Citizen communication through Hoplr: practical examples
It’s Hoplr’s mission to bring neighbours closer together. But that’s not all we’re in for. By facilitating citizen communication, citizen participation and community care, we aim to bridge the gap between local governments and their citizens.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at which messages are most commonly posted by external parties, each accompanied by some real life examples.
- Waste collection
- Project development
- Neighborhood care
- Citizen participation
Whenever a new user joins a Hoplr neighbourhood, they are asked to introduce themselves. How long have they been living in the neighbourhood? Who are the members of their family?
Likewise, we recommend new users of the Service Dashboard (local governments, public utilities, project developers,…) to kick off with an introduction. In it, they mainly explain their purpose on the neighbourhood network.
- we’re launching a citizen participation project
- we’ll update you about roadworks
- we’ll be hosting neighbourhood puzzles
- we’ll keep you informed about upcoming nuisance
- we’ll inform you about waste collection rounds
It’s essential to include in these messages that external parties have no access to the Hoplr neighbourhoods and they cannot view any of the conversations on Hoplr.
#2 Citizen communication: alerts
Not all communication is foreseeable. Sudden events may lead to a last-minute change of plans. Or it may be essential to inform citizens as soon as possible.
- emergency hotline for incoming storm
- problem with tapwater
- large fire nearby: close your windows
- event cancelled
In these cases, your options are rather limited. Public social media don’t allow you to specifically reach all subscribed citizens. Putting a note in every mailbox may take you too long.
Hoplr allows you to post alerts. These are messages that instantly generate and send out notifications. This way, Hoplr users receive the message in their mail or on their smartphone within the hour.
#3 Citizen communication: mobility
Mobility can be a sensitive subject among citizens. However, we’ve learnt that open and honest communication works best. Good news or bad, Hoplr neighbours have always appreciated the information, as it allows them to anticipate.
- traffic measures in the context of a festival
- road works causing detours
- new hours of departure for local bus service
#4 Citizen communication: awareness
There is much municipalities can do to improve the quality of life of citizens. But often, it’s really up to the citizens themselves to do the right thing or take the correct measures, when it comes to protecting the community.
However, the local government can offer support by raising awareness. This kind of Hoplr messages draws neighbours’ attention to potential problems and the precautions they can take.
- measures to inhibit the spread of a virus
- protection against the heat
- information about burglaries
- what to put in and leave out of your waste bag
- warning against scammers
There is no need to draw up an awareness campaign with a catchy slogan or advertising budget when it comes to Hoplr. Straight to the point information will do. After all, this is what citizens signed up for: neighbour and citizen communication, and staying informed about what’s important within the local community.
#5 Citizen communication: involvement
Hoplr connects citizens around various neighbourhood-related topics: sharing economy, information, help and care, activities,… So registering is valuable, even for citizens who are not very invested in the local community.
Getting invested quickly becomes a lot easier, however, once a neighbour sings up. This is because Hoplr can greatly impact one’s sense of belonging within the neighbourhood. Consequently local governments too, can tap into the power of the local community.
- call upon citizens to add some green to their facade
- ask citizens to clear snow in front of their and neighbours’ homes
- look for volunteers to help with an event
- ask citizens to keep an eye out for elderly neighbours
We’ve said this many times before: Hoplr connects neighbours online, so they may meet offline. To facilitate this, the social network includes a neighbourhood calendar. The calendar allows neighbours to add and view neighbourhood activities.
Hoplr partners too, can make contributions. Events with date posted in the Hoplr neighbourhoods are automatically added to the neighbourhood calendar.
- official opening of a playground
- info session on Alzheimer
- festival in honour of Neighbours’ Day
- World Cleanup Day
- reception to welcome new citizens
#7 Waste collection
Waste collection is an important topic on Hoplr. Schedules may change, which is fine of course. However, it can be annoying if citizens are not properly informed about this change, as bins may be left outside longer than expected. In the end, it’s all about clear citizen communication.
- no waste collection because of temperatures below zero
- updates about waste collectors’ strike
- waste collection pushed back by one day
- recycle park closed because of a national holliday
#8 Project development
Project developers too, are eligible for a license to the Service Dashboard. This is because information about construction sites and roadworks can be extremely relevant to neighbourhood. The project developer or municipality should inform citizens about these works in, again, an open and honest way.
- planning for a new construction project
- upcoming nuisance: noise or dust
- traffic measures
- tackling of complaints or concerns
- thank you message for neighbours’ patience
#9 Neighbourhood care
Community service and care is a module within the Hoplr license that allows community workers to stimulate community care within the Hoplr neighbourhoods. However, citizen communication can be of added value when it comes to neighbourhood care as well.
- ask citizens to keep an eye out for elderly neighbours
- info sessions about Alzheimer
- ask citizens to make their parking space available for healthcare workers
- inform citizens about an outdoor gym for elderly people
#10 Citizen participation
The same applies to citizen participation: the Service Dashboard offers a module with several citizen participation functionalities. However, if you are not ready for a full blown citizen participation project, our communication module allows you to dabble with several fun question forms.
- ask what citizens thought of the new location for election voting
- ask citizens to rate a policy note spearhead
- ask citizens how they feel about a new play street
- stimulate citizens to share their citizen initiatives