Fortnightly EHQ Staff Pick: City of Sydney

Learn how City of Sydney used the Guestbook Tool

Nathan Connors avatar
Written by Nathan Connors
Updated over a week ago

One of EngagementHQ's strengths is the variety of tools you can use across your consultations. The Survey function is the most popular tool, with the Discussion Forum a close second. The Guestbook, on the other hand, is rarely enabled. Admittedly, the use cases are more limited than for many other tools, which is why we were very excited when we saw the City of Sydney use the Guestbook to ask people to make a pledge to their city. This is a very creative and unique way to engage your community and a great choice for our fortnightly staff pick.

Client: City of Sydney, Australia.

Publish Date: Early March 2016

Topic: The City of Sydney is developing a social sustainability policy to strengthen the city’s social fabric. The community is asked to make a pledge to help make the city inclusive, connected, liveable and engaged.

Tools: Survey, Guestbook

Widgets: Photo, Key Dates, Document Library, Lifecycle, Who's Listening, 2x Custom (Twitter and further information)

We love:

  1. The creative use of the Guestbook: The Guestbook is not often used across EngagementHQ sites. Usually, the Forum tool works to encourage community discussions. However, in this case, the Guestbook is the perfect way to ask Sydneysiders to commit to such an important cause. And there is some research suggesting that pledging increases the likelihood to follow through with what was pledged.

  2. Document library: We always emphasize how important it is to provide documents in small and easily accessible files. That means as PDFs and preferably below 2MB. The document library in this project is an example of how you can break down a large document (28MB) into its various parts and make it easy and accessible for everyone. The key document is even provided in various languages.

  3. Survey design: Alongside the Guestbook, the team has enabled a well-designed survey. It is split into different sections, is short and easy to complete. It contains links to key documents but still provides enough high level information for participants to complete the survey quickly. It is complimentary to the very open and creative approach on the Guestbook.

  4. Overall campaign: The City of Sydney always does a terrific job of driving visitor traffic and this time is no different. They have one of the most visited EHQ sites of all time. Granted, they have a big team but they also know what they are doing and tick all the right boxes. They use as many tools as they can to suit their cause including Twitter, news releases, newsletter and else is required.

  5. Clean and tidy look: The City of Sydney has always preferred a clean and tidy look to their consultations. After all, Sydney was the first to use a prototype of our popular 'Whitehaven' template. This project is no different and they actually have uploaded a little .gif animation.

For further consideration:

  1. Faces: Although the landing page has people featured in the project image, once you go to the project page, there aren't any images of people. People love seeing people, and it is particularly important for a project that is all about social sustainability, which is all about people.

  2. Hashtag specific Twitter feed: The Twitter feed in the project is the generic Sydney Your Say feed. While there is nothing wrong with that, the overall consultation actually does has its own hashtag (#Sydney4all). This gets lost a little in this project and could have been emphasized by a hashtag specific feed.

OVERALL: We are always looking out for great projects that use EHQ's engagement tools in unique ways and this project provides another great site example. The City of Sydney is constantly engaging their community both on small matters as well as important, big topics such as social sustainability. This project is yet another example of fantastic online community engagement by the City of Sydney.

NOTE: The article above is based on a visit to the site on 08 April 2016. Changes made to the project after that date may have altered the appearance of the project.

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