Getting started with Your Priorities - Citizens Foundation
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Getting started with Your Priorities

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Organize Online Through Ideas and Civil Deliberation

 

Your Priorities is an online idea generation and deliberation platform that connects governments & nonprofits with citizens. Your Priorities has been used to improve decision-making in hundreds of projects in 20 countries by over 1.5 million people for the past 11 years.

 

Users add ideas, view other people’s ideas, and take part in a civil deliberation about each idea. Your Priorities can both be used in public projects in the context of including large numbers of citizens in decision-making, and also in private projects where smaller groups of people can work together remotely on ideas, deliberation and decisions.

 

Examples of Your Priorities project types

  • Government policy crowdsourcing and decision-making
  • Schools engaging with students
  • Academics co-creating a masters program
  • Nonprofits engaging online with their stakeholders
  • Health authorities connecting with citizens
  • Political parties engaging citizens and doing internal private work
  • Parliament engaging citizens on community wellbeing and more
  • Private groups working remotely on ideas, deliberation and decision making

 

Check out our Examples page for more.

 

We now offer free hosting and support for any nonprofit, educational & health organization.

 

Step 1: Define your project

The first step is to decide what sort of feedback you want from citizens and what the audience for the consultation is. Not every issue is of equal interest to every citizen participating, so it is important to understand who the citizens are that are most likely to be interested in contributing to your consultation.

 

Step 2: Choose a hosting server & create your engagement community

Setup a Your Priorities project on https://yrpri.org/ in Europe, https://ypus.org/ in America and https://betraisland.is/ in Iceland. If your organization is not located in America or Europe then choose a server cluster that is closest to you.

 

You can setup your project on one of our domains but you can also contact us for setting up Your Priorities on your own custom domain.

 

Create Your Priorities Community & Groups

In this video I will show you how to setup a new community on Your Priorities and how to create groups with different settings in about 6 minutes.

 

All Community & Group Settings

In this video I will explain all the community and group settings for Your Priorities communities.

 

Step 3: Promote your project

If citizens do not know about your project they will not participate. It is a fundamental right for citizens to know about opportunities to participate in democratic processes. It does not need to be hard or expensive to make the best effort to let as many citizens know as possible.

 

More citizens participating will increase the legitimacy of your project.

 

For some projects it can be important to use many marketing channels but as the citizen engagement happens online then those channels are the most important. And usually the best performing online marketing channels are other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – this is due to the fact that people on social media are already in an engagement mode and therefore more likely to participate. You could think of Your Priorities as an extension of social media.

 

Create a marketing plan that defines how you are going to reach the audience that you identified in step 1.

 

Possible channels

  • Facebook/Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Google ads
  • TV ads
  • Radio ads
  • Direct mail
  • Face to face meetings

 

Promoting your project on Facebook and Instagram is easy. You can either boost your post or use the Facebook advertising system. Here is a recent tutorial, not made by the Citizens Foundation, on how to promote posts on Facebook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07zr_ZBZ-zk

 

Geographical advertisement targeting is a powerful tool to ensure that all areas are represented in a consultation.

 

Promoting a Tweet using the Twitter advertising system is also a good way to reach a large audience on Twitter.

 

Step 4: Monitor your project with Google Analytics

With Google analytics you can see how many people visit your project and a wealth of demographic information and statistics.

 

Using Google Analytics with Your Priorities

 

Step 5: Export, use the results and notify citizens

It is easy to export data in Excel format directly from Your Priorities. You can also send users updates on the status of projects from the edit menu on each post but you can also do Bulk Status Updates for updating the status of thousands of ideas using templates.

 

Service Level Agreements & Startup Packages

The Citizens Foundation offers Service Level Agreements that start at $0, and Startup Packages. The Your Priorities platform software is also free and open source on GitHub.

 

About Citizens Foundation

The nonprofit Citizens Foundation was founded in 2008 in Iceland and now has offices in Iceland, the United States & the UK. It’s mission is to help connect governments and nonprofits with citizens by creating open online engagement platforms and offering consultation on how to best plan & execute successful citizen engagement projects.

 

We believe in non-partisan futurist solutions to the problems currently facing our democracies. We have recently seen technology undermine our faith in debate in the public arena; we believe that innovations in technology can instead be used to restore faith in democratic debate and institutions.

 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to email us at citizens@citizens.is 🙂