Technology Services

Our technology supports your transformation into a community-first organization.

Hearken’s tech has been a very powerful tool for us to really get to know our audience in a new way. The tech has really elevated what we are doing around engagement beyond just pumping our stories out on social media and watching people talk about them. 

Olivia Allen-Price, Host & Editor of KQED’s Bay Curious

Two Platforms, One Goal

Our technology is deeply rooted in helping you better listen to and connect with your audience and enabling your community to connect with each other. 

Hearken Engagement Management System (EMS)

The EMS empowers organizations to generate actionable insights from the public to create more relevant, representative and original content and services.

The platform helps organizations translate into reality the move from the legacy “inside-out” public engagement approach towards an “outside-in” engagement process, by bringing audience inputs further upstream into content production or service design.

The EMS helps staff keep engagement organized, facilitates efficiencies in workflows and allows the organization to gather audience data to enrich its existing analytics. Created by a journalist and originally made for journalists, the platform now serves more than 150 partners from newsrooms to public government and civic engagement organizations.

Switchboard Community Management System (CMS)

In 2020, Hearken merged with the company Switchboard, and now offer their beloved Community Management System. It’s a lifeline for many communities, including Higher Education, membership-based organizations, and grass-roots community efforts. The platform is built upon an “asks and offers” framework, which enables individuals to say what they need and others to jump in and meet it.

The Community Management System has a powerful back-end analytics dashboard, with a user-interface designed by the same company that designed Slack.

    Hearken EMS F.A.Q.s

    Does the EMS require sign-in for the public to use it?

    No. The public can interact and submit responses without signing in. An email address is required for interactions in which the public is being asked to provide their unique insight, so that the receiving organization can get back in touch if needed.

    Does the EMS rely on 3rd-party APIs or interoperability to function?

    No. The EMS is not reliant on other softwares. We do offer web-hooks and an API to connect Hearken to other services.

    Is the EMS compliant with GDPR?

    Yes, as well as Privacy Shield certified.

    Can the data stored in the EMS be exported?

    Yes. The platform offers multiple export capabilities for any data collected from the public. This includes filterable CSV downloads directly from the admin pages and as JSON via APIs.

    Contact to request other custom formats.

    Is the EMS accessible to users with disabilities?

    Yes. Our EMS complies with level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

    How often is the EMS updated?

    We release new features on a rolling basis usually once every week.

    Switchboard CMS F.A.Q.s

    Does the CMS require sign-in for the public to use it?

    Yes. The Switchboard CMS requires users to login before posting anything or commenting on a post. Boards may be configured to require users to sign in to view the contents.

    We offer sign-in through a custom email and password or via Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn authentication.

    Does the CMS rely on 3rd-party APIs or interoperability to function?

    The CMS uses third-party APIs to provide enhanced functionality. However, it is not dependent on anything to provide core functionality.

    Is the CMS compliant with GDPR?

    Yes, the CMS complies with GDPR requirements.

    Can the data stored in the CMS be exported?

    Yes. The platform offers filterable CSV downloads of any data collected from the public.

    Please contact to request other custom formats.

    Is the CMS accessible to users with disabilities?

    We are working on making the CMS compliant with level AA of Web Content Accessibility Gudelines.

    How often is the CMS updated?

    We release new features on a rolling basis.

    Client Testimonials – Hearken Engagement Management System

    Hearken’s public-powered model and technology has proven to be a foolproof way to identify story ideas that are basically guaranteed to connect with readers. Nearly every time we do a Hearken-based story, it soars to the top of our analytics.

    Andi McDaniel, CEO, WBEZ – Chicago Public Radio

    The path to conversion on Hearken-powered story pages had an average that was almost double the average recorded for all stories. Average conversions for Hearken-powered stories were more than twice as many as all stories combined.

    The Dallas Morning News

    The average time-on-page for Hearken-powered stories was 5 minutes and 25 seconds, which is about four times higher than the average for

    Wisconsin Public Radio

    Client Testimonials – Switchboard Community Management System

    The Switchboard Community Engagement Platform’s flexibility, great customer support, and administrator tools make it easy as possible to sign up, get started, and see results right away.

    Liz Allen, Director, Online Communications, The American School in London

    “Prior to Switchboard, we always lacked an efficient way to connect our community members to one another for the purpose of asking for help and offering support. Switchboard has been the perfect solution because now our community members have access to everyone’s network.”

    Craig Swinyard, Director, Alumni Relations, University of Portland

    “All of the people I’ve connected with on Switchboard have been excited to help in whatever way they can.

    I show Switchboard off to friends from other schools and usually get a kind of jealous response like, ‘I wish my school had that.'”

    Caroline, Class of 2014, Reed College