**This post is brought to you by CivicPlus – which has designed more than 1,100 local government websites serving 42 million citizens throughout North America***
Are you doing good at digital engagement? Poorly? How are you doing compared to your peers?
Citizens everywhere are demanding better engagement with their local government. However, it can be hard to quantify a community’s current level of engagement and hard to get management support for additional focus on community engagement (talk to any PIO or communication lead and it’s their top issue).
The 6 Stages of Digital Community Engagement online assessment guides respondents through a series of questions that explore various elements of their government websites, ranging from frequency of content updates to digital communication tools, online services and advanced community engagement portals.
At the conclusion, you are assigned a digital community engagement score from 1-6 (static to fully engagement) and given tips on how to reach the next level.
For example, the scale has:
- Stage 1 “Static”= municipality has official web presence and most basic information is available online.
- Stage 3 “Active” website is one that seeks to provide relevant information to citizens through multiple channels and offers online transactions for citizen convenience.
- Stage 6 “Fully Engaged”- virtually empowers citizens to become active participants in gov’t with opportunities to participate in government decision-making and voice their opinions on gov’t issues.
Like any survey, ranking, or measurement tool, I’m sure they’ll be some good debate on the questions and scoring methodology (What is truly community engagement? What do citizens really want when they want to engage? Are these the right categories?).
However, I’m a big proponent of these mechanisms as it provides the reason and a quantitative starting point for a conversation. Much like it took Best Places to Work rankings to get leadership to make changes on employee satisfaction surveys, I think this scale will focus attention to the important issue of community engagement.