There are significant benefits to looking at multiple methods to
share and distribute information and obtain feedback. This
“multichannel” approach uses a variety of methods to disseminate
and share the project or program materials. This approach will
enable agencies to reach members of the public that do not
usually follow what is going on in local government.
Websites are one of the most common ways that local
agencies communicate information to their communities. This
article offers tips on how cities and counties can use their
websites and document management systems to better engage their
Providing information about local agency activities is
a key aspect of public engagement. Technology such as webinars,
videos and providing agenda and minutes electronically can help
make the public decision making process more visible.
Newsletters, blogs and social media are all tools
available to local agencies to help get the word out to residents
about events, proposals, meetings and workshops. This article
outlines ways local cities and counties to use these tools to
increase awareness and civic participation.
One option local agencies can use to gather additional input from
community members is online surveys. Web-based surveys can be a
very helpful supplement to an agency’s earlier meetings,
workshops and outreach work.
In addition to traditional online outreach methods,
there are many emerging technologies that local agencies can use
to broaden participation among residents. Open data, mobile
applications and new video technology are increasingly becoming
options for cities and counties.