Community engagement tools continue to play a large role in consultation processes and in 2019, it is more important than ever to make sure you're using the best and most appropriate tool for your needs. Let’s take a look at a few of the community engagement software trends that 2019 will bring:
Creativity will be crucial
Creativity is crucial to any organisation and 2019 is the year to start focusing on this to reach your audience and stakeholders. The level of trust in political processes continues to decline, and with the overwhelming amount of consultation processes around, consultation fatigue sets in quickly. This means making your community engagement process stand out will need an element of creativity. Stay on top of emerging issues and trends and take that opportunity to create content that allows for engagement and participation.
Trust is key to effective engagement
Long term trends in people’s trust in government (USA) – percentage of the population. Source: “How’s life? 2017 Measuring Well-being” OECD
Long term trends in people’s trust in government continues to decline. People are becoming more aware of what they put out in the cyber-world, and what information is being collected on them, with and without their consent. Privacy, use of their personal data and safety being of paramount concern. It’s extremely important that your stakeholders feel safe when giving feedback that includes personal information about them. Being able to demonstrate what data you are storing on them and how you are using them is now a legislative requirement in many countries. Without a decent stakeholder management system in place, it’s extremely difficult to demonstrate that you are storing the data securely, and the transparency of what information you’re keeping and everywhere you have used it.
Keep your stakeholders informed with upcoming events and consultations by using software programs that are reliable and they can trust. Using a proficient engagement platform that keeps data safe is essential.
Understanding your stakeholders is vital
Effective stakeholder engagement depends to a large extent on understanding exactly who your stakeholders are, and engaging with them in a manner and with information that is specific to their requirements. Being able to map your stakeholders against criteria of Influence, Impact and Interest goes a long way towards understanding their communication needs. Segmenting them into groups based on interest, function or needs, allows you to be quite focussed in your consultation with each of those groups.
Instant accessibility will be a high priority
There’s no surprise that accessibility is an emerging trend, as people expect to receive information instantly to make their lives that much easier. Your consultation team will also need tools to make it easier for them to access and enter information anywhere, and on any device. This will equip them to provide more timely information as and when needed.
What trends do you see shaping community engagement tools and practice in 2019?
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