Objective

  • Avoiding consultation fatigue:  To keep people interested in the current consultation. 
  • Re-engagement: To bring people back to new consultations. 
  • Participant retention: To reduce database churn and keep people in the system for the long term. 

What would drive people away? 

  • Failure to deliver on projects that have been consulted on previously. 
  • Failure to explain why projects couldn’t be delivered. 
  • Failure to acknowledge previous contributions. 
  • Failure to report back a summary of the consultation outcomes. 
  • Failure to report back on the impact of the consultation process. 
  • Too many emails in general. 
  • Too many emails about irrelevant subjects. 

What can we do to reduce fatigue? 

  • Acknowledge particularly thoughtful contributions. 
  • Follow up personally with valuable contributors to have a deeper conversation about their views and suggestions. 
  • Share thoughtful contributions via social media. 
  • Share thoughtful contributions at face-to-face events (using panels, slideshows etc.) 
  • Let contributors know when the consultation process hits major milestones. 
  • Invite contributors to participate in deeper decision-making processes. 
  • Distribute a summary email of recent consultation activity. 

What can we do to get people to re-engage? 

  • Consult on interesting subjects that are easy to understand, have concrete impacts and some emotional content. 
  • Ask interesting and engaging questions. 
  • Provide a good reason to come back. How will the consultation a ect the outcomes? How will the issue under discussion directly a ect them? 
  • Provide incentives including prizes or preferred access to processes (e.g. by invitation to Council meetings). 
  • Personally invite people who have participated in the past to join discussions about new issues. 
  • Honour the commitment required to participate in the consultation process by closing the loop 

What can we do to keep people in the database long term? 

  • Keep emailed information to a minimum. 
  • Keep emailed information highly relevant to the individual (potentially by asking them to nominate subjects of interest in the registration form). 
  • Keep emailed information local by targeting information to people from special suburbs that are more likely to be interested in projects. 
  • Always close the loop! 

Download a copy of this Tip Sheet - http://www.bangthetable.com/category/public-engagement-primers/ 

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