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Sometimes the hallowed grounds of better community engagement doesn’t come without the murky waters of vested interests and organised lobby groups rallying to swing numbers.

This recently happened to one of our customers, an association representing parents of school-aged children, who ran a question about religion in schools.

Their mission is to collect information about the views of the community to be able to present it to government who are making policy decisions around education.

They started using Townhall as a way to reach beyond their own membership to uncover views of the broader community so that they might represent…


The Townhall app revolution is underway with the launch our embeddable app!

The key benefit of the embeddable is that you can place it directly on your website. Once the question is made, you’ve got a code to insert on your website or blog placed directly within the content you want people to respond to.

See it in operation on the front page of the Townhall website.

This new step is the last of the amazing product evolution since the tool was created in January 2013 as a Facebook app. …


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Introduction

The visualisation of information in elegant ways was made famous last century by American statistician and political scientist, Edward Tufte.

Fast forward to today and infographics are shared twice as often as other social media posts.

The following guide explains how to extract public opinion insights around contemporary issues, and transform them into compelling infographics.

The goal is to create meaningful snapshots of what the community believe, and reflect it back to them, to grow engagement and augment the power of stories and the role of media.

Step 1: Choose your Topic

The best topics to choose are ones where there is strong public…


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By Keren Flavell — Founder & CEO, Townhall App

I feel uncomfortable when people want to use Townhall to ask traditional survey questions of their stakeholders. They want to ask the same old set of questions about themselves, where they ask for good/better/best responses.

No wonder people are bored with those surveys and don’t choose to engage.

Instead, we’re helping our customers get BETTER engagement and participation, by BEING engaging.

How?

1. Be empowering

Give your audience the chance to have an impact on your decisions. This means handing over the reins of control to the widest stakeholder audience available.

If people can collectively change the things that impact them, they will return again and again to take part.

You need to be clear about how their contribution will…


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By Keren Flavell

Yes it’s absolutely beautiful and as they say, it’s an awesome way to ask.

However, I still feel there’s a missed opportunity.

I recently completed a form for a slack channel for female founders. As I was selecting the subject areas I was interested in, I was really curious to know what others in the group were interested in.

When I added my country, I wanted to know where everyone else is.

But when I finished the “survey” it revealed nothing. Thanks, see you later, we’ve got all the tasty information and you can’t have it. Hummpff!


By Alix de Noray

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Citizens’ what?

The expression “Citizens’ Panel” can sound awkward when you don’t know what it’s referring to. Actually, it is one of the easiest ways to get to know your community better.

Citizens’ Panels provide local Government with a way to consult with their communities and hear what they want. Its a tried and tested method to find out what people think and what they need.

These public consultation activities can involve between 500 to 5,000 people that agree to take part in them, according to Public Voice, who are experts in the field of citizens’ panels.

Who can participate?

Participants…


By Keren Flavell and Alix de Noray

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Picture from https://instantarticles.fb.com

If you are a technology-gossip addict, you’re likely to have read that Facebook has now opened Instant Articles for publishers.

Never heard about it? Don’t panic! Here’s our lowdown on what Facebook Instant Articles is all about, and how it might affect media publishers.

Let’s start from the beginning. What is it? In May 2015, Zuckerberg’s social network introduced Instant Articles, with load times up to 10x faster than the standard mobile web. The design is minimalist and neat, so every article looks standardized: same typography, same layout. …


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When we first launched townhall three years ago the product allowed our customers to download the email addresses of people who voted on their question.

From our research we understood that ‘closing the loop’ was an important part of the consultation process, so we wanted to allow our customers to do so easily.

Since we had no email functionality within our platform, the only option was to pass along the email addresses as a CSV file, to be imported into whichever mail program was being used by our customers.

As we broadened our reach beyond non-government customers, this feature was…


By Alix de Noray

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Who never dreamt of possessing Harry Potter’s Marauder’s map? To be able to accurately identify each person in the vicinity, to reveal every secret passage, and to have an overview of your environment?

Well, according to Emily Verstege, user journey mapping is nearly the same for helping your firm know your customers. She explains it is like “a process to help you understand how and when people interact with your products and services”.

Emily is an internationally published research academic, public policy analyst and entrepreneur who works at the intersection of business and technology. She co-founded…


Interview with townhall founder, by Alix de Noray

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Keren Flavell, founder and CEO of townhall app, gives the lowdown about her startup and the outlook for 2016. Looks like it’s going to be a turnaround year of success!

It’s clear that long surveys are an old-fashioned thing of the past; more for torture than for true engagement. In order to combat survey fatigue, by making it fast and easy for participants, Keren Flavell launched the first version of townhall app in January 2013. But what is it all about?

“At it’s heart”, she says, “townhall is an online tool to capture realtime opinions from stakeholders. It was designed to increase responses to government consultations, after we kept hearing there were very low engagement rates.

Townhall has since been used by…

townhall app

Empowering the collective voice through real-time, data-driven polling. http://www.townhallapp.io

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