Choosing a Content Type

  • 16 March 2021
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Polco offers numerous options for publishing content: polls, surveys, live events, budget and housing simulations, prioritization tools, and taxpayer receipts. Read on to learn more about when to use each content type for the most effective engagement efforts. 



Polls are ideal for quick, time-sensitive input. Generally, polls include only one or two questions, and can help gauge public opinion and preferences on a specific topic in a short timeframe. More complex grid question types are not available in polls, but multiple-choice and free-text questions are very common. Designed for fast, easy, and civil engagement, polls also enable admins to provide background information on each question (if desired) and allow respondents to add comments and upvote comments from others. You can also add polls to poll sets over time, for example, as a follow-up to previous polls. 

From a respondent perspective, poll sets can be a more interactive, approachable, engaging, and social experience; the time commitment is much lower for respondents to respond to a single multiple-choice poll than to a many-question survey. Decisionmakers also benefit from the smaller time investment required for developing polls, and appreciate the timeliness, brevity, and higher participation rates from poll results.


Surveys are traditional long-form engagement efforts, designed for gathering comprehensive feedback about a topic. Surveys generally include multiple questions (3-5 minimum, but often more), which can be multiple-choice, free-text, and grid-style (Likert) rating questions. This type of engagement is useful for gathering baseline information for performance measurement, researching a project or initiative, diving deeper into the details of a specific issue, and offering a holistic perspective for more informed decisionmaking. On Polco, you can add background information for the entire survey, including images, videos, links, and attachments. 

While surveys are often more time-intensive to both develop and complete, the depth of qualitative and quantitative data gathered is valuable particularly for complex topics or projects. From a respondent perspective, surveys may be less interactive and engaging, but they provide an opportunity to share thoughtful feedback about a meaningful topic or project. Surveys also offer the ability to gather demographic data from respondents, allowing decisionmakers to gauge how representative their results are of the larger community and then move forward accordingly.


Live Events  

Polco Live is perfect for town hall meetings, city council meetings, or public forums. These events allow you to post quick polls, encourage audience participation, and see results in real time. Live polling makes it easy to gather immediate feedback from both remote and in-person attendees, to move decisions forward more quickly.   Respondents enjoy the interactive nature of live events, where they can provide input and share their voice in an easy, approachable way. Decisionmakers also benefit from this feature, gathering feedback from a larger proportion of the audience and receiving results in real time.

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