The Do’s and Don’ts of Public Transit Involvement Wrap-up Reporting
- Adrienne Hamilton
- September 20, 2023
- 6 minute read
In this new three-part blog series, follow Adrienne Hamilton’s journey to get a client-side view of successful project planning, launching, and reporting of a public involvement initiative for transport. Learn how to create positive project outcomes with your online community engagement platform of choice. This final instalment will focus on the best tips to develop and share your public transportation engagement report.
As the Denton County Transportation Authority’s (DCTA) recent Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, I was tasked with launching and optimizing the marketing and communications plan for the agency’s GoZone microtransit public involvement project in spring 2021. This brand-new service was slated to launch in fall 2021 – just a few months later.
To provide Denton County residents with an accessible online engagement platform to review GoZone project details and provide feedback in real-time, we decided that Social Pinpoint would successfully meet these needs. After the GoZone public engagement period closed, our team went into full-on reporting and metrics mode.
A common mistake in community engagement reporting is closing the feedback loop to build public trust. DCTA’s GoZone microtransit service was a monumental project for the agency, so it was imperative that our team strategically developed a comprehensive wrap-up report to inform our stakeholders and communities on the engagement results, what happened with the feedback they provided, and how it affected next steps in the decision-making process.
Learn the “do’s” and “don’ts” we applied to create a successful public engagement wrap-up report which positively impacted next step decision making for our board of directors:
- Determine your report metrics in advance of your public involvement launch.
- Don’t forget to reiterate the public engagement strategy in your project report.
- Make sure to share engagement results and next steps with stakeholders and the community.
DO determine reporting metrics in advance of your public involvement launch.
No one wants to scramble post-engagement launch to determine which metrics to highlight in their public involvement wrap up report! In many cases, time is of the essence and having this confirmed in advanced is key to keeping your community engagement process flowing smoothly.
You can’t do it alone. Make sure to collaborate with key staff members, your board of director and affected stakeholders to help determine which metrics you’ll need to monitor and include in your public involvement wrap-up report which will lead to better decision-making in the end.
Key community engagement activities reporting metrics DCTA defined in advance included:
- Number of responses received via the interactive map, surveys, ideas wall and forum.
- Percentage of positive, negative and neutral sentiment of key GoZone topics (i.e. cost, safety, zone maps).
- Campaign microsite unique visitors and engagements.
- Number of attendees at in-person events, stakeholder calls made.
- Promotional impressions for advertising, public relations and digital and print marketing efforts.
DON’T forget to reiterate your public engagement strategy in the wrap-up report.
It may sound duplicative, but it’s vital to provide a comprehensive refresher of the purpose of the public involvement project and all the engagement tools and activities implemented when creating your engagement report. Providing this level of detail builds trust and confidence amongst your stakeholders and community members that you provided the upmost level of transparency.
Below are key items to include in your report:
- Introduce the purpose of your project
- Define the target audience(s)
- Provide an overview of all engagement tools and promotional activities that were implemented
- Include all community input and feedback
- Timeline of project next steps and decision-making process
Another pro tip to keep in mind is to summarize all public feedback for your decision makers while preserving the intent of public comments received.
During the community engagement process, it’s common to receive unified opinions about your project. Make general “category topics” for all individual input to effectively showcase comments in an easy-to-read format. This will help your decision makers gain a proper understanding of the strength and representation of public feedback for key project topics.
DO share your engagement results and decision next steps.
We’re all familiar with the phrase “put your money where your mouth is.” Well, this next tip falls right into this category. After your community engagement closes, it’s important to follow through by sending all collected public input to your decision makers, stakeholders and community members.
Below are five simple ways to share your project results:
1. Project website – update to include post-engagement project next steps (for example, next round of meetings or project launch details).
2. Social media – use your channels to promote “snapshot” content of community engagement results and include links to your project microsite.
3. Newsletters – if you have a company newsletter, feature the community engagement results and project updates in your next issue.
4. Media outreach – call up your local media partners to provide them with in-depth for potential media coverage to spotlight your community engagement project.
5. Board meeting presentation – in compliance with Title IV, present your results to your board of directors, ensure public comment is readily available and post the meeting notes/next step decisions on your website for public viewing.
Whatever tactics you use to share your public engagement results, remember to communicate to individuals and groups that you have heard them and share how their input will be used with key decision makers.
Now that you have the inside scoop from a recent client, reach out Social Pinpoint to schedule your demo and take your public involvement and community engagement project to the next level!
Adrienne Hamilton is an award-winning B2C and B2B marketing and communications professional with more than 10 years of demonstrated success in helping companies build and maintain a positive brand image and exceed business goals. Hamilton served as Denton County Transportation Authority’s (DCTA) Senior Marketing and Communications Manager and spearheaded the agency’s GoZone microtransit public involvement project in which Social Pinpoint was key to it becoming one of the most successful public involvement campaigns in agency history.