Although we in the field of advocacy and communications are often focused on pushing messages out, some of us are also faced with the task of taking information in, collaborating, and consensus building — either among membership or the public at large. This task used to require conferences, meetings, and other face-to-face communications, but the new world of online tools, including social media, is rapidly growing the opportunities for new forms of cost-effective, solution-driven public engagement.
The National Coalition on Dialogue & Deliberation (don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of them either) just came out with a Resource Guide on Public Engagement, which gives a strong overview, several case studies, and plentiful links to additional sources.
The document is targeted at government professionals, but if you are seeking answers, to any of the following questions, there is information of value to you:
• “How can we develop & sustain a meaningful online community?”
• “How can we leverage social media sites like Facebook & Twitter?”
• “How can we create online spaces for quality discussion, and efficiently handle bots, ﬂamers, trolls, and other disruptive online characters?”