounding your initiative. digital engagement, use this table to help you select digital RSS (automatic syndication of They generally do not participate as much as other groups online content) engagement tools. First, review your audiences: champions, due to barriers-to-participation like time, perceived self- committed advocates, members, silent majority, and crowd. Social Bookmarking, efficacy, or awareness of the opportunity. Link Sharing (Reddit, Then, indicate in the first column which of these groups of Delicious, Digg, AddThis, Consider conducting an informal poll with members of this audiences use particular tools. For help figuring out whether StumbleUpon) audience to find out what it would take to involve them more target audiences use tools, consult Chapter 10 on listening. Website in your initiative, such as the provision of daycare. Target this 8 audience with “broad engagement” techniques, such as Afterwards, fill out the last row, titled “your website.” Websites can do everything from “inform” to “empower.” How does Your website 9 surveys and other online opportunities for input. your website measure up? *These tools all have their own contact databases. If you use more than one, consider using CRM software (Constituent/Customer Relationship Management)
    • Medium Capacity Tools Next, review your engagement goals and the level of power sharing that you selected. Which tools meet your audiences’ If Appendix I indicated that you have medium capacity for needs and your engagement goals? Review low capacity tools High Capacity Tools Next, review your engagement goals and the level of power digital engagement, use this table to help you select digital sharing that you selected. Which tools meet your audiences’ on the previous page, as well as medium capacity tools on If Appendix I indicated that you have high capacity for engagement tools. First, review your audiences. Then, needs and your engagement goals? Review low and medium this page. Consider reviewing high capacity tools listed on digital engagement, use this table to help you select digital indicate in the first column which of these groups of audiences capacity tools on the previous pages, as well as high capacity the following page, as you may wish to invest some resources engagement tools. First, review your audiences: champions, use particular tools. For help figuring out whether target tools on this page. and try a high capacity tool. Don’t forget to review the committed advocates, members, silent majority, and crowd audiences use tools, consult Chapter 10 on listening. administrative tools at the end of this section, too. and indicate in the first column whether they use these tools. Don’t forget to review the administrative tools at the end of Does your target For help figuring out whether target audiences use tools, this section, too. Medium Capacity Digital Free or paid consult Chapter 10 on listening. audience use Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower Engagement Tools software? this tool? Blogging, Photo Blogging (Wordpress, Blogger) Does your target High Capacity Digital Free or paid Crowd Sourcing (Open 311, audience use Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower Engagement Tool software? SeeClickFix, CitySourced) this tool? Crowd Funding Collaborative Writing & Wikis (CivicSponsor, KickStarter) (Google Docs, PB Works, Wikispaces, Writeboard) Discussion Forum / Online Message Board (BB Press, Live Streaming (, Qik, PHP BB) Ustream, CoverItLive) Document Commenting (Google Docs, SharePoint) Mapping (Google Maps, Document Tracking and Hosting Ushahidi, Yelp, Zonability) (CivicWeb FilePro, Sribd)DigitalStrategy Digital Strategy Ideation (Give A Minute, Online Chat (Jabber, Skype, UserVoice, Ideascale, Facebook Chat) Icanmakeitbetter, AllOurIdeas, Google Moderator) Prediction Market (Spigit) Online - Offline Community Scenario Planning + Creation (ChangeByUs) Calculators (CommunityViz, Media Sharing - Photos MetroQuest) (Flickr, Picasa, Pinterest) Serious Games Structured Online Deliberation (ConsiderIt, Open Town Hall, Civic Media Sharing - Video Evolution, Delib, Debate (YouTube, Vimeo) Graph) Survey (SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, Wufoo, Google Virtual Worlds (Second Life) 10 Forms) Webcast & Discussion 11 Bulk text messaging (SMS (Google+ Hangout, Poll, SayZu, Twitter) LiveMeeting, GoToMeeting)
    • Administrative Tools The following administrative tools are important to help you monitor, manage, and evaluate your digital engagement strategy. Chapter 9: PREPARE YOUR ORGANIZATION FOR DIGITAL Digital ENGAGEMENT Low Medium High Free or paid Engagement Chapter 8 walked you through the core elements of a digital Capacity Capacity Capacity software? Tool engagement strategy. By now you have: Google HubSpot, • Identified your capacity for digital engagement Analytics Analytics Radian6 Wordpress, • Created engagement goals Drupal, ChangeByUs, Platforms Joomla, • Identified target audiences YouTown, WikiPlanning, / Multiple SocialText, PlaceSpeak, CivicWeb engagement SharePoint methods Yammer CMS, 2010, Spigit, • Picked tools suitable for your capacity, engagement goals, and Engagement HQ Jive SBS target audiencesDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy Constituent SustainNet, SalesForce, Chapter 9 tackles organizational preparedness for your digital Relationship High Rise CiviCRM Management engagement strategy. In Chapter 9 you will examine: Content Wordle, A. Do you have internal commitment? Gain internal commitment DiscoverText nVivo Analysis ManyEyes supporting your digital engagement strategy B. Do you have digital engagement teams? Organize digital Online PayPal, engagement teams in your agency Payments EventBrite C. Do you have digital engagement processes? Assign roles and responsibilities for digital engagement Hootsuite, Social media Tweetdeck, management Seesmic Netvibes, Social Google Technorati, Radian6, Media Alerts, Twitter 12 Monitoring Google Reader Grader Sysomos 13
    • A. Do you have internal commitment? understand what this is about.” Your notes and listening skills B. Do you have digital engagement teams? • Digital engagement teams and their members have the will help you hear the difference. Understanding what key autonomy to innovate and respond to the public quickly You may need council or senior staff’s approval for your decision makers are excited about helps too. As part of your digital engagement strategy, you may civic engagement strategy or for initiating the use of digital recommend staffing or role adjustments and/or cross- • Social media monitoring and other management tools engagement tools. It’s likely that you will have to present a departmental collaboration. As the number of staff with digital are effectively used to evaluate the success of digital digital engagement strategy for approval. Present your case engagement skills increase in your organization, it is important engagement Your third step is to respond. Once you know what kind of to figure out how to: To do this, Options exist for how organizations distribute digital resistance exists to the project, you can craft a response. • Share learning and best practices between digital engagement responsibilities. Generally digital teams are • Write up a description of your project and why digital Use your judgment about the right kind of format for your engagement practitioners across different departments; organized one of four ways: 52 engagement is a sensible solution, you may find Chapter response, whether it is a briefing memo or invitation to look 3 helpful here for developing your business case. together at another local government’s web presence. • Ensure consistent and responsive messaging, so that your • Informal: This is a very common model of organizing digital • Add your findings from Chapter 8 – the core of your agency speaks with “one voice;” and, engagement staff in local governments. Digital engagement Your case should include budget and staff implications. responsibilities “pop up” in various departments. While digital engagement strategy. • Manage multiple content contributors easily. • Present success stories - use the case studies in Section this model offers staff freedom to experiment and innovate, • Finish with some estimates about staffing requirements organizations sometimes suffer from inconsistent messages and costs. You may find it helpful to refer to some similar II to showcase some examples and successes. The best way to share learnings, collaborate between departments, ensure consistent and responsive messaging, to the public and overlapping responsibilities between and successful examples, in which case, refer to the case • Show how easy digital engagement is - consider departments. If this is your organization, try meeting your studies in Section II. hosting a brown bag lunch or demonstration session and manage multiple contributors is to organize your digital engagement staff into “digital teams.” digital engagement counterparts in other departments and If all goes well, leadership will be already open to the idea of during staff meetings or a one on one with a councilor. strategizing about how to present a more unified image to digital engagement and just need to receive a regular project Appendix IV has some great information on how to use Effective digital teams tend to have the following the public. briefing. Before you write your digital engagement capacity common online tools. characteristics: 51 for approval, however, it is important to do some research. • Use metrics - some council members and senior • Centralized: In this model, digital engagement staff areDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy managers may need hard numbers and measurable • Communications department oversees all digital all located in one department with strong leadership. results to understand the opportunity. engagement communications to the public. Digital Organizations with this model benefit from consistent Listen and get feedback engagement communications are published by a variety messaging, shared use of common tools, and easy reporting • Be prepared for common fears and misconceptions - of departments across an organization. It is becoming lines. However, they can lack innovation, be slow to respond, Begin by speaking with your colleagues. If possible, have Be realistic about what these approaches can accomplish. one-on-one discussions with councilors or managers to get increasingly rare that digital engagement staff are located and have a poor grasp on department-specific content. Explore both positives and negatives perceptions and in an IT or marketing department Try introducing social media management tools to this feedback. Pitch your idea in an exploratory tone, asking for alternatives, including fears of wasted time and resources. feedback in very early stages of the project. What’s most department, like MediaFunnel, so that other departments • Ask for a shared understanding of scope - aim for an • Responsibility for generating content, monitoring can help generate content and respond to the public. important here is to listen! Take note of the perceptions and comments, and engaging the public in conversations concerns of the people you talk to. up front understanding of what your government will and won’t do on the social web before larger projects begin. happens at the departmental level and is distributed • Independent: Digital engagement staff are distributed throughout an organization. In each department, a few throughout an organization. In this model, it is common for Build your case To be successful, digital engagement requires a mix of people share the responsibility some departments to have much better skills or technologies authenticity, openness, transparency and to a certain extent than other departments. Although this model can duplicate Second, interpret what you’ve heard from each conversation giving up control. This may a different way of working • Someone in an oversight or management role has resources and confuse the public, some staff have in-depth 14 and identify the single biggest concerns of each person you spoke to. Remember that while council and senior staff may compared to your organization’s habits and norms about “how things happen.” So, use education through discussion to a background in user experience or information architecture. This is an important skill for ensuring that digital engagement knowledge that can be shared with their 15 colleagues. say, “It will cost too much,” they could really mean “I don’t make the case for digital engagement. online engagement is designed well.
    • Consider integrating these roles in • Hybrid: Departmental staff pick digital engagement C. Roles and Responsibilities for Digital Engagement Role Description and Supporting Activities your staff job descriptions to ensure methods and tools to suit specific needs. These staff are connected to and supported by a central and strong digital Which staff members will be responsible for what? Staff time and Determine goals and measures of • Overall goals and measures of success ensure that the digital engagement process stays on task that staff know that these tasks are team that steers the organization’s long-term strategic goals. financial resources are needed for project planning, discussion success an organizational priority and each Regardless of what kind of digital team structure your local moderation, IT support, quick responses to participants, and input analysis and evaluation. Depending on the size of your Set up digital engagement • This role chooses the tools that will work well and fit your financial and time constraints. are aware of their responsibilities. tools • Shapes the local government’s online identity through government now has, you can improve the effectiveness digital engagement process, you may have large volumes of text branding of your digital teams by informally networking with your and results to analyze and integrate into policy development Is digital engagement a part-time job? Develop • Engage your communications and legal teams to develop colleagues. By attending “Social Media Club” MeetUp. processes, which can be time consuming. 53 guidelines and principles for how staff and elected officials should com events, having monthly lunches together, or meeting policies participate in your digital engagement efforts, addressing Engaging with the public via social media is something that after work for drinks, your digital engagement staff can share The following table is an overview of digital engagement issues such as privacy, security, and employee productivity. takes a little bit of time on a regular basis and is manageable Develop response strategies for extreme scenarios. lessons learned, new ideas, share workloads, and figure out responsibilities throughout an engagement process: during work hours (mostly!). At least one full time staff person • You may also want to create terms of use for the public, so ways to reduce inefficiencies. you have a method for addressing problem users is required to coordinate a large digital civic engagement Create & publish • Content should be interesting, timely, and regularly updated. project, half time if the digital engagement is limited. content • Keep in mind the informal tone of communicating on the Ongoing, a staff person should dedicate approximately 1/3 of internet INFORMAL CENTRALIZED LEGEND their time towards your government’s social media presence. Monitor & • Digital engagement tools, especially social media tools, need DIGITAL respond to input constant monitoring and updating throughout the lifecycle of your project. Failing to monitor and update your online ENGAGEMENT efforts is one of the key reasons for failure. Time of Day • Delegate a staff member, or a staff team to regularly monitor and update your social media presence – initiating and Are you hoping to engage residents or stakeholders? The DIGITAL maintaining conversations with users, addressing questions answer to that question may help you decide on whether to ENGAGEMENT Department and concerns, removing offensive or unwanted messages post early on a work day or in the evening or weekends. You (SPAM), and keeping information up to date.DigitalStrategy Digital Strategy may be able to find this out with a look at the email address Analyze & Reflect • All team members should play some role in this effort, although those involved in day-to-day management will domains of your contacts; you may have more success certainly take the lead on this. reaching people on their work addresses early in the morning. • Be sure to record and share your lessons learned with other departments – we’re all learning in this new digital Try reaching people on their Yahoo or Gmail accounts in late engagement environment! afternoon. INDEPENDENT HYBRID Digital Role Online marketers state that the best time to tweet is between Consider whether your staff need additional training or could 9am and 3pm. Facebook users are more likely to engage DIGITAL with a post before noon and on Wednesdays and Fridays. ENGAGEMENT benefit from outside expertise as part of the implementation. If an intern or temporary employee is leading the day-to-day As, younger and more urban people tend to go online while maintenance of your online presence, ensure that they will travelling from one place to another, using smart phones, DIGITAL be responsible for that work for the duration of the project or tablets, or laptops, consider posting content during morning ENGAGEMENT make certain that another staff member takes over the task so and afternoon commutes. that the site continues to be maintained and updated. If scheduling Twitter or Facebook updates is challenging for 16 Digital your organization, you can use an application like as Timely or 17 Department HootSuite, which automatically schedule posts to create the maximum impact and reach.
    • What kind of lead time do I need for digital to schedule a status update in the future, at a time when engagement? you might be busy or outside of work hours. When planning your digital engagement, it is important to • Automatically monitor the internet for buzz: consider when you need to start using the tools and how long Anticipate challenges by monitoring specific keywords it takes to get them up and running. Set up time is dependent with Google Alerts and HootSuite. This way, you can be on: the first to know about and respond to praise or criticism • How many tool options there are about a particular initiative • Procurement rules and organizational requirements to Chapter 10: IMPLEMENT YOUR approve use of the tool Managing multiple users, working with other • Customization and reporting set-up departments DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY • Staff training, if needed In Chapter 8 we prepared a digital engagement strategy, and in It can be challenging for a digital team to manage multiple Generally speaking, setting up a new Facebook or Twitter Chapter 9 we explored ways to get your organization on board with users submitting content from a variety of departments. To account should take an afternoon or less to set up. Many the strategy. improve workflows while providing a “single voice” to the turnkey online solutions, like online surveys or ideation tools public: Chapter 10 contains tips for implementing a digital engagement just require a few days to purchase the tool and design the strategy. In Chapter 10 you will learn how to: engagement. • Ensure consistent messaging: With limited time and budget, one way to reach a large audience online is by A. Listen online to find iinfluencers, controversial issues, and locate A custom-built website, on the other hand, may take a developing relationships with influencers, or people who where residents spend time online contractor 6 weeks to 4 months to develop, depending on its generate a lot of buzz online. B. Using digital engagement tools at face-to-face events level of complexity. • Have multiple users manage social media accounts: C. Messaging for SustainabilityDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy Managing multiple digital engagement accounts and You can use CoTweet or MediaFunnel to let multiple D. Manage Online Conversations campaigns users share a corporate Twitter account with varying permissions levels. To learn more about the specifics of using common tools, please Managing multiple digital engagement accounts and see Appendix IV. For more information about creating employee campaigns can be time consuming for your digital team. To internet usage policies or terms of use policies for the public, see save time: Chapter 4: Understanding and Overcoming Risks. D. References • Consolidate accounts into one place: Software like MediaFunnel, Tweet Deck, Seesmic, and HootSuite, 51. Communicopia. 2011. Non-profit digital Teams: Benchmark Research Results. are software applications that consolidate social media 52. Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog. “Four Models for Managing Digital at your Organization.” accounts across Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, LinkedIn, 53. Macnamara, J. 2010. The Quadrivium of Online Public Consultation: Policy, Foursquare, Flickr, and other networks. Culture, Resources, Technology. Australian Journal of Political Science, 45(2), 227-244. doi:10.1080/10361141003736141 • Schedule tweets, blog posts, or status updates: One of the most powerful tools in social media management 18 software like MediaFunnel and Tweet Deck, is the ability 19
    • A. Listening Online to find influencers, controversial Listening involves three primary activities: Tracking key issues Reach out to online influencers for issues, and where residents spend time online • Finding influencers help spreading your key messages Another benefit of listening online is knowing what people are ‘Listening’ refers to the use of monitoring and tracking tools to • Tracking key issues saying about issues and people important to you and finding • Locating digital engagement tools that are popular with Determining which digital engagement tools are identify conversations that are taking place online. controversial issues early on in a process. Listening online residents about issues only takes a few steps: popular with constituents Listening precedes engaging with the public, because hearing Finding influencers Be sure to offer participants digital engagement tools that what others are saying about your local government informs • Choose a few keywords that describe your local they are likely to use. your digital engagement strategy. Read or ‘listen’ to what is government, department, or initiative. You can revise To build relationships with the groups and individuals in your keywords over time, so don’t worry about not capturing said online by your local government’s residents, businesses, Track Activity in Online Venues community: all of them at first. Include your local government’s name, and thought leaders to see how satisfied and unsatisfied they feel about your local government in general, the elected • Find out who are the leading online voices for these departments, services, elected officials and well known Your listening activities will give you an indication of where representatives, your service, and key issues in the community. groups. Where do these groups meet or get their staff, community leaders and assets, your website address your constituents are most active online. information online? and social media account names. Don’t forget to track key Listening is an important part of your staff’s professional Using Surveys or Sign Up Forms to Ask Participants issues facing your community, too. learning, because it demonstrates how staff members impact • Find influencers by search for active Twitter users and If you offer a survey or sign up form during an initiative before communities and highlights issues that matter to your bloggers in your community using Technorati and Twitter • Search for your keywords with tools that go through the starting a major online campaign, ask people for geographic community. Make listening a daily activity, and consider who Grader. Internet for you to tell you what people are saying. Google and demographic information or for a list of online places in your organization should be performing this role. Is it best • Get in contact with the leaders of each group to determine Search Alerts and NetVibes are great tools to use for this. where they spend time. for your government to have one person, a team, or the whole the best ways to encourage participation by their organization involved? • Analyze the results. Look for patterns. What topics are community. Each community knows best what issues Choosing to ask these questions at the start of your talked about the most? The least? Where are these online and approaches will make sense for their members. engagement effort ensures that you know who you’re conversations happening (blogs, Facebook, etc.)? hearing from, but it can cause some people to leave withoutDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy • Stay in touch with your participants by sending updates • Summarize findings. What have you learned about your participating in the engagement project. LISTENING ONLINE on the project, inviting them for a ‘sneak peek’ or asking local government, its programs, and community issues? for their advice Conducting Research NetVibes is a great tool for listening online. Where conversations are happening online, and what • Remember to thank everyone who shared their time are people talking about there? Who are the active and This browser application collects the feeds of Use research completed by Pew or online marketing The following tools can help you identify who are the main influential people online, especially on blogs and on companies, like HubSpot, to find out which digital multiple blogs and websites and displays them Twitter? engagement tools are popular with various demographic influencers in your target audience: in a dashboard for easy reading. groups in different geographies. • – Use to find out who the most influential • Act. How might you apply what you have learned in Other listening tools include: Twitter users are by city your public input process? For negative comments, what Running Targeted Advertising perception do people have and is this a true complaint? • Google Alerts • Technorati – An online index of global blogs that also New issue or recurring? How can you address it or fix the Run test ads (or real ones) with Google and Facebook • Social Media Mention publishes “The State of the Blogosphere” report and “Top problem? Ads to find out its potential reach. This shows you which • Topsy 100” lists. As you can search for blogs by topic or location, demographic groups (organized by age, gender, household • Identify any individuals that you think may be income, and level of education) frequent the website where 20 • WeFollow it is a good way to find influential bloggers. influencers in your social media space that you want to you would place the ad. Google Ad Planner provides 21 • Technorati • Topsy – tracks the flow of content across the Twitterverse cultivate relationships with. additional useful information, such as other websites that and is a good way to find influential Twitter users. visitors frequent.
    • B. Using Digital Engagement Tools at Face-to-Face engagement tools, you may wish to bring materials to events C. Messaging for Sustainability • Message Example: “Congratulations on your new Energy Events so you can: Star home! Clearly, you are someone who cares about Civic engagement is highly values-based. Values are based on the environment.” Then later, “At ABC Power, we know There are some special considerations when using digital • Capture: take pictures of group activities, flip charts, and “mental models,” which are how people understand the world that you care about the environment. You can purchase engagement tools at face-to-face events. other knowledge products. and explain new information. Values can correlate to people’s renewable electricity, powered by Valley Wind Farm. To membership in subcultures, religion, race, ethnicity, glass, age, receive power from the Cedar Creek coal-fired power • Record: video record the story of the day. Edit as Using Mobile Phones gender, or occupation. Understanding your audience’s values plant instead, please send us a written request to this summary or use to promote outcomes. You can also post can help you communicate messages by using metaphors, address.” the whole record to share event details with more people Although not everyone has a smartphone, most of your analogies, narrative storytelling, images, scenarios, data, and residents will have a mobile phone with text messaging • Webcast and chat: stream your event live to participants presenters who resonate with your audience’s values. • Emotional and visual cues can also show that capabilities. You can use participants’ mobile phones to: 54 who are unable to attend in person, and offer a space for environmental behavior is more attractive. People are webcast viewers to communicate with one another. 10 principles for sustainability communications56 more open to trying new things when other changes • Vote: Use text message tools to capture participant in their lives are happening, such as getting married, preferences and report them back in real time. • Collaboratively Write: Wikis offer an online collaborative 1. Focus on Prevention and Promotion 55 moving, starting a new job, having a baby, retiring, or space where small group recorders can post notes from experiencing a change in the seasons. • Record Photos and Video: Record small group activities • People use two different approaches to solve problems their discussions, or small groups can collaborate if there with photos or short videos. Include these in reports and and achieve goals. Prevention-focused individuals feel • Message Format: A picture of a celebrity or respected a number of computers available. encourage online sharing morally-bound to achieve a goal and are concerned local person waiting for a bus can help change attitudes • Twitter: create a hashtag so participants can reflect on with maintaining the status quo. As a result, they aim about public transit. Accessible Engagement to minimize or decrease losses. Prevention-focused the session in backchannel discussions, or respond to 2. Use Local Examples questions. Consider projecting the twitter stream during Your participants are likely to have diverse digital abilities, so messages encourage vigilance, such as “take care appropriate points in the event keep in mind the need to accommodate a range of: to recycle properly” or “when you don’t recycle, the • Identify local or regional impacts related to your initiative.DigitalStrategy Digital Strategy community is hurt in the following ways.” Be sure to keep the impacts personal, focusing on “my • Search: encourage participants to check facts and bring • Language and literacy skills: Consider using video and • Promotion-focused people prefer to act early to maximize region, my town, my street, my house, me.” in additional knowledge translating materials. Post information about how to use gains. They are more concerned with promoting the tools and a way to ask questions. • For example, if you are completing a comprehensive • Network: free Bump App for iPhones to exchange advancement. Promotion-focused messages encourage plan that protects shorelines, link shoreline protection to contact information wirelessly • Technologies (operating systems, browsers, internet residents to “go the extra mile,” such as “it is worth climate change and identify experienced and potential bandwidth): Test your applications and emails in a variety your effort to recycle” or “each time you recycle, the If you know that you are engaging with a group that does not local climate change impacts. Extreme weather events of platforms and internet speeds. Don’t forget mobile community benefits in the following ways.” have wide access to text messaging, consider using keypad are good opportunities to remind residents of potential platforms! • Be sure to use a mix of both messages to reach the polling instead. climate change impacts. broadest possible audience. • Types of internet access (home/school/work/public • Don’t forget to use local role models or respected locations): Internet access location will affect when, how To focus on promotion, call to people’s “aspirational Being well-prepared with other equipment self.” Messages that focus on home improvement, self partners to deliver your messages. many times, and for how long participants get involved. At in-person events, it is very important to capture improvement, green space, innovation, and patriotism can be • Message Example: “Climate change increases the • Vision, hearing or other impairments: Make sure your quite successful. Find out what your audience’s aspiration is, information, record it and present it back to participants, likelihood of extreme weather events. Natural areas along 22 make information available to people who could not attend, online efforts are machine readable. Videos should be available in closed captioned, and users should be able and label people with that aspiration when they complete a our shorelines protect us from hurricanes. Hurricane 23 and demonstrate outcomes. When convening with digital positive action. Use that aspirational cue to remind people to Katrina is an example of how deadly and costly extreme to adjust text size on websites. create new habits. weather events can be.”
    • • Message Example: “This year the Arbor View • People also feel empathy about losses. So, when talking Walkable communities can help us address our obesity 9. Make Good Decisions the Easy or Default Option neighborhood reduced its electricity consumption by about disappearing farmland or open space, show the epidemic as well as improve mental health. 15%, enough to power 5 homes for a month! This holiday images and stories of the people and animals threatened • Create a user experience that makes poor decisions season, think about using LED lights on your Christmas by urban encroachment. 7. Ignore Whole-Scale Detractors expensive or difficult to do; however, provide decision trees.” alternatives that all residents can choose from. In other • Message Example: “The US Energy Information • When reminding residents about an environmental words, it is important that government communications 3. Create Agency by Identifying Actions to Take Now Administration estimates that oil prices may rise beyond problem, like climate change, ignore critics that challenge line up with government policy. It does no good to permit $200/barrel in the next two years. That means by 2 year- whether the issue is even a problem or not. Instead, state urban chickens or community gardens if applying for the • Make people feel like they can make a difference right old SUV will cost me $140 a week to fill up.” that the issue is a problem and clearly explain how that same is a three-month, 20-step process. now. People often “discount” the future. In other words, problem impacts residents’ lives. the benefits of impacts or activities that take place in the 5. Balance Analytical Learning with Experiential Learning • Default options are appropriate when someone is future, such as earning money, experiencing cleaner air, or • Be sure to identify and correct misconceptions. performing an action “on auto pilot,” like riding transit. weatherizing a home, are underestimated. To overcome • People process and learn through logic and analysis Sustainability encompasses complex issues, which are Easy choice options are appropriate when people are this, ask people to commit to a binding agreement, such as well as emotions and intuition. Try to balance facts, often poorly understood. making decisions, like buying a house. With default as meeting with a home weatherization expert. graphs, and charts with images, stories, simulated and easy choice options, build in reminders so people decision-making, and personal/emotional appeals. In • Message Example: “Look for the “CFC-Free” label on aerosol cans. CFCs are a type of chemical that damage remember to change their habits. • Provide a checklist with the logical next steps (similar other words, don’t forget to illustrate your message with a and bigger “asks”) for this action, such as installing a picture. the ozone layer in our atmosphere. These chemicals • Message Example: “In the downtown core, we have programmable thermostat, replacing a roof, etc. Or, let more cancerous UV rays in and contribute to global installed time-of-use parking meters, raising the cost of provide residents with a free energy kit to get going. 6. Use Interconnected Examples warming.” parking during peak times. You can still park for free in Park Once you have asked someone to complete a small task • Environmental messages that are also national security, 8. Take Care when Showing People their Poor Decisions And Ride lots, and we have increased the frequency of (or you have given them something), it is easier to ask health, or other sector messages are a great way to get Rapid Bus on the red line. Don’t forget that this month you them to do something more involved. “beyond the usual suspects,” like ethical consumers and • When confronting people with the difference between their can show your transit pass to attend all museums for free!”DigitalStrategy Digital Strategy environmental activists, in a non-threatening way. attitudes and their actions, people are more likely to change • Message Format: First say, “Find us on Facebook!” then their attitudes than their actions. 10. Provide Feedback “Share this article” then “Participate in this survey” then • National Security: Sustainability issues, such as the “Come to our event.” • To overcome this, social pressure can be useful. Establish • People learn through social interaction – some by availability of water and energy, have national security teaching and others by observing. Social networks work, implications. Potential impacts of climate change include social norms around sustainable behavior, and ask people to 4. Identify Losses join the norm. Complex social networks, such as online social because they give people positive and negative feedback the reduction in global food supplies, increased risk of – punishing and rewarding members for their behavior. • People tend to avoid losses rather than seek gains. infectious diseases, migrations of people further north, networks, tend to be cooperative and encourage people to So, people worry about future losses more than future war to secure limited water and energy resources, and a “fit in.” • Identify your influential audiences and give them tools to gains. This helps explain why homeowners tend to be more volatile economy. • Message Format: Establish the norm and ask people to join it. spread messages. Spreading messages through social concerned about declining property values. networks is a great way to spread new ideas, because • Health: Pollution, climate change, and a car-oriented • Another way to overcome cognitive dissonance is to frame people look to their peer groups to establish normal • Highlight the potential for future losses rather than future lifestyle all have human impacts. Pollution can be linked messages in terms of, “What values should your children behavior. gains. For example, encourage homeowners to purchase to asthma, respiratory conditions, birth defects, and or society as a whole have?” Then, show how your initiative energy efficient appliances to avoid losing money on increased rates of cancer. Climate change may lead to the meets these core values. • Message Format: Show rate payers how well they are 24 higher energy bills in the future. Or, support sidewalks, spread of infectious diseases and hotter, drier weather, doing on energy efficiency compared to their neighbors 25 bike lanes, and transit-oriented infill in your community to which are especially dangerous to the young and elderly. avoid future losses in property values.
    • using infographics and emotional cues on their utility The weakest motivation is environmental or climate Audience Confusion Key things to remember when messaging online bills. Identify some easy actions that residents can take to protection. The City of Copenhagen has enhanced the reduce their power consumption, and quantify the losses former benefits. They have also reduced the major Three distinctive audiences that are often confused lead to Online communications is somewhat different than print and the rate payer will experience if he or she forgoes those barriers, notably improving safety and fostering better confusing strategies. Distinguishing between these audiences mass media communications, because in many venues people actions. manners amongst other cyclists and drivers. is critical in developing strategic communications programs. are self-organized into social networks. As a result, people consider how their actions may be perceived by their social • Awareness leads to attitude: Predicated by the • Decision Makers: They are the ultimate audience sought networks. The following tips can help you create better online Common Communications Missteps belief that an attitude change will lead to action, to make a change. They have the authority to make a communications: many communication strategies place heavy emphasis decision about a policy or a behavior. Several common missteps in developing communications • Publish Shareable Content: Create messages that strategies can take priorities sideways or even backwards. on fostering awareness. There is, however, a weak • Target audience: They can influence the decision makers correlation between awareness and attitude. In fact, people will want to share with their friends or they can also be the ultimate decision maker. Target Awareness & Action Myths 57 people do not have to really understand an issue to take audiences are specific such as post secondary students or • Clearly Define your Ask: Clearly identify what action a position on it. Most adults will take a supportive or seniors that drive. The general public is not an audience you want someone to take, and create a user experience Three communications myths associated with awareness and contrary position on government deficits despite the fact – it is too general. The media are not an audience; media that lets them perform the action with the fewest clicks action can inadvertently undermine an effective strategy. that the vast majority do not know the difference between outreach, nevertheless can be a tactic to reach a target possible • Awareness leads to action: There is marginal to a deficit and a debt, and how many million dollars are in a audience. no difference in energy consumption between the billion. A positive or contrary attitude towards an issue is • Satisfy Emotional Needs: People react to and want vast majority of homeowners who support energy more closely correlated to the consistency between how • Messenger: These individuals or institutions have to share content that is emotional. People feel satisfied conservation and those who don’t. This holds true across an issue is framed and a person’s values. Proud Texan credibility with target audiences. A good messenger may when telling a story or experiencing someone else’s story. other sustainable behaviors. Communications strategies men generally respond favorably to the slogan “Don’t in fact be a high profile member of the target audience, Participation that has a real world impact helps satisfy are more effective when they successfully reduce barriers Mess With Texas” and sneer at “Don’t Be a Litterbug.” e.g. the President of the American Medical Association is people’s need to make a difference. and enhance benefits associated with the desired action, likely a credible messenger to speak to physicians.DigitalStrategy Digital Strategy Jumping the Strategy to Land on Tactics 58 • Let Participants Earn a Good Reputation: People are or increase barriers and reduce benefits associated with happy to volunteer time for something that helps their the undesirable action. Recycling rates are typically high Tactics, like Facebook Pages or QR codes, are the final step Crafting sustainability messages reputation as an expert in their field. Many websites when it is made easy and even higher when combined in developing an effective communications strategy. All recognize participation with a “trophy” that conveys with fines for infraction. Awareness, in fact, is just as likely Drawing on what you’ve learned about messaging for too often, well-intentioned municipal staff and even some status. For example on LinkedIn and Quora, users are to follow action. Studies from the 80’s and 90’s show that sustainability, use the worksheets in Appendix II to help you communications professionals start developing tactics without recognized for answering community questions. Make people developed awareness and concern about waste craft messages to suit your audiences and engagement a strategy, typically leading to lack luster results. Selecting sure to publicly thank individuals who actively contribute. and the environment after they began recycling. “asks.” The worksheets include spaces to write online and and developing a tactic should be one of the final steps after offline (in-person) messages, because digital engagement • Solve A Problem: Does your digital engagement solve the lion’s share of the strategy is defined, starting with goals • Attitude leads to action: In water conservation, active supplement and enhances your face-to-face activities. Use a problem for someone? Google Maps is so popular and measurable objectives, then identifying ultimate decision transportation and other sustainable behaviors, there the worksheets for all your audiences, beginning with your because it helps people get around. Popular blogs also makers and key audiences, and subsequently defining is a weak correlation between attitude and action. most engaged leadership – champions – and ending with “the tend to have tips and tricks that readers find helpful. messages and selecting messengers. Once again, reducing barriers and increasing benefits crowd.” are far more effective. People are motivated to cycle • Offer a small favor: Some websites offer favors that in Copenhagen because it is 1. faster and 2. more encourage people to participate. For example: 26 convenient than driving. It is also 3. healthy and 4. cheap. 27
    • »» Filling out surveys for the chance to win D. Managing Conversations something EFFECTIVE ENGAGEMENT & »» Participating in an event for charity Moderating discussions Successful campaigns to combat drinking and driving, for COMMUNICATION example, illustrate the diversity of policy changes: »» Free food or merchandise at an event Online moderation has many of the same qualities as face to Effective engagement and communication can help inform face discussion moderation. Online, the best way to minimize • Legal changes, e.g. lowering blood alcohol content • Make it Interesting: Allowing lively debates makes a site effective policies and measures. Effective engagement difficult behaviors is to set ground rules, so that any action levels, vibrant and interesting for readers. As long as the debate and communication can also elicit, deepen and sustain taken against users online is both justified and consistent. • Penalties, e.g. road-side and license suspensions, fines does not breach the terms of use, there is no reason to action. put down the discussion. Ground rules • Heightened enforcement, e.g. road site tests Effective communication is an important tool in a suite of • Improved technologies, e.g. hand held breathalysers. Develop and let all participants know about a set of guidelines mutually reinforcing policies and measures. Moreover, the that foster respectful engagement, such as: process of designing an effective communications strategy A well designed planning and evaluation process can result should also inform how many policies and measures are • Participate fully by contributing your own posts and in dramatic increases in the desired behavior. There are five implemented. For instance, identifying target audiences, reading what others write essential steps in developing an effective social marketing their motivations and barriers to desired actions, and programs: • Keep posts on topic analyzing their situational context will not only shape effective communication, it should also shape broader 1. Identify the desired behavior(s) and the target • Be respectful and tolerant. Offensive discussion will be program design, such as the location and type of bike audience(s), focusing on the impacts and probability actively discouraged parking infrastructure most conducive to increase bike use of the adoption of each behavior. for a specific constituency. • It’s okay to disagree, but don’t make it personal. Instead, 2. Identify the benefits and barriers to the adoption of use disagreement as a chance to understand betterDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy This systemic approach to policy development and each behavior, using a literature review, observation, someone’s different perspective engagement and communication is social marketing. focus groups and surveys. Plan an enforcement strategy. You may wish to develop Social marketing is the field dedicated to changing 3. Develop a strategy that will reduce the barriers and varying responses according to the severity of or numbers of behavior with the intent of advancing social objectives increase the benefits to the desired behavior (or if infringement. Also consider if the community will participate rather than commercial ones. While there are many this is not possible develop a strategy to increase the in flagging infractions or if just a moderation team will be successful social marketing examples from recycling to barriers and reduce the benefits to the behavior(s) to responsible. If you do remove a post, take a screen shot, date water conservation and cycling, most programs fail. It discourage). it, describe you removed it and file it. For more information is not uncommon to attribute the success or failure of a about public terms of use statements, see Chapter 4. strategy to the communication or marketing elements 4. Pilot the strategy with a small sample. A staggered when in actual fact, there are a range of mutually baseline design is effective for large programs that are Dealing with Comments, especially negative ones reinforcing policy and program tools that are at the heart best piloted more than once to sharpen their focus. Negative comments are bound to arise in any engagement of any strategy. Successful social marketing deepens 5. Implement broadly and evaluate, ensuring adequate activity. However, they do not stop us from conducting open compliance and sustains a response. long-term measuring. houses or workshops, so why should they keep us from digital 28 engagement? The key to manage negative comments is to 29
    • have a procedure for how to deal with them. Overall, the E. References general principles for dealing with negative comments are: 54. Ascentum phones-to-make- your-next-in-person-dialogue-awesome/#more-1142 • Transparency – Be clear about your professional 55. Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. 2009. “The Psychology of affiliation and disclose any conflicts of interest. Climate Change Communication.” Columbia University. 56. For a more in-depth treatment of messaging for sustainability, see: Center for • Accountability – Make reference to and cite your Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED). 2009. The Psychology of Climate resources! Change Communication: A guide for scientists, journalists, educators, political aides, and the interested public. And Futerra’s “Rules of the Game” resources on • Professionalism – Keep the tone professional while maintaining a more casual style that is appropriate to the 57. Nisbet, M. 2009. Communicating Climate Change: Why frames matter for public Chapter 11: EVALUATE: MAKE engagement. Environment Magazine 51:2. internet. 58. Spitfire Strategies. Smart Chart 3.0. SENSE OF YOUR INITIATIVE’S • Balance Time with Influence – Given that you have 59. Macnamara, J. 2010. The Quadrivium of Online Public Consultation: Policy, Culture, Resources, Technology. Australian Journal of Political Science, 45(2), FEEDBACK limited time to engage with your audience, prioritize 227-244. doi:10.1080/10361141003736141 those who have the most influence online. One of the benefits and consequences of digital engagement is that you will end your initiative with plenty of data. Some • Record negative comments – it is important to save of the data will be related to the content of engagement and (say, by screen shots) negative comments along with any some will tell the story of your process and who participated in official responses to the comments. which ways. Be aware that controversial or “off topic” issues can overtake There are three basic steps to analyzing what you hear and and hijack digital engagement. To avoid off-topic comments, evaluating your project: you can use the flowchart below. Be sure also to keepDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy listening to what your constituents are saying and have a clear A. Set engagement targets: Design processes for analysis and evaluation, capture data moderation policy. You can softly moderate or use members of the community to moderate conversation to maintain an B. Measure your impact: Monitor and analyze your data, and measure your impact open dialogue. 59 C. Close the loop: Report back to participants and incorporate organizational learning 30 31
    • A. Set Engagement Targets Goals of Content Analysis Content analysis is a systematic assessment of what was said DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROCESS AND IMPACT EVALUATIONS Design Processes for Analysis and Evaluation by the participants of your engagement project. Results are then considered by your government in planning next steps in One way to develop your evaluation goals is Impact evaluation can help you know if civic First, determine the goals and objectives for your analysis and this project area, followed by a report back to participants and to distinguish between process evaluation and engagement efforts make a difference. evaluation efforts. Make sure your evaluation goals are clearly connected to the goals and objectives of the engagement the public at large about how and why these results did or did impact evaluation. strategy. not impact next steps. Key results in content analysis include overall themes of Process Evaluation Impact Evaluation Next, consider your available resources. How much staff time can you realistically allocate for these efforts? It’s easy participant input, important but less frequently mentioned Definition A systematic assessment of whether a program is operating A systematic assessment of the outcomes or ideas, best ideas according to specific criteria, and/or any in conformity with its design and reaching its specified effects (both intended and unintended) of an to leave this task until “later” but analysis and evaluation target population. intervention to determine whether a program are essential parts of experimenting with and learning from preference distinctions according to key demographic is achieving its desired results. online engagement efforts. Be sure to identify the individual(s) variables. Overarching Goal To better understand the inputs and outputs of program To determine whether a program produced its implementation and management intended effects leading evaluation activities. What kind of financial resources are available? If you have limited means, a staff-heavy strategy Capturing Data Overarching “What?” “So What?” may be more appropriate, while a little bit of a budget may Questions • What is the program intended to be? • What are the outcomes or results of the The design of your engagement project will impact the kind program? buy you some automated services. • What is delivered by the program in reality? of data you can capture in a digital engagement project. Five • What are the gaps between program design and • To what extent are these effects or Finally, develop a plan to collect data based on your goals, important things to keep in mind for designing your digital delivery? changes in outcome indicators a function of program activities? objectives, and available resources. Your plan should indicate: engagement activities: Focus Inputs, Outputs Outcomes, Results • Questions you want answered through the analysis and • Keep your questions clear and direct so that the Some Potential • Assess whether a program is operating in conformity • Assess whether the program achieved itsDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy evaluation; answers you receive are easier to compare and organize Uses with its design intended goals/outcomes thematically • Determine whether a program is being managed well • Determine whether outcomes vary across • Measurable performance indicators and relevant data and efficiently groups or over time • Understand what worked and what did not • Ascertain whether the program is worth required; »» User experience: will users have the chance to the resources it costs • Identify areas for program development and say whatever they want, answer multiple choice improvement • Help prioritize actions and inform decisions • Who will manage analysis and evaluation, collect data, questions, or a mix of approaches? about whether to expand, modify, or analyze data, prepare and disseminate reports; eliminate the program • Be sure to gather basic contact and demographic Audiences Likely • Program managers and staff • Program managers and staff • When results will be needed (and which results at what information on your respondent when possible to • Other agency officials • Other agency officials to Be Interested time); and, help you track the representative nature of your input. • Legislators and elected officials Facebook and YouTube’s “Insight” tools can provide • Academics, researchers, and practitioners • How you will use the results of your analysis and • Program participants useful information on subscribers. In other case, you will • General residents evaluation and the intended audience(s). need to build the questions into your input mechanism • Keep a record of all interactions as expected under Source: Nabitchi, Tina. 2012. “A Manager’s Guide to Evaluating Citizen Participation.” 32 the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). For tools like 33
    • Facebook and Twitter this record is very transparent • Backupify – archive and search content on popular online • HootSuite – Social media dashboard that works on relationships between ideas. Common tools include ManyEyes for a short period of time since users can see the posts services including Facebook and Twitter Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other platforms to and word clouds like Wordle. online. For the long term, there are a number of tools for collect analytics, allow team collaboration, schedule capturing social media status updates • RSS - use a really simple syndication (RSS) feed to collect messages for maximum exposure, sync with mobile More time intensive tools can help you analyze your content information into an RSS aggregator, such as Google devices, assign messages to team members, and other more thoroughly. Discover Text helps you search your content • Advise participants of your privacy and moderation Reader, or into an email account helpful features. and organize results into buckets, and has tools for multiple policies either in the engagement platform itself or by people to code your data. Deedoose is another online tool providing a link to your website. • DiscoverText – archive activity from social networks like • Twitter Grader – free tool from HubSpot that shows for collaborative data analysis and offers rich visualization Twitter and Facebook, import documents like emails and you how influential your Twitter account is and lets you features. • Think through various scenarios of online voting. text files, and analyze your content compare two accounts. Some groups may mobilize behind a particular idea and Often it is useful to get a team of people together for a manipulate the outcomes. Capturing Interactions • Radian6 – complete platform to listen, measure and few hours to work together to collaboratively and in detail engage with your customers across the entire social web. review what you’ve heard, look for themes, important but less »» You can track IP addresses to avoid multiple Analytics tools help you learn what kinds of people are Based in Canada. The dashboard starts at $600/month. frequently mentioned ideas, best ideas according to specific voting; however, this may discount many votes engaging with you online and how engaged they are. criteria, and/or any preference distinctions according to key from one household, a library, or a business, Common tools include: • Sysomos – real-time monitoring and measurement tool demographic variables. Identify clear criteria for the team to where many people may share an IP address. that provides constantly updated snapshots of social use in analyzing the content and reporting their results. • Google Analytics – for websites, this free tool tracks media conversations delivered using a variety of user- »» Another issue with online voting is the tendency website traffic levels, sources, change of time, and key friendly graphics. Starts at $500/month Interaction Analysis for early results to show up as winners; terms randomizing the presentation of ideas can help • Alterian SM2 – tracks mentions on blogs, forums, social Many of the tools described above in Capturing Interactions with this. • – a URL shortener that measures the number of networks like Facebook, microblogs like Twitter, wikis, will help you analyze your interactions. Some of the click-throughs and conversations about a link you share video and photo sharing sites, Craigslist and ePinions. interactions you may want to measure are: »» Lastly, consider taking the top ranked ideas intoDigitalStrategy Digital Strategy a contest where they are evaluated according to SM2 monitors the daily volume, demographics, location, • CoTweet – helps communications and marketing teams • Content sharing – number of Retweets, prevalence of a clear criteria tone and emotion of conversations. Starts at $500/month. track trends and collaborative manage Twitter and relevant hashtag on Twitter, and trackbacks out of total Facebook accounts. An alternative is MediaFunnel, which page views on a website B. Measure your Impact Capturing Content may be better for larger groups of people. • Likes and Follows – how many people subscribe to your Many digital engagement tools feature administrator options • Facebook Insights Dashboard – Facebook Insights Data Analysis online presence to download spreadsheets of participant contributions. If your provides Facebook Page owners and Facebook Platform engagement tool doesn’t offer this option, plan ahead for how developers with metrics around their content Your plan for content analysis and project evaluation will direct • Reach – the number of people who have seen your you will ‘scrape’ this information into a format that allows you your analysis approaches, including your available technical content to analyze it. Some comprehensive tools for capturing social • Feedburner – Measures the number of RSS and email and human resources. subscribers • Mentions – number of people who have mentioned your media based public participation include: Content Analysis online presence • ThinkUpApp – archive, search, sort and analyze your • Google Alerts – collects daily, weekly, and monthly mentions of a particular keyword. You can receive Content analysis tools help you take public input and make • Page views per visit (or click-depth) – how many website activity on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and pages did a unique user look at during his/her visit? How 34 Google+ (free) updates by email or RSS sense of it. Some tools offer a shallow interpretation of results by counting work frequencies rather than showing the many times was your video viewed? 35
    • • Visitor loyalty – how many times a unique user has Quality of Engagement Metrics C. Close the Loop • Promote your final report on social media, and send returned to your website or Facebook page traffic from Facebook and Twitter back to your website There are many ways to measure the quality of engagement and report • Time on site – how long has a unique user spent including: Impact of Engagement browsing your website There are four levels of impact you may wish to measure about • Use a tool like Storify to explain the journey or process • Representativeness of participants leading to the outcome in an interesting way. Storify is an • Recency – how long has it been since the unique user last your project: • Discussion coherence on convening topic vs. focus on online storytelling tool that captures Tweets, blog posts, visited your website 1. Individuals: Do people learn? Do they feel heard? Are photos, videos, and other content, and lets you arrange extraneous topics Be aware there are some shortcomings with conventional people more or less likely to participate again? them to describe an event or process. online engagement metrics. For example, a visitor to your • Amount of exchange among participants rather than ‘monologue’ posts 2. Communities: Is trust built among different stakeholder website may have spent a long time browsing your site, groups? Were various perspectives raised during the Incorporating Organizational Learning clicking through many pages, because they did not find what • Amount of contributions by councilors (if appropriate) engagement? they are looking for. So, remember that these metrics alone Digital civic engagement is an ever changing field so taking do not properly measure online engagement. • Indicators of learning among participants 3. Policy: Is the decision ‘better’ as a result of participation? the time to learn from your efforts is a critical part of your To what extent does the policy reflect participant project. All staff on your project team should be involved in • Number of times your learning materials or external contributions? Did participation support easier debriefing the project in order to identify its strengths and Measuring Your Impact sources are cited areas for improvement. implementation? As your organization invests time and resources into • Participant satisfaction Decide what results need to be communicated to whom by establishing a digital presence, it is important to ensure that 4. Your government: Do members of your organization participate? Does being involved impact perceptions of going back to your intended audiences for your analysis and the investment is well-spent. The more useful or interesting • Participant desire to stay involved the value of civic engagement? Are future budgets or evaluation efforts. Be sure to include a little bit of process your online content is, the more likely it is that online users learnings with your content presentations to council and • Extent to which project goals and outcomes were job descriptions impacted by lessons learned from the will return to your websites and profiles, telling members ofDigitalStrategy relevant staff, and likewise share your content learnings Digital Strategy achieved engagement? their social networks to use your online resources, too. This is with staff who are interested in how well the project was the equivalent of having an open house that is so successful, Quantity of Engagement Metrics implemented. that people come back next time and bring their friends and Reporting Back to Participants family. What are your unique, measurable objectives? Examples Determine the best methods for communicating your results. include: As participants have volunteered time and effort to give you Council or council committees may wish to have a formal Always measure and evaluate the impact of your online input, it is important to report back to them about how their presentation; use screenshots and visualizations to help presence with metrics that match the goals and objectives of • Number of people involved input was used and how much it influenced the final decision convey what happened. Consider preparing a slideshow that your engagement process. or report. can be emailed around, or hosting a lunch and learn to share • Number of posts overall, average number of posts, It is important to look at trend movements and changes over highest and lowest number of posts When reporting back to participants: your wins and fails with others who are interested in digital time, not just absolute values, and use insights from those engagement. • Amount of time participants spend with the engagement • Put a summary of the process and opportunities to get trends to improve your digital engagement strategy. Often, you’ll find it useful to look at more than one metric, evaluating involved on your website. Also place a copy of your final • Cost of engagement per participant your performance from multiple dimensions. report on your website to download. 36 37
    • 4 Section IV: AppendixDigitalStrategy Appendix Digital Sustainability Conversations How Local Governments can 38 1 Engage Residents Online
    • Appendix I: INTERNAL & EXTERNAL CAPACITY ASSESSMENT WHAT’S IN THIS SECTION: This section of the Guidebook will help you: • Appendix I: Internal & External Capacity Assessment Engagement efforts by local governments help achieve departmental and organizational objectives to meet • Appendix II: community needs. However, engagement efforts require a supportive policy environment, committed staff, and financial • Appendix III: Digital Engagement Tools Reference resources. If the environment, staff, and resources are available for general engagement efforts, digital engagement • Appendix IV: Best Practices for Using Common Digital Engagement can enhance responsiveness by adding to your in-person interactions. Tools Ensuring you have capacity to engage in-person and digitally as an organization is key. It is also important to check theAppendix Appendix I readiness of the community you will engage with. This appendix will help you quickly work through some key issues internally and externally before you identify the right kind of digital tools to use, which are listed by capacity level in Appendix III. This appendix includes: »» Self-Assessment Worksheet: This worksheet can help you quickly determine whether your organization should pursue low, medium, or high capacity digital engagement initiatives »» Internal & External Interviews Guide: To check your assumptions and confirm your digital engagement 2 capacity level, conduct some interviews with colleagues and external stakeholders. 3
    • Internal Capacity – helping you assess organizational capacity for digital engagement Self-Assessment Worksheet Finally, add your organizational and community scores For each row, select a score from 2-10, and write it in the last column. Total the score at the bottom of the table. Complete To use this worksheet, first: together. Use the following table to select your organization’s this form for your whole organization. If your department operates quite independently from other departments in your local See if you meet at least three (3) critical conditions for capacity for digital engagement. government and does not require on strong collaboration with other departments, complete this form for just your department. engagement and three (3) for digital engagement by checking the boxes below. External Capacity Internal Capacity Does your organization Your Grand Total Total Points + Total Points = 2 4 6 8 10 have... Score Next, score your capacity: Reliable high-speed, Windows XP or Is your organization ready for digital engagement? Old DOS or High-speed ability to download Internet and modern Windows XP or equivalent, high- Windows 95 internet, modern modern browsers, latest computers available to equivalent, slow speed internet and computers (or computers and computer operating Is your community ready for digital engagement? If Grand Total is in the following Select this level of digital staff? dial-up to internet ability to download equivalent) operating systems system, fully networked range... engagement capacity: modern browsers computer system > 135 High Capacity Public terms of Staff internet Staff internet usage 66 - 134 Medium Capacity A policy framework use on social usage policies policy, public terms of < 65 Low Capacity guiding staff use of online Public terms of use networking with guidelines for use policies on website No policy tools and how to address policies on website accounts, Staff engaging public and social media, staff online public input. internet usage and public terms of guidelines to engage on policies use on website social media Someone responsible for Part-time or work Critical Conditions for Civic Engagement Critical Conditions for Digital Engagement regularly updating your Contractor above and beyond Full-time individual Several full-time Whole department individuals website? job description “Critical Conditions” are internal and external factors that, if If you meet critical conditions for civic engagement, try to Someone responsible for Part-time or work present in your organization, will support your engagement also meet three or more of the following criteria before Several full-time the technical know-how Contractor above and beyond Full-time individual Whole departmentAppendix I Appendix I project. Try to meet at least three “critical conditions” below undertaking digital engagement. (IT) in your government? job description individuals before undertaking any engagement project. In your local government, do you have... Someone responsible Part-time or work for content and message Several full-time In your local government, do you currently have a... creation (communications) Contractor above and beyond Full-time individual individuals Whole department Senior staff support for expanded and ongoing digital job description in your government? Civic engagement mandate, vision, or goals established engagement? Someone responsible for by Mayor, Council, or senior staff? Work above and Several full-time Council support for expanded and ongoing digital monitoring and reporting Part-time Full-time individual Whole department beyond staff role individuals on public input? Annual citizen satisfaction survey or scorecard? engagement? Someone currently Civic engagement policy or priority at the organizational Stakeholders and/or citizen groups who have expressed managing digital Work above and Several full-time level? (council and/or senior staff direction/policy) interest in or experience with using digital tools? engagement and/or who Part-time Full-time individual Whole department beyond staff role individuals already knows about online tools? Civic engagement policy or priority at the departmental Access to common social media tools at work (that are level? not blocked by a firewall)? Experience with specific Failed attempt Poor results Fair results Good results Very successful digital engagement tools Staff interest, capacity, and support for civic engagement? Staff interest, capacity, and support for digital Experience running digital 4 engagement? engagement initiatives Failed attempt Poor results Fair results Good results Very successful 5 Appropriate opportunity for civic engagement in the near-to-medium term future? Total Points
    • External Capacity – helping you assess organizational capacity for digital engagement Internal & External Interviews Guide For each row, choose a score from 2-10. Total the score at the bottom to assess community readiness. Complete this form for based on your perception or understanding of community readiness. You can interview colleagues and external stakeholders to check your assumptions and confirm your digital engagement Do your residents Your capacity level. Interviews can also help you begin to make 2 4 6 8 10 have... Score partnerships before you implement a digital engagement Few high-speed Competitive high- Competitive high- Community wifi, wifi in strategy, increasing the strategy’s likelihood of success. Few high-speed Access to high-speed internet providers, speed internet speed internet public spaces or high internet providers, internet? budget options providers, good 3G providers, 3G and 4G percent with mobile »» Purpose and goals of the interview expensive available mobile coverage mobile coverage internet Selecting Interviewees Some schools Many schools and Many schools and Approximately 4 to 6 internal and 4 to 6 external interviews »» How information gathered in the interviews will be used Computer labs and Some schools Many schools and and libraries have some libraries have libraries, with digital high-speed internet in or libraries have computers less than computers less than many libraries have literacy training or should be sufficient to gain a good understanding of your »» Interview questions schools and libraries? computers new computers colleagues’ and stakeholders’ perceptions of your digital 3 years old 3 years old professional assistance. engagement capacity. Be sure to give interviewees enough notice to schedule their Access to traditional Local media from local newspapers, local Only state-wide or syndicated national Publicly-funded, Free and home- Strong local blogging time; you may need to offer interview slots over a two-week TV and radio stations, national newspapers or international local access TV and grown newspapers presence When selecting interviewees, try to choose a variety of period. radio and ‘zines people. Within your organization, include elected officials, and local online news? brands Access to local Departmental staff Staff contact information senior staff, and junior staff across many departments. Within Generic department Staff contact Conducting your interviews government Few government listed, with generic listed online with social your community, ask local advocates, community leaders, contact information information listed website with contact contacts online available online department contact online media accounts for and partner organizations about you readiness for digital Interviews should follow a consistent framework and reiterate information? information departments engagement. For both internal and external interviews, the points you sent in your introductory email: Access to local Few government Some resources Many resources Many resources are Open data policy, consider talking to your supporters and critics, because government website available online or available from commitment new initiatives like digital engagement strategies offer the »» Interview context - describe what initiative is bringing resources and available online forAppendix I Appendix I with resources and from Clerk’s office Clerk’s office for to government contacts online free opportunity to build bridges. about the interview and why you think that the person data? with payment free transparency you’re talking to Above minimum Residents are Council schedule, Many broad and Also, consider conducting these interviews in small groups, as Opportunities to Only legally-required legally-required notified via more meeting minutes deep engagement this often leads to more ideas and a deeper conversation. It is »» Purpose and goals of the interview provide input into local notification and notification and channels than mail posted online. Videos opportunities for government decisions? open houses open houses and newspapers on TV or online. initiatives and services possible to hold interviews in person or over the phone. »» How information gathered in the interviews will be used Few people talk Average Engagement fatigue NGOs s exist for »» Interview questions Motivation to about civic issues, & low turnout, but participation in civic issues related High event and voter Preparing for the interviews participate in local attend civic events, activities and voting government initiatives? low voter turnout, people are angry compared to similar to government turnout It is likely that interviewees only skimmed over the email about civic issues initiatives Before calling people for interviews, send a brief email to content. Also, reiterating the interview context and rationale engagement fatigue communities each potential interviewee, asking if they have availability and helps frame the conversation. Some local issues All previous plus interest in talking to you for 20 minutes about your initiative. Access to few Few non-newspaper Many local blogs, How well organized blogs, Facebook or location-based are residents online? community listservs local news or events Twitter local issues social media groups/ communities like The email should include some background information, You may find it helpful to assign two staff members for each or contact databases websites accounts including: interview, to ensure that notes are captured faithfully. groups/accounts EveryBlock, Yelp Average # years »» Interview context - describe what initiative is bringing To help you conduct your own interviews, the following page residents have lived in Less than 1 year 1 – 3 years 3 – 6 years 6 – 10 years More than 10 years 6 your community? about the interview and why you think that the person you’re talking to provides generic interview scripts that you can modify for your own initiatives. 7 Total Points
    • Sample Interview Script 2. What have been some civic engagement successes and challenges of our local government of in the past 5 years – what makes it a success Appendix II: DIGITAL The purpose of this interview is to determine whether we are prepared as an organization and as a community to use digital or challenge and what influenced this outcome? Which of these examples contained digital engagement components and what role ENGAGEMENT GOALS, TARGET engagement tools as part of our larger engagement and/or did digital efforts play in achieving success or meeting challenges? 3. Sustainability engagement also falls into the three categories of AUDIENCES, AND MESSAGES sustainability efforts. information, service delivery and public input. Are there specific sustainability programs or initiatives in which our local government Your perspective will help us assess our current readiness for using digital tools as part of civic engagement. Your input will has engaged the public, and what characterized the successes and challenges? If no examples come to mind, what opportunities do you Identify your Digital Engagement Goals also help us develop recommendations for improving our digital think we should explore? The first step to any engagement plan is to clarify your engagement efforts going forward. 4. Looking forward, what would you like to change about how civic engagement goals. engagement is done by our local government? What changes Information collected during these interviews will be summarized would you like to see specific to digital engagement? What are your 1. What is the issue that you are engaging on, or what 4. What level of power sharing on the IAP2 Spectrum of Public in our recommendations. We will not use identifiable information recommendations for making these changes happen? decision is being made? Why is now the right time? Participation is appropriate for this initiative? or quote you without your permission, and you are free to request summary notes from our interview together to check for Interview Questions for External Stakeholders: accuracy and completeness. Digital engagement supports these three categories of Using the chart below, please circle what level of power This interview will last approximately 20 minutes and is organized government-public interactions through online and mobile sharing on the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation that you around questions that we will walk through together. Feel free to tools. will target for your initiative. raise any other issues you may have at any time. 1. How interested are you in receiving information from our local The goal of this interview is to hear your perspective and opinion government? Being able to provide service complaints or requests? on our local government’s civic engagement efforts in general, as Provide public input on local government projects? How interested are Increasing Level of Public Impact you in using digital engagement to participate in any/all of these three 2. Who will act on the results of this decision? well as sustainability efforts in particular. Inform Consult Involve Collaborate EmpowerAppendix I Appendix II areas? In general, civic falls into three categories: 2. When you have an issue you’d like our local government to address, what do you find is the best way to communicate and advance your A. Governance: Providing good information on city decision-making issue? Do you think that increased use of digital engagement tools and governance, would change this positively/negatively/not at all? Using the space below, please write whether the level of the B. Service Delivery: Responding to service complaints and requests, 3. Where do you spend time reading or talking about local issues online, power sharing will vary throughout the project by audience, and and why do you spend time there? What are some of your other phase, and/or timing. favorite online sites and why?   C. Initiatives: Hearing from the public and stakeholders on specific larger project or policy initiatives. 4. What have been some engagement successes and challenges at in our local government over the past 5 years? What do you think caused the success or created the challenge? Which of these examples have 3. What are your desired outcomes? Interview Questions for Internal Stakeholders: contained digital engagement components and what role did these digital features play? Digital engagement supports these three categories of 5. Are there specific sustainability programs or initiatives that our local government-public interactions through online and mobile government has successfully engaged the public in? If not, what tools. opportunities do you think we should investigate? 8 1. How ready do you think our local government is for civic engagement on each of the three categories, taking past or current practice as an 6. Looking forward, what would you like to change about how civic engagement is done at the City? What changes would you like to see 9 indicator? In general, how ready do you think our local government is specifically on digital engagement? in terms of using digital engagement in any of these three areas?
    • Identify Your Target Audiences Who needs to be involved (and in what numbers) for your engagement effort to be legitimate, credible, and influential? These individuals and groups are your target audiences. C. Members What kinds of broad demographic groups do you think are Target audiences can be organized into 5 groups, depending Members belong to organizations run by your champions actively following your initiative? Which might not yet be on each audience’s level of interest in your initiative. Because and advocates. They also may be interested members of the interested but have issues at state in the initiative? Which these 5 groups will have different levels of interaction public who do not officially belong to a particular group, but groups will you engage, and why them? with your initiative, each requires different messages and feel strongly affiliated to an issue or neighborhood. engagement tools. Please list 5 – 10 organizations, issues, or places that define Remember that most projects have a number of stages and a group of people, or “members” in your community. B. Committed Advocates What demographics do they represent and are any key you may wish to engage different target audiences at various points on your timeline. demographics missing? How many advocates would you like Committed advocates or advocates are members of your to engage? community who work with champions on activities that A. Champions support (or oppose!) your initiative. Use your champions to identify local advocates who are paying attention to your Champions are external community leaders who are the main initiative and able to share key messages with members, the E. Crowd organizers supporting your initiative. Find champions who act silent majority, and crowd. About 9% of your audience will as a bridge to your target audiences. Champions may also consist of committed advocates. The Crowd includes people who are aware of your initiative or include elected officials, such as the Mayor or members of issues related to it. They may not know specific details related Council. On average, champions and decision-makers will Please list 5 – 10 individuals or organizations who care to your project. Think about this audience in terms of people comprise less than 1% of your whole audience. about your initiative. Why are they your advocates?Appendix II Appendix II who are really interested in your initiative, but just don’t know What demographics do they represent and are any key it yet. More than 90% of your audience will be the silent Please list 5 – 10 champions for your initiative. Why are they demographics missing? How many advocates would you like majority and crowd. your champions? to engage? What kinds of broad demographic groups are generally aware of your initiative? Which groups will you engage, and why them? Are there any other groups in your community that have not been included in the other audiences? Are you going to engage them, and if so, why? D. Silent Majority The Silent Majority are people who are generally supportive of and actively listening to issues surrounding your initiative. They generally do not participate as much as other groups due to barriers-to-participation like time, perceived self-10 efficacy or awareness of the opportunity. More than 90% of your audience will be the silent majority and crowd. 11
    • Messages for your Audiences Online 3. Please describe what your participation “ask” is for your target audience. Participate in Private forum Ty A messages worksheet should be filled out for each of your e nc pic target audience groups. To help you fill out this worksheet, Participate in Facebook Group »» If your champions or advocates form an advisory group, whether die a that group meets in person or online, consider writing a Terms l“ please refer to the diagram on this page. Also, this worksheet Au Online-Offline Community Creation of Reference for the group. Other typical asks include: As uses icons indicated below to represent options best suited et ks Participate in Online chats or video chats rg for that target audience. ›› Champions: create or manage an online community using ” Create, Ta Manage Participate in Public Discussion Forum one or more digital engagement tools. This worksheet is for: Champions ›› Committed Advocates: contribute written, audio, or visual community Collaborative Writing or Document Commenting content to an online community as well as moderate Champions Committed Author or upload Participate in Structured Online Deliberation comments. Advocates media, Moderate Participate in Online Mapping ›› Members: pay for bill, fine, or fee online or commenting on Committed Advocates Pay bills, fees, fines, content. Members Share or submit video Comment ›› Silent Majority: create an account, share content with Members Submit blog post friends, subscribe to updates, friend other users, and tag Create account, Share, Pin, Silent Majority content. Silent Majority Follow, Subscribe, Friend, Tag Participate in Scenario Planning + Calculators ›› Crowd: read content, watch a video, “Like us on Facebook,” Read, Like, Find us on Facebook, Participate in Serious Game or Virtual World Crowd The Crowd “Follow us on Twitter.” Find us on Twitter Submit or share photos 2. Which digital engagement tools or meeting formats will you Submit item to Tumblr 1. What are some characteristics of your target audience? use to engage your target audience online and offline? Please Watch Webinar or Livestreamed meeting What do your target audience care about online and offline? check: What interests them online and offline? Understanding what Participate in generating ideas for Ideation motivates your target audience helps you shape a message Offline Submit items in Crowd SourcingAppendix II Appendix II that will resonate with them. Attend regular meetings Read Discussion Forum or Community of Practice posts Review or contribute to documents Answer lengthy survey or choicebook Present materials at stakeholder events and open houses Regularly read blog posts or newsletters 4. What barriers exist that prevent your target audience from Attend a stakeholder event Share content with friends participating? Online barriers may include computer literacy, Review or contribute to documents Participate in online chat lack of online tool accessibility, or poor internet access. In- person barrier may include access to transportation, inability Attend a charrette Respond to poll to meet during work hours, access to childcare, lack of time Participate in a focus group Vote up ideas for Ideation or interest, not receiving a notification. Distrust, language Respond to a survey Register for event and share with friends and literacy skills can be a barrier to both online and offline Browse photos or watch videos engagement. Attend an open house Read flyer Browse websites Respond to a survey Read Facebook Page or Twitter updates Read or listen to media article Other. Please specify:12 Other. Please specify: 13
    • 5. How does your target audience benefit from participating, both online and offline? Please check: 7. How can you encourage your target audience to become more engaged? Appendix III: DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT TOOLS REFERENCE Tools are organized into 4 tables: Online Offline This appendix summarizes digital engagement tools that have been referenced in the Members to Committed Advocates »» Low Capacity Tools guidebook. The summary includes a descriptive name, examples, definition, pros, and A good laugh Feeling of empowerment Online Offline cons for each tool. »» Medium Capacity Tools or ability to make a »» High Capacity Tools Ego boost Upload written, audio, or Regular in-person »» Administrative Tools difference visual content volunteering or work Good reputation Free swag or discounts Moderate comments Organize neighbors to Low Capacity Tools Learned something useful or interesting New friends Maintain a website or social meet Tool Examples Definition Pros Cons Recognition from peers Responsibility for a decision media presence Other. Please specify: Communities of Linked In Groups, Quora, Communities of shared interest, knowledge, Get answers to questions, see what issues are Not organized geographically. Planning issues Solved a mystery Sense of belonging Advocate on behalf of the Practice Sustainable Cities Institute experience where meeting people is less important important to people. much less popular compared to business Saved money cause online Forums, The City 2.0 than finding answers. issues on LinkedIn and Quora. Saved time Other. Please specify: e-Newsletter Constant Contact, Mail Chimp Email newsletter sent out to people who opt-in to Familiar way of sending information. Easy to learn Needs to be regular and concise. Provide Other. Please specify: Other. Please specify: receive updates. more about email recipients. Allows you to send bulk "opt out" button. Should be suitable for email without triggering spam filters. forwarding. Silent Majority to Members Event EventBrite,, Online event invitation and registration system. Once people have registered, you can provide them People without internet or email access Online Offline registration Facebook Events with updates. Good way to gauge how many people need another way to register, if registration is may be attending an event. required. Write comments on social Sign up to volunteer for Listservs + Email Majordomo, Google Groups, Email system with a hidden list of members where a Flexible, familiar, and potential for ongoing dialogue. Not scalable. Email is becoming less popular media site or blog something Notification Yahoo Groups message sent to one person is sent to all members Email is still a primary way to contact most people compared to social media. Difficult to analyze. 6. What key messages will you use to speak to target Pay for bill, fine, or fee Advocate on behalf of Systems of the email list. People have to explicitly opt-in to online. Challenging to use for collaboration. People audience’s interests, your “ask,” and what participants get in online the cause via face-to-face become a member of the email system. tend to delete emails or unsubscribe if there return for online and offline participation? Are your online and meetings, networking, or are too many. Vocal members may dominateAppendix II Appendix III offline messages different? Other. Please specify: conversation. Members do not know who else letters to media is “listening” to the conversation. Attend open houses Micro-blogging Twitter, Tumblr 140-character status updates that are time and/ Open and transparent, huge membership, potential You never know who is listening, bias towards Other. Please specify: or location sensitive. Used to ask people for ideas, for viral messaging, free superficial interaction, requires maintenance share a link, or reflect on something. Tool includes (optimal 21 tweets/day) a minimal user profile and ability to follow and Crowd to Silent Majority "retweet" others. Online Offline Online Google Ad Words, Facebook Advertising to a specific audience based on Good way to reach a targeted audience Cost money Advertising Ads demographics, location and/or browsing habits Create an account on blog, Attend open houses RSS (Really Google Feedburner Standard format for sharing feeds of information, Really simple - just set it up and forget it. Good way Does not create a dialogue or community website, or Twitter Respond to survey Simple like blog posts, comments, etc. to get analytics about a topic and does not drive people to Subscribe to updates Other. Please specify: Syndication) your site Share content with friends Social Pinterest, Reddit, Delicious, Users submit links to websites/articles/photos/ Potential for message to go viral Systems are susceptible to gaming by vocal Bookmarking, Digg, AddThis, StumbleUpon videos, and other users of the site vote up or vote minority groups Follow or Like us on Twitter Link Sharing down the links. Popular links “rise” to the top. or Facebook Social Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning Communities of shared interest, knowledge, Brings message to where people spend time, fosters Requires moderation. Privacy concerns.14 Tag content Networking experience online feedback and discussion, potential for messages to go viral, drive traffic to website, attract people to Whether or not people receive your message depends on FB algorithms and whether 15 Other. Please specify: specific events, builds social capital online and offline people are logged in. Requires effort to build a community.
    • Medium Capacity Tools High Capacity Tools Tool Examples Definition Pros Cons Blogging WordPress, Blogger, YouTube Blogs, Vlogs, Photo blogs, or Podcasts are regularly Flexible, familiar, can have multiple authors, free Requires moderation, commenting can be a Tool Examples Definition Pros Cons Channel updated written/video/photo/audio commentary high bar for entry, requires a lot of time for Collaborative Google Docs, PB Works, People work together to write a document. Specific input, free tools. Messy with many contributors. Last editor about a particular topic. Enabled commenting writing and promoting. Writing & Wikis WikiSpaces, WriteBoard wins. Easy to freeload off prolific contributors. means that people who listen can write back to the author in public. Crowd Funding, Civic Sponsor, Kiva, KickStarter Participants propose a project to be funded, and Works like an innovation grant or microloan, and If a project is not well-promoted or popular Microloans many supporters fund the project at various levels of there are many levels of financial entry for funders. in a community, it is obvious online that it has Crowd Sourcing Open 311, SeeClickFix, People contribute knowledge about products, Harness the knowledge of many people (everyone May be challenging to restrict input to people financing only received a few pledges for funding. CitySourced places, etc. Host publicly uses or responds to is an expert). just in your jurisdiction. Tool may require high- information gathered speed internet Mapping Google Maps, Ushahidi, Work together to identify places on a map. Harness local knowledge about place, identify Not very easy to map photos or videos online Virtual Earth, WorldKit, important issues early. with common tools. Many people dont Discussion bbPress, PHPBB Users can create new topics for discussion, Flexible, familiar, discussions are topic-focused. Requires moderation. Posts appear in reverse- OpenStreetMap, WikiMapia, conceptualize their communities from plan Forum / Online comment/post messages within a topic, reply to chronological order. Requires reading many Yelp, Zonability view Message Board other peoples messages, moderate other users posts to understand a conversation thread. input, direct message other users. Forum content Unattractive and cumbersome to find answers. Online Chat Jabber, Skype, Facebook Chat Text or video chatting online. Usually is a one-to-one chat between people but Time consuming, because requires staff can be visible to everyone or to just registered users. can be group chat. Free. person to be online and available to talk, much like taking calls from a hotline. Document Google Docs, Microsoft People comment on an existing document and Specific, targeted input, transparent Messy with many contributors, care to be Commenting SharePoint recommend/discuss changes taken to include people who can comment on Prediction Spigit Speculative markets created for the purpose of Best method to use when you are looking for Susceptible to market failure, like speculative grammar, style, content/facts, etc. Market predicting something, where the market price is a quantitative answer, like the probability of bubbles. interpreted as a prediction of the probability of the something happening or the perceived value of Document CivicWeb FilePro, Scibd, Software that manages the preparation, approval, Tracks progress of documents, makes them Costs money for software that manages team event, etc. People who buy low and sell high are something. Does not need to involve using real Tracking and SlideShare distribution, and hosting of agendas, agenda accessible online very quickly and easy to collaboration on documents. rewarded for improving the market prediction, while money. Hosting packages, and minutes for local governments. Or, search. Improves perception of organizational those who buy high and sell low are punished for software that hosts viewable files online for free. transparency. Documents easily shared. degrading the market prediction. Ideation GiveAMinute, IdeaScale, A focused brainstorming process where people Clear, concise input, scalable, democratic, difficult Organized minorities can manipulate the Scenario Community Viz, MetroQuest Online tool that helps people choose between Fun method to engage. Shows that decisions Expensive to create and requires development icanmakeitbetter, AllOurIdeas submit a proposal or idea/question, users rank the to dominate the conversation, often free results, bias towards early submissions, and Planning + alternative scenarios or see the effects of decisions have trade-offs which creates empathy for policy team. Can feel hokey or forced. Often theAppendix III Appendix III submissions, and then people comment on the challenging to shift opinions or have learning. Calculators made today. makers, educational. Makes abstract or policy scenario planner shows an aggregate of submissions. language feel more tangible. peoples input so far, which may skew results. Online - Offline ChangeByUs Using events and online apps to get people to Turns ideas and priorities into action. Empowers Attracts few (but dedicated!) participants. Serious Games Normally custom built. Zynga A fun way to grapple with a real world problem, Can be fun, good for engaging youth or kids, Expensive to create and requires development Community convene about issues citizens. Requires staff to act as “community organizer” and Persuasive Games offer fee like a budget, land use choices, or environmental shows that decisions have trade-offs which creates team. Can feel hokey or forced. Creation or activator for service. problems empathy for policy makers, educational Photo Sharing, Flickr, Picasa Share photos. Can be used socially by asking people Create a folksonomy using tags, ask people to To create a community around the media is Video Sharing, YouTube, Vimeo Share videos and audio online. Can be used socially Create a folksonomy using tags, ask people to To create a community around the media is Photo Blogging to contribute their own media. "Like" media, continuous presence not required, challenging. Asking people to upload photos Video Blogging, by asking people to contribute their own media. "Like" media, continuous presence not required, challenging. Video editing is time consuming. photos and videos are engaging is quite a large “ask.” Podcasts, Live audio and videos are engaging. Requires moderation Structured ConsiderIt, Open Town Hall Tool that allows participants to explore the pros Prioritizes the pro and con points that are Few examples exist of this software being Streaming Online and cons of an issue and quickly gauge the level of endorsed by people from across the decision used, no commercially available examples as Virtual Worlds SecondLife A virtual place where people can get together. Often Helps online participants feel like they are Can be distracting for the presenter to be Deliberation support for an issue spectrum, decreasing polarization and helping of writing. used simultaneously with a webcast for meetings. attending something with other people, because presenting to a live audience and a virtual decision-makers move towards solutions with there is a sense of audience. audience. Does not replace face-to-face broad appeal. interactions. Survey or Survey Monkey, Survey Gizmo, Online form where participants provide structured Multiple choice questions scale well, simple to Qualitative answers dont scale well, users Voting / IdeaScale, Next 10 Participatory Tools that give participants votes, dollars, or tokens Helps show preference among options. Unlike Tools is useful in the priority-setting portion of Choicebook Wufoo or unstructured feedback. Can be combined with use, many tools are free are not exposed to other peoples input, no Weighing Budgeting, BudgetSimulator, to vote and show the relative importance of a given in-person methods, these online tools let you a process, but it can set false expectations if issues-based education collaboration BudgetAllocator set of options. During meetings, can utilize keypad examine how each individual voted. Can be used you are not clear about how the exercise will16 Text messaging SMS Poll, Poll Everywhere, Twitter, SayZu Contact people on their cellphone to conduct surveys, raise awareness, solicit donations, give Many people have cellphones with text messaging, can combine input from in-person Response limited to 160 characters, qualitative answers hard to scale, users often dont see polling. for quantitative decisions other than budgets. influence the final decision. 17 Webcast & Google+ Hangout, Microsoft Live event, such as a conference call, chat room, May parallel an in-person event, video is engaging Input not concise, expensive to scale, updates, or provide transit or other service meeting with webcast other peoples input, user pays for text Discussion LiveMeeting, GoToMeeting, webinar, etc where people observe and participate and emphasis is placed on good slides, many susceptible to technical difficulties, requires all information Skype,, CoverItLive, Qik in a presentation from a difference. tools are available participants to be online at the same time.
    • Appendix IV: BEST PRACTICES FOR USING COMMON DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT TOOLS This appendix describes common, low capacity online tools available that can help you get started on your digital engagement strategy. The digital engagement tools described in this appendix include: Administrative Tools 1. Facebook Page 2. Twitter Tool Examples Definition Pros Cons 3. Google+ Analytics Google Analytics,, Discover statistics about what kind of people are Learn what is working and what isnt Hard to figure out what the metrics mean, HubSpot, Radian6 engaged with your online tool and how engaged relatively high learning curve. In-depth 4. Flickr they are. analytics analysis requires experimenting with 5. YouTube multiple versions of an email or website, which 6. LinkedIn Groups is time consuming. Constituent SustainNet, SalesForce, Software used to manage interactions with current Software can be implemented throughout Often quite expensive. Can be resource-Appendix III Appendix IV Management CiviCRM and potential customers/donors (find, attract, win organization, which can help streamline intensive to input data. Does not always As internet technologies change rapidly over time, be sure to / Customer new clients, nurture, and retain existing clients). communications and prevent multiple staff from integrate automatically with other online tools, also check on each tool]’s website for instructions. Many sites Relationship Can assist with marketing, customer service, and approaching one stakeholder on many topics. which leads to more manual data input. have very easy to follow video instructions for setting up an technical support. account and getting started. Content Analysis Wordle, ManyEyes, Tools that analyze text, text and graphics, and/or Graphically attractive way to draw quick For many tools, the analysis is quite shallow 1. Facebook Page instructions: DiscoverText, nVivo data sets summaries from text - counting word frequencies rather than showing relationships between information 2. Twitter instructions: and authors. Paid software tends to be basics/topics/104-welcome-to-twitter-support/articles/215585-twitter- extremely expensive. 101-how-should-i-get-started-using-twitter# Platforms YouTown, PlaceSpeak, Yammer, Online software that provides the basis for many Very flexible 9 month development time, labour intensive 3. Google+ instructions: / Multiple WordPress, ChangeByUs, engagement methods. Most often a website- to build, somewhat intensive to manage/ html engagement CivicWebCMS, WikiPlanning, building Content Management System that can update, and likely needs to be significantly 4. Flickr instructions: methods Joomla, Drupal, Crabbgrass, include blogging, forums, polls, videos, social upgraded every 2-3 years CitizenSpace, CrowdBrite media, etc 5. YouTube instructions: started Social Media NetVibes, Google Alerts, Tools that help you find out what people are saying Put Google searches, Facebook, Twitter, Many are paid apps, and cost around $500/ Monitoring Google Reader, HootSuite, about your initiative online Technorati, blog, YouTube, Flickr, etc. results in mo. Cobbling together free tools is more 6. LinkedIn Groups instructions: Tools TweetDeck, MediaFunnel one place time-intensive, but just as effective. 19
    • 1. Facebook Page B. Using your Facebook Page C. Tips and Best Practices »» Consider analyzing your Facebook posts’ success to find an optimal time of day to. HootSuite can schedule Facebook Pages let members of the public connect to you Once you have set up a Facebook Page for your local »» Keep your posts short and sweet. Posts with 80 your posts. Often the best time to reach people is before by becoming a fan. This lets residents receive your updates in government, you can invite additional people to have characters or less have almost 1/3 more user engagement. noon on Wednesdays and Fridays on Facebook. their News Feed. Facebook Pages are great complements or administrator roles on the Facebook Page. All Facebook Page administrators are able to reply to make notes, upload photos, »» Ask a question at the end of your post: Posts that end in »» Use CoTweet, HootSuite, MediaFunnel, or Seesmic to substitutes to websites, because: a question have a 15% higher engagement rate. Questions create wall posts, reply to wall posts, send messages, and monitor all of your social media accounts in one place »» They are easy to use and update perform other actions using Facebook Page’s name. Your staff that ask people about their weekends, holiday plans, or favorite memories tend to elicit more responses. Keep in »» Don’t use URL Shorteners on Facebook: Users are three are protected because the names of Page administrators are »» Many of your constituents are on Facebook mind that people tend to portray their aspirational self times as likely to be engaged with a post that used a full- hidden. online. length URL. »» You can advertise events directly to constituents using your Page and Facebook Ads If you have both a personal account and a agency Facebook »» Record your data: Investigate record retention strategies, »» Ask easy interrogative questions: Easy to answer page, you can interact on Facebook using your Facebook like DiscoverText and Backupify. It is important to record »» Many staff can administer the page, so your organization’s questions, like “what,” “where,” “when,” “would,” and Page’s name rather than your personal account by clicking the how you addressed problem users, especially if you have page is not solely linked to your personal Facebook “Use Facebook as...” link on your Page. “should” elicit more responses, especially because people are likely to answer yes/no questions with a “Like.” “Why” deleted posts. profile. Facebook is a social networking platform, so the next step is questions elicit the lowest response. Posts that ask people »» Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet – to connect with people. Once you have logged into your new to fill in blanks, answer true/false, or multiple choice are even those without Facebook. account, you can find people you know by searching for them, also good ways to engage Facebook fans. syncing your email address book with Facebook temporarily, »» Photos are better than videos: The biggest key to A. Creating a Facebook Page or by filling in details of your profile, like where you went to success on Facebook is posting regular and compelling school or your hometown. Signing up for Facebook only takes minutes. To set up content. Photos tend to perform better than videos, an account for your local government, set up an agency perhaps because they are less intrusive.Appendix IV Appendix IV Facebook Page rather than a Facebook account by clicking »» Consider posting updates when your community is “Create a Page” at the bottom of your screen. most active on Facebook: While some people check Facebook during work, people are more likely to check You can also create a Facebook Page if you don’t have it during breakfast, a morning commute, after work, or a Facebook account. Go to before bed. People are less likely to check Facebook on pages/create.php. When prompted, select “I do not have a weekends, though. Facebook account” and just enter your email address and date of birth. »» Try posting on different days of the week: Buddy Media found that engagement with posts spiked on Thursdays On the “Create a Page” screen, select “Company, and Fridays. Organization, or Institution.” Then, select a profile picture and write some basic information about your agency or »» Write “Like us on Facebook” on print materials and department. In your basic info, be sure to write the link of your presentations related to your initiative. You can also put website and describe (or link to) your terms of use statement links to your Facebook Page on email footers and on your or policy. website.20 21
    • 2. Twitter »» @Mention: mention a Twitter user in a tweet using “@” C. Tips and Best Practices »» Follow many people! Check out the contacts of your in front of their username. If you wonder why someone followers and people you follow. Keep an eye on who Twitter is a microblogging tool that you can use to: mentioned you it a tweet, it could be to: »» Engage your audience and communicate short, simple participates on Twitter chats or tweets about local events. thoughts. Keep tweets between 120 and 130 characters Follow these people! Following people helps you build »» Announce website updates and drive traffic to your ›› Ask questions about your organization and be to the point! Action words like “check” or “click” your follower base. website ›› Ask for help with something work well on Twitter. ›› Give feedback, complaints, and compliments »» Follow people who follow you (except spam users). This »» Announce events »» Observe the “70-20-10” rule for tweets. Try to use »» Direct Messages (DM): send a private message to a helps promote your account and tweets to more users, »» Ask “what” questions 70% of your tweets to share information, resources, links, helping you build a larger following. Twitter user by using “d @” in front of their username. and news. Build connections between users by replying »» Receive feedback and answer queries When one user deletes the message from his/her inbox, or engaging in conversation for 20% of your tweets. Try »» Don’t be afraid to report spam messages or accounts »» Develop a community of people interested in specific it is deleted from the other user’s inbox, too. You can only to only spend 10% of your tweets talking about your issues direct message people who are following you. »» Use lists to sort out people that you follow. Lists help organization. build stronger ties between users on Twitter. »» Retweets (RTs): Twitter’s equivalent of a forward or ‘Me »» Tweet often! HubSpot, an online marketing company, A. Signing Up for Twitter Too!’ or Facebook’s Like button. You can retweet by »» Consider analyzing your Tweets’ success to find an states that people tweet 4.4 times per day on average. optimal time of day to Tweet with a tool like Tweriod. Signing up for Twitter is easy. You just need to submit your clicking a retweet button on a Twitter client, or you can People who tweet between 10 and 50 times a day have copy and paste someone else’s tweet and post it from HootSuite can schedule your tweets. Experiment to see name, an email address, and password to get going. Once the most followers, with 22 tweets being optimal for your account. Conventionally, Twitter users add “RT” to what time of day and which days of the week work best for your account is set up, you can upload your photo or logo maximizing followers. The reason why is because tweets the beginning of the post and @Mention the user who you. and change the Twitter page display settings to match your “decay” incredibly fast – 92% of all retweets and 97% of branding colors and style. originally made the tweet. Sometimes you’ll see “HT” all replies occur within an hour of the original tweet. That »» Use hashtags to talk about topics, places, events, trends, instead, which means “hat tip” or “heard through.” said, try not to tweet all at once. It is more effective to or other tweets that are connected by a theme. When Unlike Facebook, it is completely