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University of Minnesota Extension

Public engagement strategies

How do you engage with the public?

Elected officials and leaders of organizations face hard decisions that affect communities and the people who live there. Bringing together experience, information and diverse perspectives in a respectful process allows communities to reach decisions that are more thoughtful, broadly supported and ultimately sustainable.

The process and how a leader makes their choices can increase public trust and support for decisions. Use the below community resources to learn strategies for involving and engaging with the public, planning and facilitating meetings and making group decisions.

Public involvement strategy

Meeting planning and facilitation

Group decisions


Educational media

Listen to podcasts, watch videos and read articles related to community engagement topics.

  • Special episode 02: Navigating change

    [podcast] Our world is constantly changing; now more than ever before. Listen as we discuss strategies for leaders to help themselves and their communities navigate change.

  • RAS (Reticular Activating System)

    [video] How can your subconscious mind help your community? Learn about RAS (Reticular Activating System) and how it can help focus you on the positive in your community.

  • Episode 21: Conversations change Campbell

    [podcast] How can you make your community more appealing to others? Hear how conversations in Campbell, Minnesota led to big community changes in appearance and pride.

  • Episode 20: Community conversations

    [podcast] How do you discuss ideas and issues with your neighbors? Listen to Jody Horntvedt share nuts-and-bolts advice for creating healthy community conversations.

  • Episode 19: Engaged with nature

    [podcast] What does being an involved citizen mean? It isn't always about running for office. Hear from community members who helped protect and promote a hidden nature spot in Woodbury, Minnesota.

  • Episode 18: Civic engagement 101

    [podcast] What does civic engagement mean? Listen to Extension educators discuss its meaning and share best practices for working with others and tools to get involved.

  • 'We the people' — Making it real

    Minnesota's voter turnout is impressive — almost 19 percent higher than the rest of the nation's over the past decade. Is voting all that matters for a democracy?

How can Extension help

Extension leadership and civic engagement (LCE) educators work across the state of Minnesota. They provide educational programs and consultations that help communities solve problems and make decisions.

Contact an educator near you or program leader Holli Arp.

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