When you look around at case studies of community engagement, it seems like everyone’s hitting it out of the park every time. Let’s great real! Anyone who has experience in community engagement has at least one disaster to share. It’s about time we had a safe forum to share our mistakes and learn from our peers. Besides, it could be fun!

Introducing a new series called “The Fiasco Files: Community Engagement Disasters and How to Avoid Them.” Here’s how it works. We’ll collect your disaster stories and choose one each month to showcase. Without using any real names, we’ll recount the story and start the dialog off with some thoughts from our experts about how it might have been avoided. Then it’s your turn to weigh in and share your thoughts. Each month we’ll tackle another catastrophe together.

Did you have 3 people show up at an open house? Did you have half the town yell at you? Did you have a vocal minority ruin the process for everyone? Nothing is off-limits!

The MetroQuest subscriber community is the most amazing resource of creativity, experience and savvy in the field of community engagement. I can’t wait to see them rise to the occasion. Together we’ll learn some useful strategies and have a great time along the way.

Sound like fun? It’ll be like listening to someone sing the blues. You’re either thinking, “Hey, I’m not the only one” or “I’m glad that didn’t happen to me.” Either way, you feel better.

Getting started is easy

Step 1: Subscribe to receive the monthly Fiasco Files

Step 2 (optional): Share your stories by email.

Your story doesn’t need to be long but each Fiasco should contain a little bit about the project, what went wrong and what some of the consequences were. If you’d like to share ideas about how it could have been avoided, feel free but don’t feel obligated. Many others will be happy to help with that!

Step 3: Let the games begin!