An ongoing endeavor, the act of building and maintaining your community can at times seem like an overwhelming task. However, it is a necessity for continued growth not only for economic development, but also growth in community relationship. The more your community trusts your judgment and ability to make a difference, the greater your chances of a unified front and to gain access to resources necessary and appreciated by all.
For obvious reasons, the importance of community listening is emphasized because who else knows better what your city needs than its residents? And, of course our beloved leadership. Here at Where Brands Evolve, we have a passion for getting to the heart of an organization and delivering first-class branding strategy services, key messaging and marketing programs. Below is a compilation of suggestions to be implemented in order to best prioritize your efforts for a solid future ROI.
Host more local town hall meetings. The amount of dialogue that occurs during these monthly meetings can provide a substantial chunk of information to be used to evaluate next steps.
As the purpose of town hall meetings is to hear directly from the community members to government officials, the in-person back and forth dialogue shows passion and empathy on both sides, that of the community member voicing his or her opinion, and that of the official not only listening, but hearing the issue and finding ways to fix the problem and or accept the constituent suggestions.
Integrate a listening portal with local events. Integrate a community feedback portal at your community events such as carnivals, theatre performances, pumpkin patches, Christmas productions and book fairs shows. Support these events by posting event information on your City’s social media platform and encourage constituent social dialog. Ask for feedback on what they thought of the performance and or event.
Any time there is an opportunity to obtain a booth or table, it’s beneficial to have a city representative come on your behalf to pass educational information on who they can reach out to with questions, where your office is located and newly appointed officials contact information.
Start an online community forum. Online community dialogue is just as important as in-person community dialogue. For those unable to physically attend each town hall meeting, an online forum is the perfect way to engage and interact with the entire community as a whole.
Accessible through your local city’s website, this is a place where constituents and stakeholders can express questions or concerns regarding the environment and city management, discuss options to update and/or fix issues, as well as educate themselves on what is currently in motion. Take initiative and appoint someone to make sure information published to the city’s website is up-to-date and respond to inquiries in a timely manner to continue that sense of trust within the community.
Additionally, a feedback option may be beneficial to see how you are doing in each department of community development. A simple and anonymous, “How are we doing?” poll can bring in ample honest feedback necessary to stay on track with current and future endeavors; it a
A unified community can and is the hub of local economic development, making communication and the art of listening a very important factor in continued collaboration. Pay attention and then develop a plan to execute and repeat in order to get others interested to participate.
Allegra Consulting is an Addy, Webby and MarCom award winning marketing firm based in Pasadena, CA. With an inter-generational culture, we excel at developing marketing strategies for a variety of clients including both public and private sector organizations. Brand your city as the community that works together; stay on top of things; stay involved!