How to Increase Public Engagement with the Right Meeting Management Solution
Is anybody actually reading these public notices in newspapers? And if they are, you can’t expect the average person to actually be motivated to participate in a local government’s public engagement process. In a TED Talk by Dave Meslin (video below) he effectively illustrates how ridiculous a Nike ad in this format would look.
Now, It’s been a longstanding requirement in both Canada and the United States that public notices from the government be published, several times in some cases, in local newspapers. But these laws were introduced during a time when newspapers were the major source of information and the previous way of informing citizens involved nailing a public notice to the front door of City Hall.
How Can Local Governments Automate Governance?
Local governments aren’t oblivious to this issue; many are starting to post more of this information online via their website or through social media. But the average municipality is still spending $25,000 to $100,000 for larger organizations to publish incredibly ineffective ads that are often buried in the back of a newspaper’s classified section. Data from the State of Maine shows they are spending about $500,000 annually to publish these notices in papers!
It’s time for these laws to be changed to reflect the changing way people are accessing information. Thankfully, since 2008, 40 state governments have introduced laws that will shift publications to the web, or at least loosen the requirements surrounding print based public notifications. With 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide (yes billion according to the Internal Telecommunication Union) it’s really about time budget strapped local governments weren’t forced to spend big dollars to post a newspaper ad, when clearly posting information online is more effective.
With a number of online tools that automate open governance and allow the public to subscribe to receive notifications, you can prepare now for changes that will surely one day be acted on at the state/provincial levels. For the cost of publishing only a few ads you can have access to state of the art technology built for governments that will make engaging with your public, in a way they understand, possible.