PublicInput Blog

Read best practices on everything related to community engagement.

The Important Differences Between SurveyMonkey and Public Engagement Software

The Important Differences Between SurveyMonkey and Public Engagement Software

Using an online survey tool like SurveyMonkey may seem like a no-brainer, but online survey tools like SurveyMonkey are not designed for public engagement - and can even undermine your success.Start with your intention. When considering an engagement tool, it’s important to ask the following…
PublicInput.com launches "last mile" translation service for surveys, project websites

PublicInput.com launches "last mile" translation service for surveys, project websites

Community engagement software company PublicInput.com is introducing a high-fidelity translation service for local government agencies that instantly translates surveys and project websites, along with expert translator review.
How Do I Get the Word Out? The First Step of Public Engagement

How Do I Get the Word Out? The First Step of Public Engagement

While every community is different, local government agencies often run into the same initial hurdle: how to get the word out about an upcoming project. Keep reading to see best practices for initial outreach and how public engagement software helps government agencies reach underrepresented groups.

Putting people back at the center of the consulting profession – for greater profits, impact, and trust

Public engagement software is helping consultants become more community-centric — and achieve greater profit, impact, and trust along the way.
Online Town Hall: A powerful online community engagement tool

Online Town Hall: A powerful online community engagement tool

Typical approaches to community engagement are being augmented as government organizations adopt new technology. While community engagement efforts in the past mostly focused on manual processes and in-person communication, online town halls are increasing reach and equity in the community engagement process.
Community Engagement Software Quantifies Public Perceptions on Parking, Traffic

Community Engagement Software Quantifies Public Perceptions on Parking, Traffic

Cities of every size are subject to traffic and parking issues. Every town has roads, commuters, pedestrians, bikers - not to mention limits created by zoning, space, or capacity for infrastructure. Exeter, New Hampshire is a town of 15,000 residents. Over the past year parking and traffic have been garnering more attention from the public, the Select Board, and regional press.
3CMA Annual Conference: What We Learned

3CMA Annual Conference: What We Learned

Held in Milwaukee this September, the 3CMA Annual Conference gathered hundreds of government communicators eager to learn from one another about how to accomplish better community engagement. There was plenty to be inspired by, as speakers presented on their efforts both offline and online. We heard about how Kansas City, Missouri was reaching a new audience by holding public meetings at breweries and how Sandy, Utah was making more informed policy decisions through data collection and visual reporting…
How Durham NC is shifting perceptions about affordable housing

How Durham NC is shifting perceptions about affordable housing

Cities across the country are wrestling with housing affordability. Durham's planning team realized there might be misconceptions among residents, especially for 'missing middle' formats like duplexes and triplexes. Using the platform, Durham engaged over 1,200 residents in a highly-visual interactive experience that educated and gathered input on potential solutions. Turns out only 18% of residents could identify the duplex in a lineup:
Building trust with Geodata: How Austin, TX scored a Major League Soccer team

Building trust with Geodata: How Austin, TX scored a Major League Soccer team

Last October, the owners of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew announced that they were contemplating relocation. Austin was at the top of their list. But could the city handle the responsibilities that would come with it? Would taxpayers be willing to give up city-owned land for a new stadium? Here’s how the city’s communication team used data to build stakeholder confidence in online engagement.
The case of Citi Bike: Capturing public engagement data to prevent setbacks

The case of Citi Bike: Capturing public engagement data to prevent setbacks

This past week, I found myself unable to put down a book by New York City's former transportation director, Janette Sadik-Khan. In Street Fight, she outlines her experiences of making big transportation changes in a city where change is notoriously hard.One story in particular caught my attention. When working on the citywide roll-out of Citi Bike, New York's bike share system, Sadik-Khan did something unusual with the public engagement process. She used data in a surprising, effective way.

Using Design Sprints to Solve Problems, Fast

When working with our partner agencies, we often help them iterate their engagement processes from where they're at to help them develop flexible public involvement strategies that can work for all situations and require minimal training or adjustment of existing processes. 
Raleigh Dog Parks: Community Engagement Software Combines Offline and Online Efforts

Raleigh Dog Parks: Community Engagement Software Combines Offline and Online Efforts

The City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department is undergoing a dog park study to determine the public's interest in dog facilities in the park system. As part of that process they have created a set of questions for the community and created an engagement portal on PublicInput.com.
Introducing Google ‘Perspective’ integrations, and better sleep for communicators

Introducing Google ‘Perspective’ integrations, and better sleep for communicators

Despite the proliferation of online discussion forums and social media, many agencies have struggled to embrace online dialog as a functional part of the public process. Their hesitation is simple - curating these spaces has historically meant significant investments of time and worry over what might be posted.New tools are giving organizations the power to more efficiently manage public discourse within their comfort level. 
Do More Without Doing More: A Better Community Engagement Process

Do More Without Doing More: A Better Community Engagement Process

Sometimes government agencies want “the next big thing” to solve their public involvement challenges. It's understandable: leadership pushes hard to engage the public, and historically efforts have been disappointing. This may lead us into thinking that we need a shiny new piece of technology, an off-the-shelf solution that acts as a community engagement magic wand. However, this is a bit backwards…
Should I setup a Facebook page for my public project?

Should I setup a Facebook page for my public project?

Many times, early in project planning, teams find themselves wanting to expand public involvement in projects. The promise of social media looms large in increasing participation which leads many teams to ask: should this project have a Facebook page? The answer...
NCDOT’s innovative use of PublicInput.com highlighted at TRB conference

NCDOT’s innovative use of PublicInput.com highlighted at TRB conference

Last week we had the privilege of presenting on our partnership with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) at the annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) meeting in Washington, DC.
PublicInput.com Again Named to the GovTech 100

PublicInput.com Again Named to the GovTech 100

For the second year in a row, PublicInput.com was excited to be named to the GovTech 100, a listing of the top tech companies that serve government. A full listing of the GovTech 100 is available here
Online surveys are empowering your loudest residents. Here’s how data management can change that

Online surveys are empowering your loudest residents. Here’s how data management can change that

Today, while much has changed, some hasn't. Democracy, at its best, conveys the voice of the people to the institutions built to serve the people. But the tools, channels, and means of conveying that voice have multiplied.As those channels have multiplied, complexity has reared its ugly head, making the simple act of listening into something much more involved than once encountered.
Isn’t it time public engagement tapped the power of local media?

Isn’t it time public engagement tapped the power of local media?

Since the dawn of digital engagement tools, public engagement has suffered from an echo chamber effect where a small handful of people dominate both the online and offline public involvement process. This makes outreach a key piece of any public involvement effort....
Isn’t it time public engagement tapped the power of local media?

Isn’t it time public engagement tapped the power of local media?

The failure of “if you build it they will come” Since the dawn of digital engagement tools, public engagement has ...
A Data Dashboard for Civic Engagement

A Data Dashboard for Civic Engagement

To simplify data reporting and sharing, PublicInput.com partnered with Reach to develop the all-new Data Dashboard tool.  The dashboard is a central toolkit to find and share insights from the data collected through text messaging, embedded news surveys, EdNC.org, paper surveys, and offline events. It also makes it easier for our reporters and researchers to access the data and stories.The dashboard is designed to bring together the data collected through Reach along with related public datasets, such as US Census Data. The results are highly visual insights that can be shared on social media or embedded on the web.

Engage using standard survey question formats that you’re used to with consumer survey tools. From the single and multi-select, to Likert, slider, and text input formats, you’ve got the basics covered.