The process of public engagement requires open, two-way conversations explaining the what and why. It helps to build understanding and appreciation of your project. Our engagement process helps clarify information so that it is easily understandable. Connectus uses four principles to ensure quality engagement?
Purpose: Why the engagement?
People: Who is involved in the project as participants, partners, or deliverers of the project? How have you considered their needs and interests in developing your approach?
Process: Is the process or engagement tool being used appropriate to the purpose and people you are engaging with?
Evaluation: How to use evaluation to both inform the approach, and to assess its value?
We believe strategies help inform what you do, and therefore they are worth putting some energy into developing. Our strategies include a wide range of engagement tools to ensure decisions are well thought out.
Common approaches include:
Discussion and debate: A direct verbal lecture and the opportunity for discussion between the speakers and audience.
Visual aids: PowerPoint slides, video, striking images, demonstrations, charts and graphs. Avoid slides with too much text which can be distracting.
Objects and interaction: Passing around tangible objects and creating opportunities for audience members to draw or build something can make them feel involved.
Anecdotes and storytelling: Sharing inspiring stories, interesting examples and engaging anecdotes will help non-specialist audiences to understand complicated issues and will maintain their interest more effectively than a series of facts.
Audience self reflection: Opportunities that allow audience members to learn something about themselves (and to reflect upon their own views) can be useful.
Our public engagement process engenders project decisions are well throughout.