Getting Social: Public Engagement and the Use of Digital Tools CIP Infuse 2013


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Getting Social: Public Engagement and the Use of Digital Tools Workshop by Tracy Vaughan and Amanda Mitchell at the CIP Infuse 2013 Conference in Vancouver, BC.

The purpose of the workshop was to introduce how social media and online tools can be used in planning and public engagement. Drawing on case study examples from the City of Vancouver, a range of social media and online tools will be demonstrated and discussed.

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  • Tracy Vaughan, in herrole as Public Engagement Manager with the City of Vancouver, is a best practices advisor to city staff and a community liaison. Sheholds a Masters in UrbanStudiesfrom Simon Fraser University and came to the City from the privatesectorafterseveralyears of focused engagement work as a sustaiabilityplannerwith HB Lanarc. Tracy’sworkfocuses on engagement as a foundationalelement of sustainability planning and building communitycapacity. She has workedcloselywithmunicipalities and senior governments in BC for the last eightyears. Tracy brings a wealth of professionalexperience in public engagement, includingexperiencewith an array of outreachtools and techniques, project and team management, strategic engagement design and implementation, and new media management. Amanda Mitchell is a Public Engagement Specialist at the City of Vancouver. She has a background in sustainability and a keen interest in the use of social media, online consultation tools, and creative engagement strategies to enhance community participation in land use planning decisions. Amanda managed the online engagement process to develop the Greenest City Action Plan and has been leading the City’s internal social media community of practice. Prior to working at the City, she was the Smart Growth on the Ground Outreach Coordinator at Smart Growth BC and a Researcher at the Design Centre for Sustainability at UBC. Amanda graduated from the University of Guelph with a B.Sc, in Environmental Science, and went on the complete a Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture at UBC.
  • Everyone wants to immediately jump to tool selection, but that’s not appropriate.
  • You can’t select your tools until you know the objectives of your project.
  • Where along the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation does your project fit?It is important to identify the level of influence your participants have on the decision you are consulting about and from there be able to identify and articulate your promise to them. Knowing this first will help you find the right tool to fit your needs.See:
  • Getting buy-in from the top to use online tools:Know why you want to use the tool – how it will achieve your objectives Know the pros & cons about the toolsAddress potential concernsFind relevant case studiesTreat it as a pilot
  • Six things to look for when choosing an online consultation tool (by Engagement HQ)Easy moderation & facilitation2. User-friendly interfaceMeaningful reportingContent analysisTechnical and strategic supportScalability
  • Best practice for online questionnaires
  • At the City of Vancouver we used Engagement HQ (or Bang the Table) for a variety of projects including our Transportation Plan, Budget consultation, and our Affordable Housing strategy but have moved away from that platform since.Pros ofEngagement HQit’s registration-based with simple email signup which means you can build an audience that you can contact and it requires people to take a bit more ownership of their commentsIt can be used as a mini project site that hosts not only your discussion but all your project informationIt also offers survey and polling toolsModeration tools allow you to monitor your community and also enables your users to flag inappropriate contentSupport service is very customized and they will even support your moderation needsHosted in CanadaCons ofEngagement HQThe reporting quality is not high, and is inconsistentCan be costlyWorks best if you focus content on the mini-site which means you can’t drive traffic to your own site if that is your goal
  • Shareabouts by OpenPlans is another crowdmapping platform that can be used by governments. The code is open source so requires customization to your own community.
  • Shareabouts has been used to ask for locations for public bike share systems
  • Mobile apps such as SeeClickFix and Citizens Connect also enable people to submit service requests to the City. When they spot something that requires maintenance, they can click a photo, tag it with a category and submit it to the map through the app. The app records the geolocation where the request was made and creates a service ticket in the City’s 3-1-1 system.In order for this to work, your city needs to have an Open 3-1-1 protocol.
  • Intro to social media
  • In the digital and advertising landscape of today, it is difficult to get your message heard.
  • As people share your content, they help amplify your message to their friend’s and friend’s friends. This network effect helps your message spread.
  • As recent disasters have shown, social media is not trivial, but a real-time communications tool. Great way to answer questions, quell rumours, solicit information, organize volunteers, and send out official notices.
  • Social media is transparent. All of your posts are online to see how you react – or don’t – to comments.
  • If any of this makes you nervous, don’t worry. Here are some steps to take to help you ease into developing your own social media networks. Start by listening. Make sure you understand the nuances of the network, how it’s used and the audience before wading in.
  • You can put policy in place to govern expectations of your networks and the staff who run them. Remember, your staff can also be part of your amplification network. If they’re excited about something and posting it to their network, they are sharing your content with their friends.
  • Can even measure sentiment of tweets
  • FACEBOOKProsCommunity building and dialogueGreat to drive traffic to websiteKeep ppl informed of progress or eventConsCan be targeted by dissenters Hard to save conversationsNot everyone is there so know you are only reaching part of your audience and supplement with other tactics
  • Facebook best practices1 to 2 posts a day, maximum! Don’t just talk about yourself Photos and videos are popular (repurpose material from events)Use questions to start conversationCreate Facebook events Encourage people to share posts, eventsCan purchase Facebook advertising Do NOT tie to twitter!
  • You can have dialogue on facebook. This post by the Vancouver Police Department had 110 comments.
  • You can also see what is of interest to people. This post was shared over 90 times, garnishing over 200 likes. Which is really useful feedback. People in Vancouver like the parklet programs.
  • Twitter best practices1 posts a day at the bare minimum Don’t just talk about yourself Photos and videos are popular (repurpose material from events)Use questions to start conversationGreat to summarize an eventSearch people who are interested in your topicAnswer questions
  • Twitter best practices cont’dUse hashtagsTalk like a humanShorten linksConverse with peopleFollow and be followedIncorporate into events
  • During your events, make your hashtag prominent
  • FlickrA photo sharing tool
  • Instragram best practicesMeant to be used on a mobile. Perfect for taking photos at events to build buzz Space out your postsUpload creative images and apply a filterFollow peopleTag everything!Include a description and web linksCross-post to Twitter and FacebookCan use for photo contests
  • Flickr best practicesFollow peopleUse sets to organize photos after eventsTag everything!Include a description, hashtags and web links on every photoGeotag your photosEncourage people to add photos to a flickr pool
  • InstagramA geo-authenticated photo sharing tool
  • YouTubeA video sharing tool. This example shows how we used an event summary video toextend the reach of our in-person event.Pros of YouTubeInvites people to participate, provides context and enable you to post event summariesIncludes a description, hashtags and web links for each videoEnables you to share your videos, cross-post to other networksCons of YouTubeYouTube Ads are annoyingLimits to video lengthComments can be unproductive
  • Illustrated videos are great (this onewas translated into Punjabi and Cantonese). In this case the illustrative video work helped to easily explain the content in the draft Greenest City Action Plan and invited people to get involved.
  • PinterestA community bulletin board where you can “pin” content of interest from the web to “boards”. Used often to share ideas for crafts, weddings, home decorating, fashion, recipes. Like other social networks, you create a profile and can follow other people and be followed. Very visual medium. For a planning process, you could use Pinterest to organize photos of elements in a particular plan or examples from other communities. You could pin articles about the plan or photos from your engagement efforts.
  • Pinterest best practicesFollow people and be followedOrganize into boardsPin relevant photos and websitesAdd notes and hashtags
  • Improve how you promote your consultations and prove your doing it better by applying for Dave Meslin’s Dazzling Notice Award
  • Getting Social: Public Engagement and the Use of Digital Tools CIP Infuse 2013

    1. 1. Public Engagement and the Use of Digital Tools CIP Infuse 2013 Workshop
    2. 2. The Day Ahead • Intros • Getting Started • Group Exercise • Lots of Tools • Group Exercise • Social Media • Group Exercise • Wrap up
    3. 3. 3 Who are we? What do we do? 12 Tracy Vaughan Amanda Mitchell Photo by Harold Simons
    4. 4. Vision • Citizens, community groups, organizations, and businesses have the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect their lives. Photo by Celia King
    5. 5. Selecting Engagement Tools Photo by OZinOH
    6. 6. 7 Until you know your objectives, you can’t select your tools. Photo by renway2007
    7. 7. If you build it, they will come... Myth Photo by samuelnbarnett
    8. 8. If I go online, I don’t need very many resources Myth Photo by kadaltik
    9. 9. Not everyone is online, we would be leaving seniors behind Myth Photo by krcla
    10. 10. Vancouver’s Digital Movement 12 81% Vancouver’s mobile penetration Vancouver’s tablet penetration 13% 80% of Canadian citizens surveyed like the idea of automatic notifications about government services 3.9% of B.C’s employed population work at Start-up companies. Nearly a quarter of Canadian internet users engage in an online discussion related to government policies or public issues, but not necessarily on an official government site. People aged 55 and older are now the fastest-growing demographic of internet users and now account for one in five internet users, which is actually more than people aged 10 to 24, 25 to 34, and 35 to 44 who comprise 10, 18, and 18 percent of internet users respectively. (ComScore 2011) 40,000 new immigrants enter B.C each year Canadians say that location based notifications are most used for road construction, weather, and traffic. 54% of Canadians are comfortable with validating their identity on line to protect their information. The consumerization of technology is driving both private and public organizations to rethink the way they engage with their stakeholders
    11. 11. If I use online tools, I don’t have to do in- person events Myth Photo by Kurtis Stewa
    12. 12. If you want to participate in your pajamas, you can!
    13. 13. Getting buy in from the top • Know why you want to use the tool – how it will achieve your objectives • Know the pros & cons about the tools • Address potential concerns • Find relevant case studies • Treat it as a pilot Photo by iheartcities
    14. 14. TOOLS
    15. 15. Online questionnaires
    16. 16. Easy to use
    17. 17. 20
    18. 18. Strategic questions
    19. 19. Strategic collection
    20. 20. Know who you are hearing from
    21. 21. Think about your audience
    22. 22. Provide the details they need
    23. 23. Use the language your audience speaks
    24. 24. Thank them and encourage sharing
    25. 25. Discussion forums
    26. 26. 30
    27. 27. 40 Best practices • Have clear questions • Seed the conversation • Be proactive on answering questions or dispelling myths • Keep the focus of the conversation on track • Have clear participant rules • Use a tool that allows the participants to self-regulate
    28. 28. 41 Ideation tools
    29. 29. Design competitions create a lot of buzz
    30. 30. A picture is worth a thousand words
    31. 31. 44 Crowdsource the information you need
    32. 32. 4040
    33. 33. 4141
    34. 34. 45 Can be used for ongoing issue identification
    35. 35. Learning trade-offs
    36. 36. Digital tool criteria Helps meet project objectives Ease of access Entices participation Ease of analysis Data security
    37. 37. Make information clear and interesting
    38. 38. Meet people where they are
    39. 39. Photo by jasonahowie
    40. 40. 5252 See what people are talking about
    41. 41. Photo by Dustan Sept The public is online and expects you to be too
    42. 42. 54 Fighting through the noise 54 Photo by asiandevelopmentbank
    43. 43. 55 Social media is about relationships 55 Photo by civellod
    44. 44. 56 Amplify your message 56 Photo by estimmel
    45. 45. 57 Photo by waynerd Real-time communications when you need it
    46. 46. 58 Social media is transparent photo by Juliusreque
    47. 47. Start by listening Photo by pasukaru76
    48. 48. Put Policy in Place Photo by sAeroZar
    49. 49. 61 Have the right people run your accounts photo by pestoverde
    50. 50. Map out what you are going to talk about Photo by johanneslundberg
    51. 51. Be social Photo by iheartcities
    52. 52. Create discussion guidelines
    53. 53. Have a response plan
    54. 54. Manage with a platform
    55. 55. Sentiment Analysis of @CityofVancouver
    56. 56. 68
    57. 57. Questions to ask when creating a new social media account for an engagement program • What existing channels do you have? • Who’s your audience? • What are you calling it? • How long is the engagement process? • What happens after? • How will you build an audience? • Do you have the bandwidth to maintain?
    58. 58. 71
    59. 59. • 1 to 2 posts a day, maximum! • Don’t just talk about yourself • Photos and videos are popular (repurpose material from events) • Use questions to start conversation • Create Facebook events • Encourage people to share posts, events • Can purchase Facebook advertising • Do NOT tie to twitter! Facebook best practices
    60. 60. 75
    61. 61. Twitter basics • @name (Like an email address) • # = hashtag (Similar to an email subject line) • RT = retweet (Like forwarding an email)
    62. 62. • 1 posts a day at the bare minimum • Don’t just talk about yourself • Photos and videos are popular (repurpose material from events) • Use questions to start conversation • Great to summarize an event • Search people who are interested in your topic • Answer questions Twitter best practices
    63. 63. • Use hashtags • Talk like a human • Shorten links • Converse with people • Follow and be followed • Incorporate into events Twitter best practices
    64. 64. Use hashtags at events
    65. 65. Ask people to join the conversation
    66. 66. Live tweet events.
    67. 67. Amplify your message with your supporters
    68. 68. Host a twitter chat
    69. 69. Twitter Lexicon • Twitter  The platform • Tweet  A post on twitter. “Did you see that tweet that @CIPInfuse sent?” • Followers  People who subscribe to your posts • Tweeps  Slang for twitter followers • DM  Direct message. A private post between you and a follower 84
    70. 70. 85
    71. 71. • Meant to be used on a mobile. Perfect for taking photos at events to build buzz • Space out your posts • Upload creative images and apply a filter • Follow people • Tag everything! • Include a description and web links • Cross-post to Twitter and Facebook • Can use for photo contests Instagram best practices
    72. 72. Instagram
    73. 73. 90
    74. 74. 91
    75. 75. • Follow people and be followed • Organize into boards • Pin relevant photos and websites • Add notes and hashtags Pinterest best practices
    76. 76. Digital tool criteria Helps meet project objectives Ease of access Entices participation Ease of analysis Data security Analyzing your feedback
    77. 77. Working with your data
    78. 78. Your consultation summary •Start with what you did •Who you heard from •What were the high level themes / did different populations have different views? •What were the outliers/where was there conflict Share it!
    79. 79.
    80. 80. Thank you!! Tracy Vaughan Amanda Mitchell @iheartcities