Five Steps to Creating Public Outreach Campaigns That Engage and Inspire

Mark Rushing Not all that long ago, public meetings and surveys were about the only ways to garner public comment. Both are still used and can be effective in certain situations, but both are limiting in different ways. Surveys don’t provide an opportunity for group discussion while public meetings only allow participation from those in attendance. Interactive online surveys and voting tools, blogs, group chats and a seemingly never-ending supply of social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn now allow us to comment, share ideas and engage in a larger discussion. There are still roadblocks, of course, like not being able to gain access to a Wi-Fi network while on vacation, but it’s never been easier to coordinate a digital public outreach effort that can accomplish so many different things, including: Harnessing collective thoughts, ideas and opinions Establishing and prioritizing challenges and solutions Gauging levels of support for specific ideas or activities Creating or contributing to an ongoing dialogue or debate Creating awareness, informing, educating, enhancing credibility Building consensus As you plan your next public outreach effort, here are five steps to keep in mind regardless of your end goal, audience or digital channels you decide to use: 1.

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