How can your Council website offer young people a voice?

At the recent, National Association of Local Councils’ (NALC) Annual Conference, the Princess Royal highlighted that local councils are the closest port of call for residents and are on hand to solve very local issues including:How do we empower young peoples voice?

Over the coming weeks, we will be giving you some ideas of how you could, through your website, achieve these aims.

First up, empowering young people.

We’re all guilty of thinking we know what the younger generation is concerned with or is interested in. I’m sure in our professional (and maybe personal) capacity we have made judgments on this.

But shouldn’t we be offering them a platform to highlight and advocate youth issues in their local community?

How can we do that? Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Blogs

Offering a section on your website for young people to write or video blogs about the concerns or issues which affect them, in their local community empower their voice. Why not get your local School or College involved? – young people see the world through different eyes to the older generation, so allow them to have their say. This offers them experience in writing which may help University or job applications (as a side note), but also, proud parents will often share via their social media mediums meaning your sites are getting more views from a wider audience.

Online Interactions

Websites should have the ability to develop two-way communication. Too many websites simply provide information and do not give enough opportunities for many to develop conversations. Young people often spend hours communicating online with their friends or others and get into discussions about things that may interest them so offering a space for online interaction assists in empowering them. This also gives you the chance to find out what they are thinking and gather feedback which can be used to develop your agendas.

Social Media

In the majority young people are using a wide variety of social media outlets, therefore, when seeking engagement some form of presence on one or a few of the mediums may be required. Expecting a young person to just gravitate to your website is illogical as many will probably not know it exists therefore if you want to hear their voice you may need to use these outlets.

By giving young people more power and scope to talk empowers them.

It also provides you with invaluable feedback, opinion, and discussion as to how to move your Council and community forward and offers you more gravitas with County Councils.

We, however, understand that moving your website into the realms of two-way communication can be scary and cause more work.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, WJP Software Ltd is here to help and guide you through the process by giving hints and tips on online moderation and how to get started. Our system can offer a forum that allows two-way interaction, so whilst you consider how to move this agenda forward, find out more about the features of our web communication system and how we support our Councils through our excellent support system.

Published: 11/11/2019 Published by: Rebecca Proctor

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