Climbing the Community Engagement Ladder


Successful public policy efforts call for sincere engagement with community residents and civic leaders. Whether for a development project or a legislative issue, effective outreach campaigns establish meaningful dialogue, stakeholder agreement and active support. A successful civic engagement strategy will help you ascend the Community Engagement Ladder.


Bottom Rung – Subscribers read the material you provide, such as social media posts, direct mail and editorials. They attend your community meetings and register to receive updates. This passive and neutral level lays the foundation for more active engagement.


Second Rung - Supporters read your emails, “like” your social media posts and speak positively at community meetings. This is the start of active positive engagement.


Third Rung - Activists take action. They testify at public hearings, send letters and emails to officials and attend hearings. They also share your social media posts. Most people are Supporters and Activists.


The Highest Rung - Evangelists represent the highest level of engagement and usually feel an affinity or loyalty to the issue. In addition to testifying in support, they recruit friends to join them, host meetings at their homes and generally spread the word.


Supporters and Activists make up the largest share of your audience. A sincere engagement strategy will successfully empower people to become Evangelists. And that’s the best way to achieve positive results.