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Polco News & Knowledge

How Coral Gables Received 24,310 Survey Responses

survey responses coral gables

Learn how the Florida city transformed a survey into a community event success.

A question that often comes up around surveying is, "How do we get more people to respond?"

The City of Coral Gables, Florida, hacked this common conundrum. The City recently received over 24,000 votes on one of its online Polco polls. With Polco, local governments can post surveys to their residents to receive feedback on any topic. 

So how did this one particular survey get so much participation? 

SOLANCH. MEDIUM SHOTMarketing manager of the City's Economic Development Department, Solanch Lopez, admits that this particular survey is a bit of an anomaly. 

The Economic Development Department used the online Polco survey as a ballot for residents to vote on a local business contest. 

The city launched a holiday window display competition in their Miracle Mile area, a four-block strip of businesses. Each store decorated the front display for the holiday season. Then residents voted on their favorite presentation. 

As a result, the Miracle Mile area looks more festive, and the fun encourages customers to visit the area. 

“Our main goal was to get people in our downtown and into these businesses,” she said. “In economic development, that's always our driving force: helping our businesses succeed.”

With this in mind, the City did not share a link to take the survey online. (Though they promoted the contest itself on their social media channels and newsletter.) Instead, they posted QR codes to the surveys in each store. The city also allowed people to vote more than once to encourage more participation throughout the holiday shopping season. 

Holiday Window Contest Window Cling - Print Ready 7x5_Page_2“We just said, ‘There's a contest going on. Come scan the QR code.’ We wanted boots on the ground in our downtown,” she said. 

The winner also received a $500 cash prize and would be recognized during a city commission meeting. The prize was an incentive for the stores to promote the contest on their personal social media platforms and attract more participation.  

Votes flooded in. 

Boutique spa and salon Mint Hair and Skin ended with the generous cash prize with 56% of the vote. 

As Coral Gables' competition reveals, governments can take advantage of Polco’s capabilities in non-traditional ways. The success of the contest serves as a noteworthy example of how creativity can elevate the impact of civic engagement initiatives, making them both effective and fun. 

Capture Resident Feedback on Any Topic With Polco

When it comes to community engagement, social media commentary is often biased, and town hall meetings are under-attended. In both cases, the feedback typically doesn't represent your entire community's feelings.  Polco gives local governments like yours a better way to connect with your residents. Learn how you can reach more people with less effort with Polco to get better data on how your community truly feels. 

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