Public Engagement During COVID-19
- Caitlin Ryan
- March 10, 2020
- 2 minute read
With the world focused on the current COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, the public are taking drastic measures to avoid exposure – so, how can you ensure your community engagement outreach is safe?
Globally, the impacts are being felt with flights and large events being canceled and shopping precincts reporting a huge decrease in foot traffic.
Despite the Coronavirus, many planning, transport, and infrastructure projects still need to continue. However, with many people staying at home it can be difficult to gather public input at traditional town hall meetings and pop-up events.
We are lucky to live in such a connected world where almost anything can be ordered online and delivered to your door, so why should public participation be any different? Here are some tips on engaging community members remotely.
- Live stream a ‘virtual town hall meeting’ And allow the public to ask questions.
- Make use of online engagement tools like surveys, interactive maps or ideation boards.
- Create an online ‘citizen jury’ using Facebook or other social media platforms.
The biggest tip to remember is to build trust with the public by engaging often and consistently creating both an online and offline pathway to have a voice. By building trust, when roadblocks to engagement are present, stakeholders know there is always going to be another way to get involved.