EngagementHQ: Online community engagement tools
The best community conversations happen with tools that are purpose-built for the job. The EngagementHQ feature suite helps you deliver rich conversation across various channels and formats, so you can quickly and easily manage every level of community engagement and make the decisions that matter.
Eight unique tools for better online engagement
Forums | Drive discussion, debate and dialogue.
Ideas | Online ideation made easy and engaging.
Places | Put community feedback and ideas on the map.
Stories | Give your community a voice.
Guestbook | Simplify and moderate your online feedback.
Questions | Simplify issue management.
Polls | Get answers fast.
Surveys | Measure community response and votes.
Give your community a safe space to debate pressing issues in a substantial way.
Forums is our most open online tool — it allows dissent, exchanges of ideas, and understanding of different perspectives.
Engage on controversial issues through open discussion
Inspire deliberative dialogue. When polarising issues arise, deliberative dialogue and the exchange of viewpoints are essential for progress. Forums encourage those conversations to take place.
A secure, interactive environment. Forums are moderated 24/7 to prevent offensive or inappropriate behavior. Moderation allows you to focus on providing information and fostering conversation.
Take the conversation off of social media. Controversial topics will be discussed in your community, most likely on social media. These debates tend to be futile and can spread misinformation – the forums tool helps to guide productive and respectful conversation.
Like or dislike individual comments. Some people aren’t comfortable discussing issues with others online. In that case, participants can like or dislike comments, enabling them to express their opinions too.
Spur civil debate in your community
Administrators can participate too. If there is a misunderstanding or a question, administrators can respond to comments to inform participants, thwart misinformation, and keep the conversation moving.
Encourage participation with imagery and videos in your prompt. The Forums tool lets you include engaging imagery and videos in prompts to encourage more contributions.
Use AI to quickly analyse discussions. Open-ended feedback is easily analysed through sentiment analysis within EngagementHQ. Comments in forums are automatically determined to be positive, negative, or neutral, and can be further filtered by demographic.
Stakeholders have solutions to many of the pressing issues facing their community — collect their ideas online.
The Ideas tool lets residents post their own ideas and thoughts on an online idea board.
Brainstorm with more people
Co-design solutions with residents. Residents are not only more willing to accept outcomes when they helped conceptualise them, but they also may have more efficient ways of solving problems.
Empower more stakeholders. The average community stakeholder can’t attend an in-person workshop. An online idea board that’s available 24/7 gives more people the opportunity to contribute and spark creativity.
Guide the conversation. You can write engaging prompts, embed videos, and share imagery in your community idea board to encourage participation.
Share photos, make comments, and vote on other ideas. Effective brainstorming is reliant on participants interacting with each others’ ideas. Residents can share photos, as well as like and comment on other ideas.
Tackle your community’s most difficult problems
Diverse ideas lead to better outcomes. The link between innovation and diversity is well-established. When you connect stakeholders from different backgrounds, your project can achieve better results for your community.
Use the Ideas tool at the start of your project. The Ideas tool is especially effective during the initial stages of a project when new ideas can be implemented into the next phases of the engagement process.
Gather varied feedback with multiple Ideas Boards. Create multiple ideas boards within a single project to have more focused online brainstorming covering different topics or issues.
Residents know where opportunity lies in their community — let them mark it on a map.
The Places tool empowers community stakeholders to show their favourite spots, locations in need of improvement, or even ideas for new projects on an interactive map of your community.
Go beyond the traditional survey
Add another dimension to your community data. The Places tool lets your community express their sentiments in an innovative and dynamic way. With Places, you’ll capture location-based data that reveals important spots in a community that can represent larger priorities.
Works across devices. If a resident is in their favourite park, they can take out their phone, take a picture, and drop a pin with the image instantly. The interactive map works across all devices, giving flexibility to users.
Ask a survey question when dropping a pin. Want to know the answer to a specific question based on location? Embed survey questions into your map pins for participants to answer.
Add photos and comments to pins. Community stakeholders can add comments and images to a map pin, allowing other users to visually see the location marked and share what’s important about that location.
Guide your feedback with map customisation
Customise your pins. Choose from a variety of icons, create custom pin colors and name your pins to encourage specific types of feedback from residents, like locations for new bike racks or potholes that need to be filled.
Choose a specific area. If you are seeking community data from a specific neighbourhood or portion of your community, you can specify the boundaries of that space so pins can only be dropped in the area of interest.
Tailor your map. The Places tool has eight different map styles for you to choose from, like satellite view, street view, or outdoors. You can apply GIS layering to your map for additional details and context.
Stoke empathy and build your community.
The Stories tool facilitates a rarity online – relating and connecting with others in a meaningful way.
Listen to others’ experience
Let people express themselves freely. People empathise with intimate stories. Building empathy within a community can change minds and hearts. Moreover, empathy can strengthen the positive impact of policies and projects.
Ask more informed questions in your consultation. Write an open-ended prompt and let the stories steer the overall consultation. Understanding the complexities of an issue from the start will improve the quality of the questions you ask.
Use text analysis to make sense of your stories. Stories and comments can be analysed instantly with EngagementHQ’s Sentiment Analysis. Feedback can be categorised as positive, negative, or neutral — immediately showing the community opinion.
Choose who can participate. Administrators can elect to include unverified or anonymous participation to break down any barriers stopping stakeholders from sharing their stories.
Empower your community
Accept or reject submitted stories. Stories can be extremely personal and emotional, which makes them invaluable to boost empathy. However, some stories can be inappropriate. Administrators approve stories before they are shown to the public.
Let contributors decide if comments are appropriate. When an administrator allows for comments on stories, the author can still disable comments on their own story. Community members need to feel comfortable when sharing genuine and insightful contributions.
Allow participants to submit rich media. Pictures and videos can help bring a story to life. Stakeholders can choose to submit their own media with their stories.
Create a safe, moderated space for one-way engagement.
The Guestbook tool collects open-ended feedback with customisable moderation, allowing facilitators to keep the conversation productive and respectful.
Use Guestbook to invite participation
Discuss difficult topics. Local communities have a range of issues that can be controversial, from how to tackle racial inequity to climate change policies. Use Guestbook to keep the conversation on track through moderation and simple participant contributions.
Complement face-to-face meetings. Because Guestbook collects open-ended comments from stakeholders, it is the perfect complement to face-to-face meetings. Simply submit in-person comments on the Guestbook tool for the whole community to see.
A partner to the Discussion Forum. Use Guestbook to gather ideas from the community to inform forum topics enabling facilitators to effectively position future forum discussions.
Let the community leave quick comments. Guestbook is made with convenience in mind — for staff and community stakeholders. The sentiment of all contributions can be easily gauged using built-in artificial intelligence.
Learn what your community really thinks
Choose pre or post-moderation. Choose to have every comment moderated by our team — 24/7 — before appearing on the Guestbook tool. Or opt for post-moderation: comments are immediately displayed but will be taken off by our trained moderators if they violate site rules.
Receive stand-alone individual contributions. Guestbook doesn’t enable responses, likes, upvotes, or down-votes on contributions. If community feedback is needed, but an online discussion between residents is considered too risky, Guestbook is the solution.
A tool that invites more people to the table. While most people will be confident using a tool that encourages engagement from others, community-wide responses can be a deterrent for some. Guestbook provides an additional option, allowing those people to feel more comfortable participating.
Answer pressing questions from the community.
The Questions tool provides a space for community members to ask questions and get answers. Administrators and experts can provide answers and additional resources simply, in a moderated process.
Keep stakeholders informed
Create a single source of truth. Provide a single space for community members to ask questions and get correct answers back. Without this tool, misinformation becomes more common as participants turn to social media to find answers.
Find out what’s missing. Analysing incoming questions will help administrators to understand which areas of a consultation might need more information or are of more concern to the community.
Answer publicly or privately. While most questions are applicable to the wider community, some tend to be more personal. In those cases, easily respond privately to a participant.
Tag questions and utilise search functions. The Questions Tool allows administrators to tag answers by topic and will automatically feed these into searchable categories.
Engage efficiently with the Questions Tool
Host a Live Q&A event. Community members can tune in for a virtual event where participants can ask questions and administrators can answer in real-time.
Build your FAQ page. As questions roll in throughout the consultation, frequently asked questions will inevitably reveal themselves. FAQ pages save time for participants and administrators.
Integrate widgets into a Q&A page. Enhance participant experience and education by combining informational and rich media widgets alongside your Questions tool page.
Ask a question. Get immediate results.
Polls are an easy-to-use, effective way to gauge broad public sentiment with a single question. Polls are especially valuable to drive interest and participation in a project — stakeholders can engage and see community opinion in seconds.
Jumpstart participation with Polls
Polls are simple and quick. Polls are a straightforward tool that can be implemented promptly as conversations shift throughout the consultation process.
Instant results and open participation. Anyone can vote in a poll and the results are shown to participants after submission, encouraging engagement.
Polls are versatile. Polls can be used as a tool within a project or added as a widget to gather additional data. Polls allow community members to quickly get involved in the engagement process.
Use Polls at every stage of your consultation
Polls improve engagement data and participation when used in combination with other EngagementHQ tools. Use polls throughout a consultation to gauge sentiment or promote participation:
At the beginning of a consultation. Kickstart community participation by embedding the tool and driving traffic to a project. Polls are a simple entry point for participants.
As an additional tool during a consultation. Use polls to acquire extra quantitative data around key questions that provide additional context in a consultation.
At the end of a consultation. A quick poll makes it easy to weigh public opinion on well thought out solutions in the final stages of the engagement process.
Gather structured feedback and quantitative data to inform your community initiatives.
The Surveys tool is powerful and easy to use. With conditional logic, rich media embeds, instant reporting, and more — EngagementHQ Surveys have the capabilities you need to learn actionable insights.
Collect real data with Surveys to discover how your community feels
Quantify community sentiment. Community opinion can be hard to grasp. Surveys make it simple. Gather quantitative, meaningful data to back up your initiatives or tell you what changes need to be made.
Instant analytics and reporting. EngagementHQ automatically formats your survey data for quick analysis. Download as a pdf showing aggregate data and detailed information for each question.
Utilise skip and conditional logic. All community stakeholders are different and our Surveys tool reflects that. Employ skip and conditional logic to ask targeted questions within a single survey.
Build Surveys that participants can take anytime, anywhere
Flexible and streamlined. With over eight question types available and expert advice on how to ask engaging questions, ensure you’re receiving relevant information to your consultation.
Embed directly into any survey question. Rich media can bring a question to life for participants. The Surveys tool lets you add videos, hyperlinks, pictures, and specialised text to help your community give more informed feedback.
Test your survey before publishing. Before your community starts participating, make sure you’re asking the right questions. Share draft surveys with your team for testing and feedback.