There are many reasons to engage your community online, outlined below are our top 10.
- According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 83% of Australian homes have internet access (in 2013). There is no other engagement technique can offer this level of accessibility.
- The majority of people just don’t have the time to get active in their community and go in-person to town meetings and consultations. Online engagement makes it convenient for people to get involved.
- Online engagement provides an accessible option for getting all kinds of people involved in your conversations: busy people like working parents, younger people, senior citizens, shift workers and mobility or vision and hearing-impaired people. Everyone can have their say.
- Online engagement tools can crack open long-term issues and bring more people into conversations that affect their community.
- The online environment provides a secure space for people to learn and test assumptions, positions and options.
- The relative freedom of an anonymous online environment removes the barriers of aggressiveness, loudness and power that can be present at community meetings and stifle debate.
- Online engagement systems are cost effective and efficient. You can contact more participants directly, at less cost.
- Online engagement can change an organisation’s culture by improving organisational transparency and responsiveness.
- Online engagement means you can help manage the conversation before it manages you.
- Online engagement tools support community ownership at all levels of the engagement spectrum; from “informed” through to “empowered”.
We’d also love to know why you think it’s important to engage your community online from a practice perspective?
Photos by via Pixabay.
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