It’s a simple and broad statement, but when it comes to public engagement, it couldn’t be more true. Any kind of public engagement should always be a two-way dialogue and have mutual benefits - sharing really is the golden rule! Let us explain…
In the first instance, it’s about opening up your work or project by inviting others to get involved because you care about getting it right and having a positive, well-informed impact. It’s about sharing your aims so everyone understands what the end goal is, then sharing information, knowledge and ideas to get there together.
As your project or activity progresses, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop and share updates about any changes you’ve had to make, any bumps in the road or key milestones that you’ve reached. By doing this you’re showing that you care about your participant’s input, that you’re listening to what they have to say and genuinely allowing them to help guide your work.
Once you reach the finish line, it’s important to let people know what you did and how you did it, as well as what you achieved. And not just those involved in your project, but a wider audience of peers, enthusiasts and people with a particular interest. By sharing what you’ve learned and your experience – of the process, what went well (and, often more importantly, not so well), what you might do differently in future, what you would absolutely make sure you do again – everyone learns. You learn, your colleagues learn and others considering or undertaking engagement activities get to benefit from your experience too. All of which can only help to drive better, more effective public engagement all the way round.
So, sharing really is caring…and caring is sharing too.
© Tangelo House