Are you using the most effective strategies to reach your audience?
Have you ever closed out a virtual public meeting wondering if you really gained any meaningful feedback? Do you wish your surveys would attract more responses? How many times have you logged off a poorly attended zoom town hall feeling like you don’t seem to be reaching local residents? Virtual Public Involvement can be frustrating, but implementing the right tactics can turn failure into fulfillment!
The pandemic changed the way the world works,
so we have to change the way WE work.
Here are 3 top strategies for implementing successful Virtual Public Involvement (VPI):
Meet Your Audience Where They Are
Whether your audience is in full lock-down mode, cautiously stepping out, or attending every in-person event available—you must utilize the channels that will reach them.
Some examples of those channels are:
- Traditional press releases
- Announcements on Tribal websites
- Physical postcards with QR code
- Postings in front of community center
- Postings at popular locations like local restaurants, libraries, schools, grocery stores, etc.
- Mailing announcements with utility bills or other frequently sent mail
- Postings on social media platforms
- Telephone Town Halls
Use Multiple Strategies
Chances are, your audience varies in how they’re responding to the new “normal.” That means it’s crucial to use not just one or two of the channels above, but several. Employing multiple techniques practically guarantees that you’ll reach most, if not all, of your audience.
For example, post information about a project on your website and social media accounts with a link that takes your audience to the project’s StoryMap. Then, when the public gets to the StoryMap, have a survey or comment section available for them to engage with. These integrated strategies provide ample opportunity to gain meaningful feedback from your community.
Click HERE to see an example StoryMap.
Leverage Social Media to the Max
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool when used correctly. According to a recent study by Pew Research, 72% of adults in America use at least one social media site—that’s a lot of reach. To leverage social media and receive the most results for your efforts, consider putting the following tactics into action:
- Don’t just post on the project or main account. Connect with other Tribal groups and ask them to post your announcement on their page. More often than not, they are glad to spread the information and they may have something you can post for them in return. This strategy enables all parties to grow their following and expand their reach.
- Be sure to include interesting images or videos in your posts. Eye-catching content will increase the likelihood of your followers to stop scrolling and engage with your content. Canva.com is a great website to use when creating posts. The website offers free templates, images, and graphics that makes it easy to produce exciting content.
- Include a call-to-action in your post or announcement. You want to make sure your content not only provides information, but encourages your audience to take the action you’re aiming for, whether that is attending a virtual or in-person meeting, filling out a survey, or providing feedback.
Public Involvement is a cornerstone to creating projects that successfully serve the community while preserving culture and tradition. There’s no one way to carry out Virtual Public Involvement, but these strategies play a large role in accomplishing it effectively. Comment below any other VPI tips and tricks that you have had success with!