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Taking the conversation online

As the digital age continues to assert its dominance on everyday communication, it’s not surprising more and more organisations are choosing to engage with their stakeholders online.

If you’re not already reaping the benefits of online engagement, it might be time to consider how your business can harness the power of digital tools.

To start, here are five points to consider before taking the conversation online:

1. Review your options
Polls, surveys, discussion boards, websites, newsletters, brainstorming forums and interactive mapping are just some of the tools at your disposal online no matter what your engagement objective.

2. Accessibility and convenience
Online engagement provides an accessible and convenient way to include everyone in your conversations. An online environment can better capture underrepresented groups, such as time-poor individuals, senior citizens and mobility, vision or hearing-impaired stakeholders.

3. Value for money
Online engagement often allows interaction with more people for less spend than traditional methods. Face-to-face engagement can be resource intensive and costly, with a much smaller reach in comparison to digital methods.

4. Everyone gets their turn
Online forums create an environment where contentious issues can be addressed by all. It gives people the opportunity to express themselves without the fear of criticism that may be present in a live forum.

5. Better information, better outcomes
An online environment creates a plentiful and broad spectrum of viewpoints from the outset and increases the likelihood of risk and issues identification and management early on. Online tools often have advanced reporting capabilities – demographics can be drilled down and trends can be tracked with just a few clicks.