Online Tools

AmericaSpeaks offers a variety of online tools and services that can be used in combination or offered individually. Each tool and process offers a unique way to reach and engage your desired online audience.

Ideation

Ideation, also known as crowdsourcing, enables citizens and stakeholders to share ideas about a particular policy and vote to identify the most popular ideas.  The end result is a list of suggestions and ideas on how to solve a problem or improve a service with the process participant’s highest priorities at the top, offering insight into the priorities of key constituents, consumers, and stakeholders. The process is highly scalable and allows decision makers to focus on analyzing the most popular proposals while avoiding the time-consuming process of reviewing every single submission.

Engaging Surveys

Engaging Surveys are compelling, educational online surveys that present facts, scenarios, and different perspectives in a balanced and entertaining manner, enabling you to gather input from large groups of people at relatively low cost.  Engaging surveys overcome the drawbacks of conventional surveys, with their easily manipulated results and boring, stodgy format. We don’t ask participants to offer gut reactions like a pollster would, but rather we guide them through a clear and deliberative process that invites them to consider policy issues carefully before offering informed opinions.  The interface and information are made far more interesting through plain language, humor, and an emphasis on compelling visual presentation of information through video, colorful graphics, and animation.

Websites, Blogs & Social Media

Optimize your online presence in a way that facilitates greater engagement with your constituents and stakeholders over time.  We emphasize the use of clear language, simple user interfaces, and appealing visual design to build websites that communicate your messages and encourage visitors to learn more.  We help set up and manage blogs and social media presences through which policymakers can discuss their views on issues and create space for the public to comment.  Over time, a self-perpetuating community of regular readers and commenters can evolve, reducing the need for ongoing outreach and dramatically lowering the overall costs of public engagement.

Additional Tools

  • Policy Simulations & Games. Simulate real-world tradeoffs and ask citizens to make the very same choices that policymakers face. Citizens gain important insights into the decision-making processes of government, while weighing in on the issues that affect them every day.
  • Text Messaging. Gather input using the most immediate and convenient tool available: the one in people’s pockets. Text message input may be somewhat superficial, but its immediacy, familiarity, and open rates – which far exceed those of email – make it a powerful input mechanism. It can be used to engage communities who might otherwise be left out of the process, including young people, minorities, and those who lack regular Internet access.
  • Collaborative Writing. Collaborative writing tools offer participants the opportunity to help draft or comment on the specific language of policy: legislation, rules, platforms, etc. Highly qualified and motivated citizens and stakeholders will jump at the opportunity to play such a direct role in shaping policy.
  • Online Moderation. Experienced moderation and facilitation will ensure that respectful language and tone are used throughout the online engagement process and a productive, trustworthy, and engaging conversation can occur. We can help you strike the right balance by directly moderating or by identifying the right personnel, processes, and policies for you to moderate and facilitate internally.

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