A lot of projects in the public sector require some element of community engagement or consultation.

I worked with Kāpiti Coast District Council on their Waikanae Library and Community Hub community engagement. They wanted to find out what was important to people and which of three possible options the community preferred.

Here are five simple ideas we used in the Kapiti Coast District Council pop-up engagement centre.

  1. Activities for all ages

    In the pop-up space there were option tokens, a council representative available for questions and colouring in supplies.

  2. Large format posters

  3. Feedback options

    A large poster was created for each objective. Questions were posed and there was plenty of space for post it note comments. More feedback could also be provided in the summary document, on the hard copy feedback forms or online.

  4. Pull up banners

  5. Information to takeaway

    We created a summary brochure and bookmarks. Both included a QR code that linked to more information on the website with options to give feedback.

The community engagement was a real success with lots of people providing their view, opinions and comments.

One great feature was leaving post it note comments up for the duration of the engagement. This meant people could see and read others views and opinions. Which in turn generated discussion.

Kapiti Coast District Council agreed to the option selected by 50% of the respondents, and will refurbish the former library. The building will be developed into a modern library and community hub that will provide a warm and welcoming multi-functional space.

(Image credit: Kapiti Coast District Council)

Yay, I’m able to give blood again. As a ‘mad cow’ it’s been a few decades since I gave a donation, so I was interested to see how things are done these days. It reminded me that some organisations, like the NZ Blood Service | Te Ratonga Tata o Aotearoa, have to engage across a lot of channels and brand touchpoints.

A brand touchpoint is any interaction where you encounter a brand, whether it’s seeing a social media post, visiting their website, seeing signage or calling their 0800 number. It’s a series of meetings with a brand, each one aiming to leave a positive, lasting impression that encourages trust and loyalty.

For the NZ Blood Service, the brand touchpoints are unique because they need to foster trust, encourage participation, and ensure a positive experience to retain donors and attract new ones. Also, their audience is huge and diverse while their eligibility criteria is complex.

Where you’ll bump into the NZ Blood Service brand:

pen in the shape of a syringe with red blood as ink

  1. Marketing merchandise: The Service uses promotional merch at events and as donor gifts to raise awareness and create a visual connection to the cause.
  2. Informative website: The one-stop-shop for details about the donation process, eligibility criteria, and how donations help save lives.
  3. Social media campaigns: These are designed to engage potential and existing donors with stories of upcoming blood drives, and the impact of their involvement.
  4. Emails: Tailored to individuals, emails include educational content, appointment reminders, and thank-you messages post-donation.
  5. Donor helpline: This offers personal interaction for queries, support, and guidance through the donation process.
  6. Mobile units: the physical presence of mobile units, with accompanying signage, makes donation convenient and accessible.
  7. NZ Blood Service app: A dedicated phone app that helps with the registration, donation locations, bookings and donor-specific information.
  8. Educational material: A range of pamphlets, information cards, videos, and web content that educates about the importance of blood donation, eligibility and how it helps the community.
  9. Donation experience: The physical space and one-on-one interaction with staff while donating blood. This includes registration, health screening interview, the donation itself, and the post-donation recovery area.
  10. Post-donation follow-up: Personal communication after the donation to thank the donor and inform them when they’re eligible to donate again.

Multiple opportunities to interact with a brand can:

  • Build trust through consistency: Looking and acting the same across lots of platforms helps audiences feel secure.
  • Enhance engagement by audience-specific messaging: Tweaking communications helps connect to different sections of their audience and fosters connection. It’s about recognising a community’s voice and reflecting that in every interaction.
  • Use strategic storytelling for more impact: Specific projects and initiatives tell a story, that can invite to audience to join them on this life-giving journey.
  • Leverage digital platforms for wider reach: Online brand touchpoints provide an opportunity to expand reach. Social media, email newsletters and the new app allow the NZ Blood Service to connect in real-time, providing information, promoting blood drives and encouraging new and existing donors to book an appointment.

Each touchpoint represents an opportunity to engage with donors and potential donors, emphasising the importance of their contribution, ensuring their comfort and safety, and building a community around the cause of blood donation.

What’s your experience interacting with brand touchpoints?