Latest Posts

15 Dec 2014

How do you stay engaged in the midst of a restructure?

Restructure and change in government departments is inevitable. Rather than railing against the disruption, bureaucrats must plan community interactions around them. [Note: The full text of this post was originally published and can be read on The Mandarin as Staying engaged when your agency is restructured (again).] I hear a common refrain from exhausted public

11 Dec 2014

How do I write engaging headlines for my online consultations? Four simple rules.

Writing project headlines to engage your community online is both an art and a science. There are some things that you simply must and must not do. Once you have these rules down pat, like any creative endevour, you can play around with things a little to drive up participation rates. The project headline is

10 Dec 2014

What are the disadvantages of online communication for citizen engagement?

There are a number of clear advantages and disadvantages of online communication that need to be considered when you are planning a digital citizen engagement strategy. I have outlined the advantages in some detail in an earlier post. Online communication is not without shortcomings, however, many of those are perceived, rather than real. In this

9 Dec 2014

How do small councils engage their community online? Yankalilla shows how.

Yankalilla is a small agriculturally based town on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, located 72┬ákm south of the state’s capital of Adelaide. The town is nestled in the Bungala River valley, overlooked by the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and acts as a service centre for the surrounding agricultural district. A Place Brand for

3 Dec 2014

Your Library, Your Voice: rebuilding the Christchuch library after the 2011 earthquake

Earlier this year Christchurch City Council launched the Your Library, Your Voice campaign to get the community involved in helping design its new central library. Between February and June 2011 a series of earthquakes and aftershocks devastated much of Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city. In all, 185 people were killed and there was widespread

3 Dec 2014

How do I grow my community panel? Introducing the ‘Willoughby’ method!

There is no questioning the community panels are becoming more and more normalised as part of local government community engagement strategies. They offer many benefits in terms of engagement marketing efficiency and effectiveness, and from a research perspective, they can offer some rigor around the demographic diversity of those being engaged. The question that always

2 Dec 2014

Who should I follow on Twitter for community engagement news and views?

In an earlier post I shared the ten most influential community engagement Twitter accounts. ‘Influence’ was determined by a range of quantitative measures, such the number of followers, the domain authority of their website, the number of times their content is re-tweeted and more along the same lines. For this list I’m taking a different

20 Nov 2014

Are you practicing condescending community engagement?

Before you launch into your next project, ask yourself “is this question we’re putting to the community just a little condescending?” Unfortunately, all to often, the answer is yes. Condescending community engagement is rife in the public, private and third sectors. Why? Many years ago I hired a consultant on the recommendation of my boss.

19 Nov 2014

Are you ready to use Twitter as a community engagement tool? Forty odd questions to think through first!

There’s a lot to think about before engaging your community on Twitter. Are you ready to use Twitter? It’s easy to leap in without a plan and without thinking things through. Hopefully this post will help you through the mire. A while back we asked around for tips for using Twitter as as a community

19 Nov 2014

Five public participation books from 2014 you should take the time to read

Every year dozens of books are published on the subject of community engagement, civic engagement, public engagement or public participation (depending on your fancy). None of us has time to read them all, so how to choose. I’ve compiled a short and eclectic list here that span the breadth of issues that public participation practitioners

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