You’ve made a project in Zencity to see all of the discourse on a certain topic, but you aren’t seeing much discourse at all. This can happen for a number of reasons and fortunately, there are a few things that you can do:

1. Wait and See

It may be that the topic you made a project for is something that is not happening for a few weeks, and the buzz has not started yet.  It is good to be prepared and have your project ready in advance, but you will likely only see discourse as the event or project nears. For instance, if you set up a project for your city’s July 4th event in May, you may only start seeing discourse in September when the City begins to publicize the event. If you would like people to start talking about it early, the City can jumpstart the conversation (see #2).

2. Start the Conversation 

Residents don’t discuss all topics organically and sometimes you need to rely on your communications team to get the conversation started. For example, many cities want to know how their residents are talking about the budget or infrastructure revamps. However, these topics are not often brought up by residents unprovoked or without being asked. And even when residents are discussing an issue organically, in most cases it is a good idea to make sure the City is a part of the conversation so you can create your own narrative (learn more here about comparing discourse on official and unofficial sources). 

3. Simplify the Conversation

Even when the City is engaging with residents on a specific topic, it might be a bit too complex to solicit a response. For instance, if you are looking to collect  feedback on an 800-page report or city plan update, you might need to break the matter down for residents, asking specific questions to garner the feedback you are looking for. 

4. Do a Survey with Zencity

Did you know that Zencity now offers surveys? Our surveys aim to help you answer a specific question (or two!) in a quick, inexpensive way. Zencity surveys are online, directed towards residents via social media channels, and utilize our machine learning model capabilities to process your responses in a digestible report! Reach out to your Customer Success Manager if you are interested in learning more about commissioning a survey.

5. No News is Not Always Bad News 

As City employees, you probably know all too well that, more often than not,  feedback comes in the form of complaints rather than praise. Therefore, when you make a project and do not see a lot of data, it can be a good indicator that no one is complaining about the issue at hand. Look back at a time or project where you did see feedback about a similar issue and compare. If you would like to see resident feedback (the good, the bad, the ugly) you can solicit feedback with methods #2 and #4. 

Have more questions about projects? Reach out to your Customer Success Manager. 

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