Here’s a selection of product changes split into key themes. We will provide more regular updates from this point (promise!):
Participant Relationship Management
A major innovation in 2016 was the introduction of Participant Relationship Management (PRM) to the platform. For a long time we have held the view that online engagement shouldn’t be just about individual projects but should embrace building community capacity. PRM is a way to curate, manage and close the communication loop with your community. It can even be used to direct your face to face engagement efforts to ensure that all demographic groups are adequately represented. So what is PRM?
The Participants page now includes grouping options that allow the administrator to filter participants by their screen names, their email addresses, their activity, by tags and even demographic information collected during the registration process and create groups based on these filters.
These groups are then used to send targeted newsletters or allowed exclusive access to protected consultations.
We know that there is a direct correlation between sending newsletters to the participant database and getting more engaged activity on the site. The new filtering and grouping features allows you to target specific interest or demographic groups or for reaching out to those you haven’t heard from in a while.
In addition to the filtering feature, it’s also easier to see a participant’s activity history (from the day this feature was enabled) and add notes to the participant’s account. Ex: log an offline activity they have participated in.
Making EngagementHQ more engaging for your community
Driving online community engagement is a key part of what we are about and this piece of our product development is something we take very seriously. In the last 12 months there have been a number of noteworthy product advances:
1.1 The introduction of the Places tool
Community mapping is a popular way of engaging the community and we had noticed that clients using our ‘Mapper’ tool were getting great community response rates. ‘Mapper’ did a lot of what you’d want from a community mapping tool but we felt that an upgrade was in order to deliver a number of important features. Places was released in September, 2016 and has quickly become one of our more popular tools. Importantly, statistics also show us that it is one of the more engaging tools with participation rates being higher than many of our other tools.
New features included:
- 8 different map layers to choose from including satellite view.
- A wide selection of pin icons and the ability to have multiple pin types.
- Ability to add a WMS based GIS layer.
- Pin filtering.
- Photo sharing options – great for getting the community sharing photos of what they love about your community.
- The ability to plant a pin where you are standing from a mobile device – for on the spot feedback.
- Pin clustering – we get so many pins on some maps they just became a big blob. Clustering ensures your map remains easy to read and to contribute to.
- The ability to restrict community contributions to a defined polygon.
- The new Places tool is fully responsive for all mobile devices.
Take a look for yourself on our demo site HERE
1.2 Follow Project widget
A new ‘follow project’ widget allows registered participants to receive update emails and allows unregistered users to “sign up” for updates with an email address.
The following project widget keeps more of the community in the loop about your plans and helps to drive up engagement rates. Use this tool with the in-site email function to bring these people back to participate at the later stages of your project.
1.3 Ideas Tool notification emails
The Ideas tool is proving to be both popular and very engaging. We have enhanced the tool with automated notification emails. It’s designed to bring the community back to the site to see other ideas and perhaps contribute more ideas of their own.
1.4 New homepage templates
We’ve gradually added to the home page template options for your site – keep an eye out for the new ‘Bondi’ template!
Making the life of our administrators easier
2.1 Survey Tool Reports Upgrade
A popular change for our clients has been the introduction of a codified and simplified excel download for survey results. This facilitates deep analysis of surveys and the use of 3rd party analytics tools for those who prefer to use something other than our built in charts and analysis.
2.2 New WYSIWYG editor
We have upgraded the WYSIWYG editor for text fields across EngagementHQ to give administrators more flexibility and easier control over the formatting of their content.
2.3 The Activity Page
We’ve introduced an activity page that can be accessed from anywhere in the administrator interface of the site.
This activity feed shows you the latest activity across your site, highlights where actions are needed (ex: where a question needs an answer) and also allows you one click navigation to review content.
2.4 Project cloning
After the success of our survey cloning feature, we have now enabled project cloning as a time saving measure. Meaning, if you want one project to follow the structure of another you can clone the project. This action will clone the same tools and enabled widgets but will not clone content.
We are always working to create the tools and services necessary for our clients to successfully build an active community. As we progress into 2017, be on the lookout for additional new features and updates.