5 tips to jumpstart community engagement within your organisation

Lock into an ongoing participation habit through internal cultural change management and leveraging these talking points across departments — because more engagement does not equal more work.

Achieve better outcomes for your community

Engaging the community across channels and devices helps you lock into an ongoing participation habit and drive better critical outcomes: greater trust, met or exceeded budgetary goals, reduced risk of public dissatisfaction, and increased employee morale, to name a few. 

Yet, the idea that ‘more engagement equals more work’ continues to plague the public sector. Without a high-level sponsor to help bridge department silos, it can sometimes feel like pushing water uphill. 

Turn engagement from a box-ticking exercise into a core strategic pillar with these five talking points and tactics:

1. Cultivate a community-centric culture

When a community member uses a service, participates in a consultation, or simply interacts with your organization, ask the question, “How did we do?” with an EngagementHQ poll or survey.

It’s one step you can take towards developing an engagement ecosystem and provides a “pulse-check” that will help teams become deliberate in focusing finite resources. People are resistant to change for multiple reasons, but excess uncertainty and the perception of more work are two big ones.

The beauty of ongoing “pulse-check” engagement is that it enables greater insights (or ‘knowns’) which means less time and money spent in vain and more shared, measurable outcomes. See some “pulse-check” examples here

2. Personalize follow-ups

If the community answers “How did we do?” and you find something lacking, ask for more information. One of the many benefits of having a dedicated Engagement platform is that you can leverage our sentiment analysis tool, automated replies, participant tagging, and newsletters to segment and personalize responses.

A single negative experience has four to five times greater relative impact than a positive one, organisations should focus on reducing poor experiences, especially in those areas in which community members come into contact with the organization most often.

3. Embed feedback into the community journey 

The more “pulse-check” data becomes a part of the team lexicon, the clearer gaps in the community journey. Suddenly, it’s easier to ask:

  • Did we use enough formats and channels to help participants feel informed?
  • Were there too many barriers to contribution?
  • Was our language accessible?

With three or more channels used to interact regularly, you’ll begin to see touchpoints and tools as missed opportunities rather than another siloed tool in the toolkit. You can leverage our MessageMedia partnership, Project Finder, or our brand new feature Engagement Embeds. See how here.

4. Provide consistent experiences  

Helping community members understand what they can expect when interacting with you means that reliability and simplicity become synonymous with your organization.

Consistency is an important predictor of overall community experience and satisfaction, with 30% more likely to trust organizations that provided consistency.

By implementing engagement across touchpoints and departments, you lock into an ongoing and natural participation habit externally while building a framework internally to optimize and structure community interactions.

5. Benchmark recurring engagement

Once an ecosystem is established, recurring planning becomes straightforward. You now have the insights to benchmark community satisfaction and sentiment, identify gaps and make the most of opportunities. Couple this with site reviews and trends, and you have everything you need to plan for progress.

Adopting an online community engagement platform isn’t just to add more tasks to your plate, it’s to achieve better outcomes for your community more efficiently. Reach out to us to learn more.

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