Effective Social Media Engagement Options for Minnesota's Diversifying Population

Principal Investigator:

Ingrid Schneider, Professor, Forest Resources


  • Kathryn Quick, Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project Summary:

Effective public engagement in transportation planning and programs is not only legally required, but essential for project and policy success. As internet-technology advances and changes, so does the breadth of opportunities for public engagement. However, the appropriateness and effectiveness of internet-technology use for public engagement varies both by purpose and population. In particular, public preferences for and effective use of social media for public engagement remains relatively unknown and ripe for investigation. The purpose of this project is to report on the state-of knowledge of public engagement opportunities in social media and highlight opportunities to use it to effectively engage diverse publics in Minnesota. Specifically, this project will assess the 1) status of social media use for public engagement in transportation planning and other related public sector areas across the U.S., 2) the potential penetration rates of social media across and within diverse populations in Minnesota including diversity of location, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, and age, as well as 3) opportunities to maximize engagement opportunities with social media across diversity markers. A literature review will provide the foundation for the work. The review will inform question development for a telephone interview to a representative sample of Minnesotans regarding their participation in transportation planning and preference for social media engagement opportunities. Select ongoing social media engagement strategies will be assessed by comparing what occurs in paired transportation projects that do - and do not - use social media engagement methods.


Project Details:

  • Start date: 06/2016
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Research Area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Economics, Planning