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Interactions with the public are at the heart of our work. They enable us to convey information, to gather public ideas and concerns, and to build partnerships with the public. The public’s increased interest in participating in public decision making creates tremendous opportunities for better public policy and a stronger democracy.

To realize these opportunities, counties need new and innovative tools to partner with the public. Effective public engagement requires lots of planning including being very clear about the purpose and expectation of the activity.  Designing and delivering meaningful public engagement activities is an important role for staff and elected officials. Meaningful engagement means that relationships and conversations are reciprocal, authentic, and intentional to create opportunities for all communities to participate in the process.

The information below provides tools to help you prepare for successful public engagement activities.  Review the materials and adjust them to fit your county and the situation.  Additional information and tools are available from AMC’s partner, the State of Minnesota’s Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution.

For further information regarding on-site assistance for designing public engagement activities, please contact Ryan Erdmann, AMC Member Engagement Coordinator, at