As the festive season dawns upon us, it’s tempting to assume that community engagement should take a back seat while individuals revel in the holiday cheer away from home. Community engagement during the holidays goes beyond decorations and celebrations; it’s about building connections and plans that last. Therefore, it’s precisely during this time of joy that nurturing engagement becomes even more vital.

Let’s explore how community engagement can be adapted during the festive period, considering the travel and festivities that often pull residents away from their usual life cycle routines.

Three Strategies for Festive Community Engagement

In the spirit of the holiday season and nurturing connections, here are three strategies that can be utilized to boost your upcoming community engagement for the festive season.

  1. Closing the Loop
  2. Planning Ahead
  3. Celebrating the Wins

1. Closing the Loop

Closing the loop in community engagement involves creating a feedback system that ensures once everyone’s voice has been heard, they get to hear how their input has influenced an outcome. The festive period often brings a sense of reflection, making it an ideal time to address projects that have advanced or closed throughout the year.

By actively closing the loop on community feedback, residents will feel valued and heard, fostering a stronger sense of belonging. With Social Pinpoint and Consultation Manager’s in-built emailer, you can use it to showcase all the excellent projects that you have closed, much like a family Christmas newsletter.

2. Planning Ahead

While the festive season is a time for joy and celebration, it’s also a crucial period for planning your community engagement initiatives for the year ahead. Therefore, use this time to gather input on potential projects from colleagues around the organization, possible events you could support, and improvements that can be made from what you have learned in the past 12 months.

Hosting visioning sessions or collaborative workshops both with colleagues and community groups can help identify community priorities. Planning ahead not only ensures a smoother execution of future initiatives but also demonstrates a proactive commitment to better community engagement.

By utilizing the data you have collected on tool use and participation levels in Social Pinpoint and/or reports on issues learnt and interaction types in Consultation Manager, planning how best to engage next on that sticky upcoming project should be well informed and easier than pulling a Christmas cracker when the time comes to deliver.

3. Celebrating the Wins

Reflecting on the achievements and positive changes within the community after a successful project is essential for morale and motivation not only for the community who participated but also the staff that have spent many hours planning, executing and delivering. Take the time to celebrate the wins, both big and small.

Whether it’s completing a project, reaching an engagement goal, or fostering positive stronger and bigger relationships, ensure you acknowledge and share these successes. Celebrating these wins not only boosts morale but also inspires a sense of pride and accomplishment, encouraging continued active participation. With over 30 content tools in Social Pinpoint, showing these wins off in a high visual and active way is simple. It’s like putting the icing on the Christmas cake.

As we immerse ourselves in the festive spirit, let’s not forget the power of community engagement. While we certainly don’t advocate doing any engagement over the Christmas period – unless it’s something fun like City of Canada Bay’s Christmas Window competition or helpful like City of Pittsburgh’s Snow Angels, using this time for closing the loop on feedback, planning ahead for the future, and celebrating the wins are three key components that can elevate your practice during this joyous season.

By fostering connections, being actively prepared for the next 12 months, and recognising achievements, organisations and communities can lay the groundwork for a thriving and engaging future together. Happy holidays!