EngagementHQ: A comprehensive engagement strategy

EngagementHQ is a comprehensive engagement tool used by a variety of government jurisdictions, private corporations, and NGOs across five countries. It is a digital toolbox aimed at collecting feedback from, interacting with, and listening to organization stakeholders. The site boasts thousands of engagement campaign success stories since its inception in 1998. Hosted by Bang the Table, EngagementHQ’s platform is advertised to be simple, integrative, and fully supported by trained community engagement specialists.

While the site offers solutions for anyone from an elected official, to an executive, to the IT strategy team, the most interesting suite of tools for this class is for the community engagement specialist. If an organization chooses to use EngagementHQ it is given the option of nine community engagement tools or any combination of the nine. The tools include:

  • Discussion forums
  • Q&A
  • Mapper
  • Surveys
  • Stories
  • Guest book
  • Quick polls
  • Submissions manager
  • Brainstormer

One of the great things about EngagementHQ is that it actually uses its own tool kit; engagement in action. Users can log-in and participate in the brainstorming sessions, surveys, polls, and other tools to provide feedback on how EngagementHQ is working for their organizations, ways to improve, what they like or dislike.

In addition to the myriad tools available to stakeholders, EngagementHQ has a suite of analytics which gather data from the feedback tools used by organizations. The software processes the information and organizes it according to specifications set by the organization. This makes it easier for users to identify useful data or feedback and decide how to use it in their own engagement strategies.

The site does say EngagementHQ has worked with organizations in the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, but the only examples provided on the site were in Australia and New Zealand.

     Sydney City Council- Public Arts Plan

As part of a city transformation plan in Sydney, Australia, the Sydney City Council collected feedback from the community regarding three artworks selected by the Council’s Public Art Advisory Panel. Sydney used EngagementHQ’s discussion forum to share information about the project with community members, answer questions, provide a timeline, and encourage conversation around the Arts Plan. The forum was integrated into Syndey’s Your Say site, providing a space for community members to share their thoughts in a transparent and mediated way.

The Sydney Council received feedback or votes from just under 200 people, had 9,000 site visitors, and 1,500 people explored the specific content. The city is now working on a design development process and plans to begin construction in 2017.

Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme

Disabled people are the largest minority across Australia as well as one of the most disadvantaged in terms of community participation. The Australian Productivity Commission of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) put forth a new mechanism to improve the quality of life of those living with disabilities by putting decision-making power back in their hands.

The FaHCSIA used EngagementHQ to create an online portal for families, caregivers, and disabled to share their stories, participate in discussion, and view videos and news. The purpose of the portal was to collect compelling stories which would help frame the context for major policy reform, eventually leading to bipartisan support for a proposed policy addressing disability services in the country.

The portal collected hundreds of stories and thousands of people across the country used it to gather stories and additional information about the proposed policy. The policy is now in a trial phase and is being implemented in various places across Australia.


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