Planning Supervisor TJ McCourt of Raleigh, NC recently joined PublicInput.com to discuss how leading with relevant topics can help build a better relationship between local governments and residents. McCourt and his team received national attention from NRPA’s Parks & Recreation for their Raleigh dog parks project.
By combining online and offline community engagement, Raleigh:
Had 4,000 people attended various dog-friendly pop-up events
500 unique comments were captured through online message boards
More than 1,200 survey participants
View highlights from the webinar in the video below or use the jump links to find the section that most interests you.
0:15 - What makes a topic relevant, and what our assumptions may be
0:53 - Will more community engagement lead to more pain for government agencies?
2:25 - The two ways to increase relevance: accessible process and topics of interest
4:26 - TJ McCourt (City of Raleigh) on his department's award-winning dog parks project
6:40 - Community engagement strategy - online and offline
8:23 - Using initial input to understand and target demographic gaps
9:16 - Online message board engagement - a productive way to get a broad spectrum of opinions
10:26 - Final project results - success in bringing offline and online engagement together and following up
11:31 - Q: Did you have to deal with any "trolls"?
12:50 - Q: Did you differentiate between people right next door to a park versus the public at large?
14:34 - Q: Did you ask the public if they wanted dog park related features and how were they collected?
15:48 - Q: Did the platform save your staff time and resources, or was it used to augment your engagement efforts without an eye on cost savings?
17:25 - Q: Is there a way to apply survey weight?
17:44 - Q: What do compiled comments look like, and how can they be ordered or categorized in different ways?
19:25 - Q: What were some of the barriers you faced...and how were you able to convince leadership this way of doing business?
22:16 - Looking at the Raleigh Dog Parks as a community engagement process
24:38 - Additional examples: Austin, TX and Viriginia Beach
27:59 - The ultimate goal of community engagement - creating a cycle of engagement that builds public trust
28:32 - Q: How were you able to show a return on investment to council and department leadership? How do you tell the story that the money is worth the return?
31:36 - Reaching a wider group of residents