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icons Council Strategic Plan Report

Digital Community Participation

Digital Community Participation is one of three key performance indicators relating to the Offering Innovative & Citizen-Driven Services priority, one of five priorities outlined in City Council's 2018–2022 Strategic Plan.

Why this Measure Matters

Public engagement tools such as social media and citizen engagement platforms can be used to capture community feedback and involve citizens in conversations about community events and operations. Tracking increases in participants over time indicates the effectiveness of these tools in creating community conversations and inspiring community participation.

2020 Performance: 80,709 Participants

For the purpose of this measurement, “digital community” is defined as a central digital hub or method of engagement that allows its users to consistently interact in some way with the City.

Chart: Digital Community Participation
Building Barrie registrants 794
Make a Suggestion forum users6,246
City of Barrie Facebook page fans18,309
City of Barrie Twitter followers22,104
City of Barrie Instagram followers 14,790
City of Barrie ​LinkedIn followers11,977​
Pingstreet users 4,682
  Corporate e-news subscribers1105
​  ​City of Barrie YouTube subscribers​702
TOTAL            80,709
Source: Marketing & Communications department. Note: This measurement allows for some citizens to be counted twice if they’ve chosen to be a participant in more than one digital community (for example: a citizen may follow on Facebook and be registered on Building Barrie).

Total Digital Community Participants by Year, 2016–2020


Total Digital Community Partipants by Year

Source: Marketing & Communications department. Only those channels managed by Marketing & Communications are included.

2020 Activities

The corporation's restructuring in November 2019 allowed for the adoption of a more centralized approach to social media management in 2020. The management of Creative Barrie, Invest Barrie and City of Barrie channels moved to a dedicated social media specialist within the Marketing and Communications department, allowing for improved strategic direction and oversight on related external communications and engagement. With resources, systems and data all housed in one department, centralization helps ensure greater ownership and accountability, decreases or eliminates duplication of efforts, and supports increased understanding of digital participation.

The reorganization and increased Marketing and Communications resource contributed to the following activities in 2020, aimed at increasing communications reach and digital community participants:

  • Launch of Pingstreet (mobile app) notification centre.
  • Increased content and associated monitoring on City of Barrie LinkedIn page by Marketing and Communications' Social Media Specialist (page was previously solely populated and monitored by HR Recruitment staff).
  • Implementation of livestreamed Council and Committee meetings on the City's YouTube channel, and increase video production due to virtual events.
  • Increased support for e-communications practices (distributions, list building/management activities) for corporate e-news.
  • More dedicated content oversight on, which helps increase proactive digital communications and supports staff in responding to inbound inquiries received via various channels.
  • Increased collaboration between digital communications and Service Barrie staff, which helps ensure that outbound proactive and timely digital communications aligns wtih inbound inquiries.

The following 2020 projects involved online community participation through engagement tools (surveys, online mapping, Q&A with staff and forum discussions).

Previous Years' Activities


2019 Performance

Building Barrie registrants 648
Make a Suggestion forum users5,171
City of Barrie Facebook page fans16,730
City of Barrie Twitter followers19,739
City of Barrie Instagram followers 9,346
Pingstreet users 4,285
  #PictureBarrie participants112
  Corporate e-news subscribers821
​  ​City of Barrie YouTube subscribers​225
TOTAL 57,086
Source: Marketing & Communications department.

Total Digital Community Participants by Year, 2015–2019​

2019 Activities

Throughout 2019 the City continued to support digital community participation by sharing information and generating discussion via its social media channels and citizen engagement platform, Building Barrie. In 2019, Service Barrie staff became actively involved in providing and managing customer service on Twitter and Facebook, which allowed for increased customer satisfaction of social media users and increased resourcing for outbound communications.

The following projects involved online community participation through engagement tools (surveys, online mapping, Q&A with staff and forum discussions).

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