There are soooo many ways to engage the community, business leaders, service providers, constituents, un-employed, etc. and I really wish more elected officials and non-profit leaders would take the time to research and utilize these methods.
Here is a list of 10 resources you may have not ever heard of:
1. Pen and paper (otherwise known as acting like you care)
2. Google Alerts
3. LinkedIn (for thought leadership)
5. Facebook Groups
6. Text marketing
7. Engagement HQ
9. Stakeholder Circle
These suggestions span everything from software to in-person meetings, but the idea is that there are so many resources available, the ones in green cost money yet are worthy investments because they streamline data collection so well it's ridiculous.
When I worked in India, we had to collect data first-hand, and I mean really first-hand, like using a ruler, reading the newspaper and counting words and recording information in an excel file. We were trying to figure out how much the government of India was spending on infrastructure across 5 different cities. We had people working in 5 different cities doing this and they would send their results to me and I'd compile it and synthesize it for the report. It was kind of a nightmare. We got it done, but it was difficult.
In the United States, we don't have that issue. We don't have to do everything by hand. We have access to systems that when incorporated as part of a larger engagement strategy (not in place of) we can develop something truly dynamic that engages people but also collects information in a way that is useful to multiple entities over a longer period of time so that we are not duplicating efforts and taxing our stakeholder unnecessarily.
I challenge you to think about how you can incorporate multiple tools into your engagement approach. Need help brainstorming? Schedule a 30-minute call with me.