15 Tips For Electronic Public Engagement
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2004 Presentation to the American Municipal Planning Organizations - Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX

2004 Presentation to the American Municipal Planning Organizations - Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX

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15 Tips For Electronic Public Engagement Presentation Transcript

  • 1. 15 Tips for Using Emerging Technologies in Public Involvement AMPO Annual Conference San Antonio, TX – October 14, 2004 Dan Bevarly, Director of Business Development [email_address]
  • 2. Social, Economic and Cultural Changes Drive Emerging Technologies
    • Today’s traditional method for public involvement utilizes 16 th Century Technology
    • A historical design formed when towns were small, and more homogeneous.
    • Technology leads the way to Change
      • - Industrialization
      • - Automobile
      • - Suburbs
    • Dispersal, Displacement and Diversity
    AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 3. Social, Economic and Cultural Changes Drive Emerging Technologies
    • Public Policy and Decision Making has become more critical than ever, requiring more involvement from the public and stakeholders (Consider Transportation Planning and Brownfield Redevelopment)
    • Yet competition for the public’s attention is increased and fierce.
    AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 4.
    • Obstacles –both Real and Perceived-- formed to reach, educate and engage citizens
          • Access
          • Intimidation
          • Lack of Knowledge
          • Apathy
    Social, Economic and Cultural Changes Drive Emerging Technologies AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 5. Social, Economic and Cultural Changes Drive Emerging Technologies
    • Emerging Generations have the means to, and personal preferences for, new ways to communicate and to obtain information.
    • Personal technology hardware and the Internet has redefined how we work and live in terms, especially in how we communicate and inform.
          • Opportunities
          • Challenges
    • Standards are needed for using emerging technology.
    AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 6. The Benefits of Integrating Emerging Technologies with Traditional Methods of Public Involvement
    • A 24/7, 365-day Town Hall Meeting
    • Reach and engage a wider constituency
    • A more informed and involved citizenry helps decision makers
    • Public access to data saves printing, postage and other admin costs
    • Ensure and modulate transparency in the planning process
    • Browser-based architecture is universal
    • Create institutional records; develop and share Best Practices
    AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 7. 15 Tips for Using the Web to Engage Citizens in the Public Planning Process Many Needs, One System AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 8.
    • Think in terms of Web “systems,” not Web sites.
    • All forms of information and communication must be managed.
      • Web Sites = Wallpaper. “Systems” imply “infrastructure.”
      • As a part of the project workflow and public outreach processes, systems can manage:
      • - Content
      • - Projects
      • - Documents and Images
      • - Public Comment
    Organization of Web-based applications to drive public involvement AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 9.
    • 2. Web-based citizen participation is an integrated part of the overall public involvement plan.
      • Not a replacement for traditional processes, it supplements and supports other, traditional processes.
      • Replicate any and all project data and managing communications, i.e. notification documentation, public comments.
      • Drive traffic to project Web site.
    • Establish transparency rules early and develop full plan for Information Rights Management.
      • What content is public and what is limited access for project teams?
      • That is, who should have access and to what information?
      • Who has authority to make decisions to publish content?
    Organization of Web-based applications to drive public involvement AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 10.
    • Favor “issue-based” sites.
    • People organize around issues – not institutions. Use government portals to drive traffic to issue based sites rather than as destinations.
    • Make promises. Keep promises.
    • Create clarity for how information will be posted and how public comment will be collected and used by project team.
    • 6. Tailor message to identified “communities of interest,” including use of language and be Visual about it.
      • Support sub communities in large-scale projects.
      • The Web is a visual medium.
    Organization of Web-based applications to drive public involvement AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 11.
    • Respect legal standard of public comment with full validation, attribution, moderation, and consent.
      • Decentralize project management; create information filters; centralize information.
      • Leads to more informed decision making.
      • Public Comment will diverge from voting controversies. – don’t confuse voting and public comment standards.
        • Public comment by definition is imperfect and decision makers are awarded the discretion to consider manner of delivery and weight given to every comment.
        • Remember, “consensus” is not the same as “majority rules.”
      • .
    Administration of Electronic Communication in Public Involvement Projects AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 12.
    • 8. Keep current all electronic public communications and Web site information.
      • Meetings, minutes, documents, calendars, newsletters, news releases, etc.
    • 9. Data base collection superior to email collection .
      • Email viruses can end an e-mail public comment program.
      • Can any project manager or team read thousands of emails and where is the record?
      • Twenty percent (20%) of email comments probably never arrive.
    • 10. Use managed Web sites, with a managed service.
    • Servers break. Who is watching the system?
    • If your government portal is down, is your project site up?
    Electronic Security and Public Involvement AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 13. 11. Allow for creation of an electronic trail and record of who touches data and when. The Web can create accountability and tracking. 12. Create “Institutional Memory,” or an electronic record, for future decision makers. A “Best Practice” library that can be easily accessed enables education and training of new staff, consultants, and constituencies. Electronic Security and Public Involvement AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 14. 13. When decision is made to engage, commit all the way. Understand that the expectation of citizens that they have easy access, and a right, to electronic means for public involvement leads to a trend that leads to a preference in most cases. 14. Growing broadband availability provides opportunity to incorporate visuals as a part of the public involvement process. 55% of adult Internet users have high speed access (39% at home – a 60% increase since 03/03). More than half (52%) of college educated people age 35 and younger have broadband connections at home. 15. Finally, involve the media. Not only is access to public information more readily and easily available, the Internet enables better communication and information with media. Future Benefits of Technologies Supporting Public Involvement Processes – Planners with Vision AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 15. The Benefits of Integrating Emerging Technologies with Traditional Methods of Public Involvement
    • A 24/7, 365-day Town Hall Meeting
    • Reach and engage a wider constituency
    • A more informed and involved citizenry helps decision makers
    • Public access to data saves printing, postage and other admin costs
    • Ensure and modulate transparency in the planning process
    • Browser-based architecture is universal
    • Create institutional records; develop and share Best Practices
    AMPO 2004 Annual Conference
  • 16. Thank You 2004 Dan Bevarly Sr. Director of Business Development [email_address] www.publiccomment.com 2009 Dan Bevarly Bevarly Communications [email_address] www.aheadofideas.com