There are various tools we find useful for communicating consultation activities and adding to engagement. Cover all bases – you want to be in a position to inform a disgruntled stakeholder of all the channels you tried to reach them through and use tools to support your messaging while being responsive to the different ways people like to engage. Some of our favourite tools are:

#1 Online Engagement Platform

EngagementHub  ezgif.com-video-to-gif (6)

Obviously, Engagement Hub is the ultimate solution for engagement online with your stakeholders and community.

Offering bespoke consultation websites for clients, our 20 widget system enables our clients to readily utilise advanced tools to engage with stakeholders and community. Affordable and intuitive.

Our clients benefit from ongoing support and access to our Engagement Toolkit series.

Sign up for a free 30 day trial!

#2 Tapping into your existing communication channels

Yes, I hear you – a no brainer!

  • Website
  • eNewsletters – use this to send out fortnightly communications/updates – include user feedback and create call to actions
  • Newspaper advertisement (eg: for local government, Mayoral columns)
  • Social Media
  • Messages on Hold
  • Educating Customer Service staff to ‘sell’ your consultation
  • Events – community days and festivals
  • Physical advertising space you own to enable billboard and/or signage advertising

#3 Internal Workflow Management

Trello

Cost: Free to $USD 20.95 per month

This is a great collaboration and workflow management tool if your organisation does not already have one. We use this for managing communications and engagement scheduling, workflows and approvals.

#4 Content Reviewing

Hemingway App

Cost: $USD 9.99

Great for reviewing your grammar and messaging complexity. Hemingway helps you write with power and clarity by highlighting adverbs, passive voice, and dull, complicated words.

#5 Portable Kiosks / IPad Displays / Pop Up Tents / Inflatable Spaces

Examples: Slimline Warehouse, NVP Exhibits, Toucan Portable Displays, Inflatables, Pop Up Tents – many of these suppliers

Cost: Various

These items are great for taking to events, shopping centres, libraries and to areas where there may be disadvantaged and/or vulnerable stakeholders.

#6 Hard copy newsletters

Cost: Various

On any local government engagement project we always keep community members informed with a bi-monthly hard copy trifold brochure distributed to all properties within a 500m radius of the subject site, in additional to high use community facilities and via local businesses.

#7 Graphic Design and Infographics

Canva

Cost: Free to PAYG

Anyone can be a graphic designer with this online tool – also create great looking infographics. Other good tools are http://piktochart.com/ and http://visual.ly/

#8 Live Online Interactive Meetings, Forums and Workshops

ClickMeeting or Braincert

ClickMeeting cost: from $USD 30 per month

BrainCert cost: from $USD 39 per month

We have reviewed and trialled 15 online meeting solutions. Most are prohibitive as require software downloads and/or have closed ports. These are the two we think are best of class.

#9 Video Creation and Editing

Animoto

Cost: from $USD 13 per month

Quickly create amazing videos with a variety of file types.

#10 Online Text to speech

ResponsiveVoice

Cost: Free to $USD 29 per month

Engagement Hub is built to meet WCAG 2.0, however you can enhance the accessibility by embedding a text to script.

#11 Mind Mapping

MindMeister

Cost: from $USD 6 per user per month

This platform is very affordable and enables collaborate mapping for projects. Use this mind map editor for brainstorming, note taking, project planning and tons of other creative tasks

#12 Storytelling

GoAnimate

Cost: from $USD 39 per month

Create animated videos to support your messaging. This overview of the history of North Strathfield was created with GoAnimat

#13 Dotocracy and Magic Whiteboard

Magic Whiteboard

Cost: $AUD 75 for the Mega Whitebord – and it is reusable

This is an activity we use in community workshops. Stick the Magic Whiteboard on the walls with broad themes and ask participants to add their ideas. We then give each participant a one red sticker and enough green stickers for each Magic Whiteboard.  The red sticker is for the one idea they believe is the key priority and the green stickers are for the key priority under each theme.

#14 iPhone and Android Apps

Our Community App and My Town App  ezgif.com-video-to-gif (5)

Cost: From $AUD 2200 including development, 1 year hosting and maintenance

Our Community Apps and My Town Apps are designed to enhance Councils’ communications with their community, through integrating a suite of features that your community want to access 24/7 and on the go My Town Apps are designed to support your tourism initiatives.

#15 Online Publishing

Issuu and Flipping Book

Issuu cost: Free to $USD 269 per month

Flipping Book cost: From $AUD 59 per month

Both affordable and fabulous way to present documents and magazines

#16 Social Media

Social Media Scheduling

HootSuite

Cost: Free to $USD 9.99 per month

Makes scheduling posts across the most popular social networks a breeze.

Social Media Advertising

Promoting and advertising your consultations via social media is effective, affordable and enables you to specifically reach your target stakeholders.  Expect to pay from $AUD 5 per day per platform.

Social media profiles in Australia June 2016.

 Age Australia NSW ACT QLD VIC WA TAS NT SA
Facebook (enables posting to Instagram as well)
13-18 years
1,300,000
390,000
22,000
280,000
310,000
140,000
28,000
9,900
99,000
19 years +
15,000,000
4,400,000
270,000
2,800,000
3,600,000
1,500,000
260,000
140,000
930,000
Twitter
2,800,000
Linkedin
6,534,000
2,210,000
142,000
1,240,000
1,720,000
704,000
90,000
51,000 377,000