This staff pick is as much a great example of an informational project, as it is a case study in what can happen when an entire organisation embraces the possibilities of EngagementHQ. Check out the latest from the City of Nedlands in Western Australia, a client of EHQ since early 2016.
Client: City of Nedlands, Western Australia
Publish Date: 09 May 2016
Topic: A limestone coloured concrete pathway is build to connect a community centre to a park. The project is aiming to inform the community about the work being done and to ask questions and provide feedback.
Tools: News Feed, Form, Q&A
Widgets: Registration Banner, Key Dates, Document Library, Who's Listening
The council's enthusiasm: Organisational buy-in can be a struggle for some site administrators. They see the possibilities EHQ offers, but sometimes it takes a lot of effort and time to convince the broader organisation.
This was no different in Nedlands' case, but the organisation was committed to using EHQ to its full potential very quickly as the benefits of EHQ were well communicated internally and embraced from the top.
The breadth of engagement: When organisational buy-in is present, the breadth of engagement naturally widens. The team at City of Nedlands have been incredibly busy and published one project per week on average. Some are high profile with lots of engagement, like the Local Planning Strategy consultation (with outstanding engaged numbers), others are low key, like the current example.
The idea of 'informing projects': This is a trend we have been witnessing across all EHQ sites. The rate of publishing is increasing, and this is partly due to the fact that many Organisations now use EHQ to not necessarily always engage with the community, but to equally inform about current projects and ongoing initiatives. This consultation is a great example of an 'informing' project and City of Nedlands have multiple such projects.
The benefit of publishing projects regularly is that EHQ becomes a true hub for the community to find out what council is doing and how it affects lives. The fact that this project informs, but also allows participant to provide feedback or ask questions, epitomises the dedication of City of Nedlands to include the community in council's work.
The consistency: Looking across City of Nedlands' different projects, you will quickly realise they are set up along guidelines to ensure each project is presented immaculately. This is thanks to the hard work of the site administrator and ensures high quality is maintained across the site.
The set up: The project set up of all consultations are almost impeccable. All projects are accompanied by images. The Key Dates, Document library and Who's listening widget are part of all projects and the team almost always enables the Q&A tool to give the community a space to ask questions.
The project description are mostly short and concise, but have call to actions and include links to guide the visitor through the project. This is done consistently across all projects and hence ensures familiarity for the visitor.
For further consideration:
Images: Some of the images used across the site are a little bit too big in terms of file size and can hence load slowly for visitors on slower internet connections. As a rule of thumbs, images should never exceed 1MB and smaller is better.
OVERALL: There is a argument to be made that the more you publish, the more value you get out of EngagementHQ. And this is true in particular if you publish high quality projects like the City of Nedlands is doing regularly. The project in this staff pick will not break visitation records, but it is still important because it will help the community realise that council is transparent about their work.
NOTE: The article above is based on a visit to the site on 16 May 2016. Changes made to the project after that date may have altered the appearance of the project.