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Closing the loop on community engagement

‘The power of thankyou’

Closing the loop on community engagement projects is often ignored as teams move on to the next exciting or urgent project. Worse still, projects are sometimes “disappeared”. The lack of a closed feedback loop to the community has a major impact on community-to-government relations, trust in the process, and trust in the future processes.

I subscribe to a great online marketing blog, Social Triggers, and once again Derek Halpern has delivered BIG in thought provoking content.

His blog focuses on how psychology helps boost online traffic and sales. While it is marketing and sales focused, I strongly believe that some of the techniques and strategies from this space are vital in getting, and keeping, communities engaged online.

When we look at this in an online community engagement context, one of the toughest challenges for many organisations is motivating action within a community.

In his latest post about the Power of Thank You, Derek looks at the “Gratitude Effect” and how a simple thank you changes behaviour and drives action.

In marketing, it’s making a sale or generating buzz. In community engagement, it’s the same, but the sale = engagement or participation.

So when it comes to saying thank you in your online community engagement space, what are some of the things you could be doing? Here are three simple ways you can show gratitude to your online community.

  1. Personally thank people for their contributions. This is an easy one and could be a simple comment in the forum thanking them for their participation.
  2. Think about how you could reward their participation. Could you send them something in an email – tickets to a show, iTunes credit or a voucher to a local shop.
  3. A simple and oft forgotten process. Thank your community and tell them how their participation contributed to the outcomes of your project.

They’ve shown your consultation some love by taking the time to have a say. Show them some in return by saying THANKS!

I’d love to know in the comments below how you’ve thanked your community for their time and effort.

The more ideas, the more we can spread the Attitude of Gratitude!

So to practice what I (and Derek) are preaching, I’d like to thank Derek for this making another great video and YOU for stopping by and giving some of your valuable time to reading this post.

Over to Derek.

 

Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks

Thanks for getting all the way to the bottom! Subscribe to our monthly digest newsletter if you’d like to be kept up to date about community engagement practice globally. Take a look at our two product websites: EngagementHQ if you need a complete online engagement solution, and BudgetAllocator if you need a participatory budgeting solution. Or get in touch if you have a story idea you think is worth sharing.

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2 Comments

  1. […] the level of trust between a government and its constituents. In an earlier post, we outlined the power of thank you and this post highlights the 10 key reasons to follow up after an online community engagement […]

  2. […] the level of trust between a government and its constituents. In an earlier post, we outlined the power of thank you and this post highlights the 10 key reasons to follow up after an online community engagement […]

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