The average citizen doesn’t understand how long and complicated the development process can be. Quiet periods in between public meetings or project milestones can leave community members feeling anxious. That’s when the power of project updates comes into play!
Posting a monthly update is one of the most effective ways to maintain interest and engagement around your project whether you’re just launching your project site or if you already have a strong base of followers. This consistent, proactive communication keeps your project top of mind for the community and showcases that you care about keeping them informed – which makes it much easier to ask for support when the time comes.
We’ve rounded up 10 great update ideas with examples from other project teams that have gotten it right. Use these as your inspiration for future updates on your project!
Promote upcoming meetings with context and details.
Market upcoming meetings to encourage supporters to attend and voice their opinions. This also demonstrates how you’re soliciting community outreach when presenting to the city or county during the entitlements process.
Key details to include: Where and when the meeting is, why people should attend
Share a post-meeting recap.
Keep the community informed and establish trust by providing high-level details for those who couldn’t make it or are just researching the project for the first time and want a historical perspective.
Key details to include: Meeting highlights, summary of public comment (if applicable) and next steps in the development process
Ask people to “stay tuned” as you work through plans behind the scenes.
Remember that community members may feel uneasy when things are quiet publicly, so post an update when progress is happening largely behind the scenes to keep the community engaged and ready for bigger milestones.
Key details to include: Details about where the project is in the development cycle, a call-to-action to still contribute their feedback
Post an update announcing new comment topics.
Keep people engaged and coming back to provide feedback on new comment topics. This helps to show that you are actively going back to the community for their input throughout the process.
Key details to include: Brief summary of the topics covered, a link to the comments section
Respond to community feedback received so far.
Thank the community and share a summary of the feedback received.
Key details to include: A sincere thank you, key themes of community feedback
Showcase new SMS signs in the community.
Let the neighbors know where new SMS signs are and promote another tool you’re using to reach a broad audience and engage proactively with the community.
Key details to include: photos of the SMS signs, location details
Post an update about an event or milestone in the neighborhood
Show how your team is becoming an active member of the community and post about other things happening in the neighborhood.
Key details to include: Event details, why people should attend
Ask followers for letters of support
Drum up support to present at a hearing or to fold into a report at the end of a comment period.
Key details to include: Why support is needed at this stage, a link to submit a letter of support
Ask followers to speak at an upcoming meeting
Make a direct call-to-action for community members to share their support by speaking at an upcoming meeting.
Key details to include: Why support is needed at this stage, meeting details, and a link to submit a letter of support if they cannot attend in-person
Share a recent news article that’s been published about the project
Showcase project momentum by sharing local news coverage about the project.
Key details to include: A summary of the coverage, link to the article and a call-to-action to give feedback