There are many types of community engagement to choose from depending on the level of engagement you’re seeking. It’s crucial to firstly understand whether you are ‘informing only’ or are looking to collaborate with your community or empower them to be part of the decision making.
Choosing how much input your community has will drive your choice of the level of engagement and in turn the different types of community engagement practices to employ to achieve it.
The different types of community engagement practices broadly fall into two categories – traditional and digital. In this blog, we detail some of the types and approaches within these categories to give you some ideas of the various methods used in community engagement and which might be best for you.
Types of community engagement practices
Traditional defines ‘in-person’ engagement activities and traditional media for example:
- Community or public meetings
- Interviews – face to face or telephone
- Focus Groups
- Displays or Open House
- Design Charrettes
- Deliberative Polling
- Citizens Juries
- Paper surveys / polls
- Printed materials
- Traditional advertising
Digital types of community engagement are anything completed online such as:
- Participation via an online engagement platform like Engagement Hub
- Social media
- Online surveys
- Voting in polls
- Interactive mapping or images where people can comment and interact with other comments
- Online events such as meetings, webinars or focus groups
- Participatory budgeting using set parameters
- Open idea walls where people can post ideas
- Online advertising – banners, pay per click and advertorials
There are endless opportunities to engage either traditionally or digitally and it’s important to consider both as part of a balanced strategy and be selective for what is going to achieve the best results for your community, organisation and project. It’s also important to consider how you will measure your activity (view our blog – 10 ways to measure your community engagement) across all your types of community engagement.
An online engagement platform like Engagement Hub provides you with a range of digital tools to consult directly and reduces the administrative burden by allowing you to upload any traditional or offline results into the software as well. You can then bring together all your results into an instant report and keep track of all your different types of community engagement practices in one place.
View our demo site or book a no-obligation software demonstration to see these innovative tools, in-depth reporting functionality and our unique stakeholder relationship management tool which together form the complete package to support you in your community engagement.