Community engagement is a two-way street. If you want your constituents to care about your organization, your organization needs to demonstrate that you care about them, too.
There are many ways to reach out to your community – you can run surveys, Internet interaction systems, social networking campaigns, and much more. However, today’s constituent is savvy. They know that an online survey requires little to no effort to execute. Social networking can be effective, but it’s still simple and doesn’t require a lot of intent.
If your organization uses the easiest methods to reach out to your community, your constituents will see this and only provide the same level of effort in return. For example, if your organization runs an online survey because it’s an easy, low-impact way to get feedback, your community will only put forth the minimal amount of effort to give you a response. You’ll receive many responses, but those responses will only provide you with a 30,000-foot view of your organization.
To truly engage your community, you need to reach out to your constituents, and the way to do that is to invest your organization as much into engagement as you want your community to invest themselves.
So, how do you reach out? Over the years, edTactics has developed a variety of effective methods that demonstrate true intent and a dedication to community engagement. Two we’ll briefly touch on today are Community Open Houses and Key Stakeholder Interviews.
Community Open Houses: Invite your community to attend an open house for your organization. Offer in-depth information to your attendees and have experts on-hand to answer any questions they might have. Have leadership and other staff monitor the open house by asking attendees what they would like to learn more about or know about your organization. Get feedback. Oh, and offer refreshments – it might sound cheesy, but food goes a long way in getting people to show up!
Key Stakeholder Interviews: The Key Stakeholder Interview Process begins with identifying a number of key stakeholders related to your organization. These stakeholders include members of your audience who love and support your organization along with those who may be critical of what you do. After identifying a group of stakeholders, typically between 15-25, one-on-one interviews taking approximately one to one-and-a-half hours are conducted. The results of those interviews are collected, collated, and analyzed to provide a comprehensive document featuring intensive analysis of the valuable qualitative data collected from your stakeholders featuring trends, specific responses, and other points of interest. The Key Stakeholder Interview Process provides your organization with a detailed plan for both the present and the future.
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edTactics specializes in Community Outreach, Facility Planning, Leadership Coaching, and Strategic Communications. School districts and other organizations have successfully implemented Continuous Improvement Plans using the data and strategies from our professional, practical, and affordable services.
If you need assistance, please feel free to contact edTactics for free consultations and to discuss your organization’s current and future needs. You can reach us by calling (360) 566-7616 or learn more about us by visiting our website at www.edtactics.com or following our Facebook (www.fb.com/edTactics) and Twitter accounts (www.twitter.com/edTactics).
edTactics will provide you with our professional experience and expertise so you can focus on your work.
Art Edgerly & Eric Jacobson
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