#3 – PublicInput

Posted on September 25, 2020

public input

It’s #ELGLHaverford time! We’re pleased to recognize the top 25 local government companies as nominated by ELGL members. Learn more about the Haverford Award, and then check out our website every day this week to learn about five new companies added to the 2020 Haverford Award list.

Contact information:

Company information:

  • Industry sector(s): Engagement
  • Minority/Woman Owned Business: No
  • Shared content/expertise with ELGL: Yes
  • https://elgl.org/podcast-engagement-with-jay-dawkins-ceo-of-publicinput/
  • Participated in ELGL events/activities: Yes
  • https://elgl.org/webinar-publicinput-unified-engagement/

Nomination information:

Describe your work and interactions with the nominee – how have you worked with them, on what projects, and in what capacity?

  • King County has been a PublicInput client since January 2019, after using a competing product for several years.

    Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we used PublicInput as a virtual engagement platform to create advanced surveys, open house-style feedback opportunities, and other collaborative opportunities with the general public, employees and partners, and other stakeholders.

    Now, as we navigate toward the next normal, we’re expanding our use of platform to include additional engagements and plan to incorporate town hall-style virtual meetings, and other collaborative opportunities with the general public, employees and partners, and other stakeholders.

    Our objective in using the platform is to enhance overall engagement, communication, collaboration and visibility for county programs and services to enhance policymaking, enrich the constituent experience, improve public trust and support the county’s goal to become the Best Run Government.

    We chose PublicInput because the platform offered the most robust options out of the box. In King County, where more than 170 languages are spoken and nearly 500,000 residents were born outside of the United States, we wanted to make interacting with the regional government as simple as possible.

    In addition, we appreciated the ability to customize by engagement the level of information each participant needed to provide in order to share feedback. Lowering barriers to entry was a key factor in our decision to partner with PublicInput.

    After pandemic-related social distancing measures went into effect nationwide, PublicInput added the capability to integrate virtual meetings into the platform, creating new opportunities for public meetings and open houses.

    At King County, our Metro Transit agency and Department of Natural Resources & Parks use PublicInput heavily to engage community members on planning for capital projects and ways to improve service.

    All told, we have used PublicInput to conduct 96 engagements since becoming a customer in January 2019. I want to specifically highlight 2 recent projects we’re currently conducting with the platform:

    PublicInput is working with Metro Transit on several employee engagement efforts to share safety information and other vital messages with frontline staff during the pandemic.

    Our Office of Law Enforcement Oversight uses the platform to collect information about complaints against sheriff’s deputies — a critical function to ensure accountability and trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.

What was the product/outcome of your relationship with the company?

  • King County’s relationship with PublicInput is ongoing, and we look forward to working with the platform to refine the way we engage with our community.

    To date, the county has used PublicInput to collect 475,000 responses from 25,000 participants — a milestone that would be impossible without a responsive partner working with us to increase engagement and build community trust.

What are three words you’d use to describe the company?

  • Responsive. Adaptable. Fair.

Describe the on-boarding process for your work with the company – either when you personally started working with them, or when your organization did. What could someone else in local government know about starting work with this company? 

  • When King County started as a customer, PublicInput sought out the key account administrators to schedule trainings, share opportunities to provide feedback and educate county employees on best practices.

What’s the most interesting or fun aspect of your work with the company?

  • The team. PublicInput’s team always seems to be available, from the CEO on down, and is willing to listen to ideas or hear feedback (some of which can be quite candid).

What is the company’s pricing structure? Please be as descriptive as possible.

  • PublicInput offers structured pricing based on the size of the client organization and the number of departments utilizing the platform, with an unlimited number of administrator seats available to most users. 

How has your relationship with the company evolved or changed over time? How has the company reacted to or addressed any changes that your organization has requested in the scope/focus of your work together?

  • While King County can be a challenging customer at times, PublicInput is always willing to listen to proposed ideas and often backs up our suggestions with development resources to turn suggestions into reality.

    PublicInput has worked with us to improve accessibility and translation features on its platform, responding to feedback from King County staff and community members, and then incorporating upgrades to the platform at no additional cost to current users. 
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