EngagementHQ provides nine tools to help you with your consultations. Each of these tools allows for participation within an engaged environment. The three environments are open, mixed, and controlled, and they refer to how participants can interact with the consultation and with each other.
When deciding on a tool, consider what you want to learn from your community and how you want them to interact with you and each other. These considerations will determine which tools you choose to use.
For example, Surveys can be beneficial when collecting lots of specific data, but there are projects in which the deeper discussions of the Forum tool are better suited.
Open Environment Tools
Open Environment tools allow participants to engage with your organization and each other. Contributions are visible to the community, facilitating open discussion and engagement among participants.
Forums: Use this tool to set up discussions between your community members. You can have an open-topic forum or post about a specific issue, and your participants can comment, reply to each other, and like or dislike posts.
Ideas: This tool is an online brainstormer that allows you to propose a question or topic, and your community can post, comment, and vote on ideas. You can also use this as a general Ideas board and schedule posting and voting periods. Depending on your settings, participants can contribute using text and images and comment on other ideas or share them on social media.
Places: This tool captures geographic information about your consultation. This tool allows participants to place pins at specific locations along with comments, images, or responses to survey questions.
Mixed Environment Tools
In Mixed Environment tools, participants can see other contributions, but there is little interaction between users. Additionally, some data may only be accessible by administrators.
Stories: This tool allows contributors to share their experiences concerning an issue or event. Participants can use text, images, links, or videos and choose whether their story is open to comments.
Guestbook: Using the Guestbook, participants can submit comments without facilitating discussion. Contributions are made in free-form text, with no capacity for links, images, or videos and no ability to comment on or interact with other posts.
Questions: This tool lets participants ask questions, which administrators can answer publicly or privately. If a question is answered publicly, it is visible to other users, creating a repository of helpful information for your community.
Newsfeed: While not technically an engagement tool, administrators can use this tool to write long-form updates and communications. Participants can then view, comment on, and share the news articles.
Controlled Environment Tools
Contributions collected from Controlled Environment tools are stored in the backend and are only accessible by administrators. In these tools, participants cannot engage with each other.
Surveys: Use this tool to collect elaborate information, including file uploads, opinions, and perspectives. You can use various question types to make surveys as comprehensive as necessary. Survey results are private, and it's best practice to report the survey findings to your participants.