CitizenLab has put together a communication guide that provides some of the best practices tips on launching or increasing engagement on your public participation platform
Citizenlab
  • Continuity — Communication is an important part of any citizen platform, so communicate with the citizens on a regular basis.
  • Diversity — Use different channels to spread the message about your platform to the citizens.

Direct Web Traffic

Citizenlab says direct web traffic is the main driver of visits to a website. So you must make sure that the platform is well referenced and easily findable by citizens who look for it in search engines. You can do this by choosing a domain name (URL) relevant to the platform and easy to remember. Then you make sure your webpages are correctly linked and featured on other platforms citizens spend a lot of time on.

Email Campaigns

Email is a channel that can generate the most engagement on your platform. You should build a platform that can be trusted and recognised by citizens and if the citizens trust the work pursued by your platform the email opening rates can be high and the emails can drive a lot of traffic to the platform. Consider using email campaign newsletters after the launch of the platform to communicate and promote the platform in the community.

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Social Media

You can also leverage the citizens’ social media presence for your platform. Citizenlab recommends using different social media platforms to promote the platform. Citizenlab suggests using a strategic approach to social media, figure out which social media channels to use.

Traditional Media and Offline

Do not underestimate the importance of traditional media in your community. Citizenlab says involving local press when launching the platform (newspaper journalists, but also radio or television) is an efficient way to reach more people. Consider sending out a press release on important moments and subjects. Send the press releases to local magazines, newspapers, digital media platforms and press outlets, but also blogs and local influencers.

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