Episode 32: From Paper-Based to Digital-First Community Engagement with Gore District Council


Elliot Sim, Business Development and Practice Lead at Bang the Table, speaks with Sonia Gerken, Communications and Marketing Manager at Gore District Council, to find out how she transformed the council’s paper-based community engagement approach to a digital-first one.

Gore District Council quickly embraced online community engagement — launching their new engagement site with four major community projects. Within the first 7 months of engagement on Let’s Talk Gore District, Council published two more significant community projects, six in total, and amassed over 4,500 visits to the site. The Council has already achieved an engagement rate of 3.35% (a good to high rate based on global industry standards).

“Just do it. Don’t delay. Don’t think your community is not ready for it [digital-first community engagement], because they are.”

– Sonia Gerken, Communications and Marketing Manager at Gore District Council

Key Moments:

  • 4:30 – Transition and reasons behind Gore’s shift to digital-first engagement
  • 6:54 – Achieving internal buy-in for a transformational shift
  • 9:06 – The community’s uptake of Let’s Talk Gore District
  • 11:47 – Promoting your engagement project
  • 12:55 – How to continually build a database
  • 15:25 – Outcomes after launching Let’s Talk Gore District
  • 17:30 -The Council’s community engagement goals for the next 12 months
  • 18:38 -Advice for Councils that are considering moving to a digital-first approach

Duration: 20 min

Elliot Sim

Business Development and Practice Lead, Bang the Table

Sonia Gerken

Communications and Marketing Manager, Gore District Council

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