News & Insights

Transitioning to Digital Public Involvement: What You Need to Know

At a time when traditional, in-person public involvement—face-to-face public meetings, workshops, open houses, community events, and focus groups—aren’t feasible, it may be a challenge to gather public input for planning and design projects. Despite this obstacle, leveraging digital tools can help you carry out effective public engagement, while connecting with your community in new and innovative ways. If you determine your project needs public input to stay on track, your next step is to determine the tools and techniques best suited for your organization’s objectives. While there is no one perfect digital solution, the tips below will help you identify the appropriate tools, resources, and outreach method for your project.

Going Digital: What to Consider

Before beginning digital public involvement, consider the questions below.

Defining the Objective: Inform, Consult, and/or Collaborate

If you’ve decided to involve the public, your next step is to define your objective and any specific information needs. What are you hoping to achieve? Do you want to:

Leveraging Existing Resources: Take Stock of What You Have

Many methods you already use to communicate can be modified for digital public involvement. If you use any of the following, consider how they might benefit you in new ways:

Getting Started: Best Practices to Consider

Before you fully transition to digital public involvement, consider a few best practices.

Download Our Digital Public Involvement Resource

Every project’s process is different, so you should be thoughtful about the tools and strategies you use. While you could easily replace a scheduled workshop with a Facebook Live meeting or an online survey, or hold a steering committee meeting as a webinar, it is essential to match your desired outcome to the right digital solution. Kimley-Horn regularly uses digital tools, platforms, and strategies as part of our community engagement efforts, and we are fortunate to leverage this expertise now to keep projects on track during an unprecedented time. Public involvement specialists across Kimley-Horn have developed a resource to help you identify the best digital tool for a variety of needs and purposes.
We’re ready to support our clients by implementing innovative approaches to public involvement. For questions or support selecting the appropriate tool, resource, or methodology for your project, please contact your Kimley-Horn partner or email [email protected].


Get in touch with our Public Engagement specialists.