Citizen Satisfaction with Public Meetings Used for Risk Communication
Although public meetings are a frequent method of public participation and risk communication, little research investigates what citizens think about their use in environmental management. To examine satisfaction with public meetings, residents of two neighboring communities received questionnaires following a public meeting about a local landfill. Respondents included residents who did and did not attend the meeting. Irrespective of whether respondents had ever attended a public meeting, meeting expectations and perceptions of relational/informational communication at meetings, including whether respondents thought meeting organizers were genuinely interested in participants' comments or meetings were informative, predicted satisfaction. Perceived risk associated with the recent meeting's topic and credibility of government agencies that frequently conduct meetings also predicted satisfaction.