More than ever before, public engagement is central to the work of governments on local, state and national levels. Yet, despite enthusiasm for public engagement, there is no well-supported formula for how to do it effectively. What is clear is that engagement should incorporate today’s dynamic media landscape, cultural norms of responsiveness, and expectations of user friendliness in a context of reciprocity and long-term partnership.

Accelerating Public Engagement, a report written by Eric Gordon, Executive Director of the Engagement Lab and Associate Professor at Emerson College, provides background on creative public engagement and offers practical, creative and detailed approaches to use when planning on- and offline processes for meaningful public engagement.

The report summarizes practical findings from real-life examples of public engagement during the second cohort of Living Cities’ City Accelerator program. Over the course of 18-months, Gordon and the Engagement Lab team provided technical assistance and guidance to city officials in the program from Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Seattle as they implemented projects to engage lower income residents on issues ranging from post-incarceration re-entry services to public health campaigns.

There is no one-size-fits-all public engagement tool or technique. Approaches to public engagement must continually adapt and evolve along with the communities they serve. As such, Accelerating Public Engagement walks you through best practices for how to manage the ever-changing landscape of public engagement.

Additional Information

Author(s): Eric Gordon

Published: December 1st 2016