Consider what you need the tools to do

Demonstrating the principles of engagement:

To be successful at online engagement your engagement strategy must be developed before you select tools for engagement. Your strategy, including your mandate, purpose and approach will ensure you select the right tools and configure them to fit your objectives and the needs of your stakeholders.

Take your time to pick the right product. Define your purpose clearly and gather requirements. When you do select a tool make sure you have some support to get skilled in its use, and know where to go for help if something goes wrong.

When engaging online there are two types of tools that will help you:

  • tool for online engagement
  • tool for issues and relationship management.

Managing this information well will give you insights past the timeframe of your current project.

In an ideal world, your tools synchronise so you can share information across them and don't need to duplicate efforts when using them. Considering this when selecting and configuring tools will improve your user experience.

It will be useful to find a tool that can:

  • help you track quantitative data
  • enable qualitative issues analysis
  • enable the entry or collation of data collected offline
  • help reference issues with stakeholders, and stakeholder types for relationship management.

You could also consider taking mobile devices to events so you can collect data offline into your online tool. This will help with information management and reduce the need to manually enter data after the event.

We recommend you speak to your software providers and your agency’s IT and Information Management teams about interoperability, IT architecture, security and information management procedures.

Before looking for tools it’s important to confirm your requirements. To help you do this we’ve created a requirements checklist.

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