How easy is it to participate? Make sure any activity is convenient and appealing.
Are you making it as easy as possible for your target audience to get involved in your work?
There are lots of different ways to engage with people, depending on your project, what you’re trying to achieve and the scale of involvement you’re seeking. But no matter what method you choose, it needs to be appealing and convenient if you are going to actually get people to come onboard.
It's all about turning their interest into involvement. Your target audience might really care about or be affected by the issue you want to address, but that doesn’t automatically mean that those same people are going to actually get involved unless it works for them.
It goes back to the question of ‘what’s in it for them?’ At the very least, you’re asking people to give up their time and share their thoughts, but there’s a good chance you’re asking them for a lot more. Particularly if your aim is collaboration.
With that in mind, the format of your engagement has to motivate and enable the right people to take part. Don’t decide on a method because it suits you or it’s an idea you or your colleagues like. Don’t make your target audience come to you. Make sure your activity or method of engagement meets them where they are – whether that’s a physical location, mindset or attitude, or a particular interest or activity. Put them at the centre of your planning and you increase your chances of successful, effective engagement.
To find out more, read our new book: Public Engagement Made Easy.
© Tangelo House