1. Warm it up
Before sending out your first question, let your mailing lists and social media know that you will be using a new service to better engage with them and gather their opinions on issues.
2. Pick a hot topic
Understanding what issues people are talking about in the community is key to a successfully engaging question. Controversial topics or issues that people are upset about dramatically increase engagement. Your constituents will appreciate the opportunity to give feedback on important issues and you will come across as more genuine.
3. Include why you are asking the question
Letting residents know the context behind the question helps frame the issue and bring residents up to speed on it’s importance.
4. If you can, use potential solutions as your answer choices
If there is an issue you are trying to solve, including potential solutions is a great way to engage people. This is also an opportunity for you to showcase your stance and what you are doing/will do when you are in office.
5. Add an other, unsure or need more information option
In order to get as many responses as possible, leave an option like ‘Unsure’ or ‘Not Enough Information’ for people who are on the fence.
Ex: What are your thoughts on the Federal Tax Cut Bill?
● Unsure/not enough information
● Fine as long as my taxes are lower
6. Ask for additional feedback
It is okay to add your own thoughts, but make sure that you come across as open minded and actively taking feedback. The background information section should end with a question asking people for additional feedback or solutions.
Ex. Do you favor one of these? If not, what other solutions do you suggest?
7. Add hyperlinks as appropriate
If there are related news articles or websites, be sure to include hyperlinks to those and try to take sources from both sides. This increases your credibility and allows people to further educate themselves before answering or commenting.