June 13, 2019

Engaging the Public: It's Personal

How to Engage the Public:  Personal Steps to Obtaining Civic Involvement

In order to gain as large an attendance as possible for an important community meeting, every elected official and staff member must put forth maximum effort. A good attendance is crucial to having input for city constituencies. People will only respond to your personal invitation. Putting an ad in the paper will not work. Having an announcement on the radio will not work. You MUST extend a personal invitation.

Reaching out to people is as easy as:

  • A personal letter signed by you and addressed to everybody in your address book. This should include constituencies, co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends.
  • A personal email sent to everybody in your address book.
  • A phone call to personal friends, neighbors and family members.
  • A post on your personal Facebook page that offers information about the meeting with a link to the city’s website and/or Facebook page for more information.

Probably the BEST way to connect with citizens is through personal contact - at work, in your neighborhood, at the grocery, a social event or church, or while you’re picking up a child from school or activities - anytime and anywhere you have a minute to mention it to someone. Ask your hairdresser, dry cleaner and small business owners. You should make up to (but not limited to) 50 personal contacts about the event. Also, ask these people to invite their families and friends to attend as well.

This can be as simple as asking “Are you able to come to our meeting about the future of the city on February 16th at 6:00 p.m.?”

The only way people in your community will come to a meeting held by the city is if they are personally invited.