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Best Practices for Online Community Engagement

Friday, May 29, 2020
11 AM - 12 PM
Cost: $35
Credits Available: 1.0 CML for city elected officials - see below



Registration closes Thursday, May 28 at 12 PM. This webinar will be recorded, and all preregistered attendees will receive a link to view the recording. Read about scholarship opportunities.

Webinar Overview

Effective online community engagement requires a range of tools, techniques, and strategies to ensure success. Typical tools include community websites, social media, online meetings, e-newsletters, e-mail updates, and other similar digital tools for connecting with community members. Used together with face-to-face engagement, online community engagement extends participation by addressing some of the practical limitations of traditional methods and creating new possibilities for hybrid approaches. Of course, during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, online engagement has become an essential tool for interacting with members of the community. In this webinar we will review online engagement best practices that have been developed and implemented by three Washington local governments: Burien, Walla Walla, and Pierce County.

Educational Objectives

This webinar will give participants an understanding of the latest tools and techniques of online community engagement, including a look at how each of the participating jurisdictions have been using their online engagement platforms in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Walla Walla and Pierce County will focus on their overall online community engagement programs and strategies including challenges and successes. Burien will focus on their experience with implementing remote meetings for councilmembers, staff, and members of the public. Each of the presenters will share tips for success and lessons learned.

Who Should Attend?

Public information officers, communications staff, elected officials, board/commission members, public agency department heads/managers, planners, and other staff involved in community engagement activities.


  • Libby Catalinich, APR, Communications Director, Pierce County. Libby is the director of the Office of Communications at Pierce County.  Her teams create and manage content for internal and external stakeholders via five websites, a public television station, several blogs, and multiple social media accounts. Previously, Libby was the director of corporate communications at REI, which she joined after a 12-year career with Washington Mutual, where she led the team that won a national Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America.
  • Megan Gregor, City Clerk, City of Burien. Megan is a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) with eight years of experience working for the Cities of Issaquah, Renton, and Burien. She holds a Green Belt in Lean Six-Sigma from the University of Washington and prides herself on the application of innovation and efficiency. Megan has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, making her uniquely qualified in records management, electronic content management, and visualizing the needs of customers from their varied perspectives.
  • Brenden Koch, Communications Manager, City of Walla Walla. Brenden serves as the Communications Manager for the City of Walla Walla. Brenden grew up in the community and enjoys the challenge of figuring out ways to facilitate effective communication between the city and residents, and vice versa. He has a background in journalism, graphic design, and computer technology.
  • Moderator: Steve Butler, FAICP. Steve joined MRSC in February 2015 as a Planning Consultant as well as the manager of the policy team. He has been involved in most aspects of community planning for over 30 years, both in the public and private sectors.  Steve has served as president of statewide planning associations in both Washington and Maine and was elected to the American Institute of Certified Planner’s College of Fellows in 2008.


  • 1.0 credit towards a Certificate of Municipal Leadership (CML) from the Association of Washington Cities (AWC)

Refund policy: Refunds of the webinar fee will be provided minus a $5.00 administrative fee if registration is canceled by 12 PM on Wednesday, May 13. If you are registered for the webinar and unable to attend, you will still be able to view the recorded webinar afterwards. However, if you cancel your registration, you will not receive a link to the recording.