TAP Your Topics to Boost Online Participation

December 20, 2015 – OpenGov


Giving the public a way to voice their opinions online is a critical step for any government agency that wants to keep pace with the modern world—but of course, it doesn’t end there. Getting people to actually participate online takes some effort, and it can feel like the proverbial brass ring. But, that’s where we can help.

For nearly a decade we’ve worked with government agencies to successfully build and sustain online participation. Our best practices can be boiled down to few key steps, which you can remember with the handy acronym “TAP,” as explain below:

Time your topic wisely. Aim for early in the week, when most folks are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with more time and attention to spare.

Alert your forum subscribers. Send notifications when new topics are posted, and as key deadlines approach. Keep the email short, focus on a clear call to action, include a direct hyperlink to the topic—and ask your subscribers to help you spread the word by forwarding the information to others. We’ve found that sending notifications on a Tuesday during late morning is best.

Promote your topic as much as possible. While news release and frequent social media posts may be more obvious methods, consider adding some of the fodder your own forum provides. For example, feature one of the statements from the satisfaction survey—or, include a factoid, such as how many minutes of public comment all the statements on your forum would equal, which we calculate for you. Including bits like this can help pique curiosity, and ultimately drive more traffic to your forum.

We encourage you ‘TAP’ your topics for success, and if you need help getting started or along the way, please contact your Customer Success Maanger.

Category: Civic Engagement