Understanding Community Engagement
Needs and Wishes
Community engagement enables equitable decision-making processes and builds relationships and trust between governments, organizations, and communities. Assessing community needs and wishes begins with an engagement plan that is sensitive to how participants wish to be engaged and how best to reach your population segments.
Community engagement can be conducted through small focus groups and roundtables, large public meetings, surveys, and one-on-one interviews. Ensuring diverse participation in these forums means intentional outreach to all segments of the population, so people of all ages, races, ethnicities, faiths, orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities have a seat at the table. Outreach to different communities requires cultural sensitivity and building relationships of trust.
Our team of communications and outreach strategists uses the following tactics:
Community engagement builds buy-in and community support
UMS President and Principal Christine Wong Rambo, CEcD speaks to small business owners during a focus group meeting.
Community Engagement for Strategic Planning
After decades of economic stagnation, the north-central Montana region of Great Falls, Montana experienced new economic growth and a renewed sense of optimism. The region’s economic development organization, Great Falls Development Authority (GFDA), needed a new strategic plan to accelerate the economic momentum.
GFDA engaged Upsize Marketing Strategies (UMS) and other partners to develop a strategic plan that incorporated comprehensive community engagement and input. UMS conducted community vision workshops, one-on-one interviews, small group focus groups, and large town hall meetings.
The community feedback along with economic research and analysis was compiled into a strategic plan that targeted key industry sectors for growth.