Community engagement can be a critical part of the democratic process, but it can be seemingly difficult to implement and manage. This can be particularly true when individuals are letting their decisions be guided by some of the more common myths about managing public participation.
Myth: It Will Always Be Extremely Hard To Elicit Public Feedback And Discussions
Individuals may assume that it will always be hard for them to foster public engagement and feedback. In particular, this can be due to the assumption that this will always require noisy and potentially competitive in-person discussions. In reality, online public participation platforms can allow for much of this outreach and discussions to be had online. This can allow for a more efficient outreach effort while also fostering a vibrant discussion.
Myth: Only Government Agencies Can Benefit From Community Engagement Platforms
While government agencies can benefit greatly from adopting these software solutions for their public comment periods, there are other organizations that could also benefit from these solutions. One common example of this can be homeowner associations. These associations will often have a number of discussions that are ongoing at any one time. By moving many of these discussions online, it can be possible to more quickly come to resolutions about questions and problems that are facing the community. Otherwise, it may only be possible to foster these discussions through inconvenient in-person meetings or infrequent homeowner association meetings. Additionally, many businesses will benefit from implementing one of these platforms for their workers. By fostering increased communication between workers and management, businesses may find that they can create a healthier workplace community while still being responsive to market forces.
Myth: There Is Little Control Over Who Can Join The Community Platform
Individuals may see the benefit of using these software solutions, but they may be concerned about whether it will be hard to control those that can participate in this process. Luckily, these programs will have a number of tools available to help individuals control the participants that are allowed in the discussion. For example, a homeowner's association may require individuals to confirm their address with a mailer before they are allowed to join. A business may use employee credentials or other identifiers to ensure the account belongs to a valid member of the community. These tools can vary from one platform to another, and you should consider the types of security that you want in place before you choose a community platform for your organization.