What is public engagement? Why it must be done…
A single community meeting just won’t cut it in today's information driven society. Local government agencies should be applying a variety of public engagement strategies and approaches to connect with community members on issues ranging from budgeting to public safety, community health, and the necessity to perform infrastructure improvements. Here’s a surprising tid-bit: most residents do not regularly follow local policy matters!
Solid public engagement can present opportunities for many residents to understand an issue and its impact on the community, and to see a municipal agency’s challenges. Public engagement can generate support for the financial decisions many communities need. By engaging with stakeholders, you generate ownership, allow residents to shape policy, and develop a better understanding for a project or a proposal and the reason that decisions are made.
Effective communication can increase support and offer a chance for discussion with less contention, creating an opportunity for community buy-in and backing. When community members are informed early in the process, and conversations are facilitated frequently, civil reasoned problem solving discussions take place.
The potential for a broad agreement increases with each discussion and contributes to a catalyzed approval process – putting the project or plan into effect. Good public engagement reduces the necessity for a decision-making “do-over.” Transparent and open discussion build trust and collaboration on common community issues, which allows for opportunities for community members to get behind a plan or a project. It also inspires confidence that issues can be solved – which promotes cooperation.
Engaging your community in new ways offers additional opportunities for community members to take part in the conversations that shape a community. This may include residents that have traditionally participated less than others. By engaging community members through online methods including social media, virtual meetings, as well as through door-to-door canvassing and direct mail, constituents and stakeholders will gain the knowledge, experience and build confidence in their local agencies and provide their generous support of your project.
At Capital Strategic Solutions, we engage community members on their preferred platforms and provide common sense solutions for government agencies to engage with community members on a deeper level. Successfully communicate with the public you serve! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-690-0046.