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Using data to build the case for community engagement

By Don Sharples

After practicing online community engagement for 8 years, some of the beliefs we have always held about online practice have been challenged.

Community engagement is a profession of empathy and instinct. We often ‘feel’ our way through engagement and the outcomes at the end are based on our perceptions. We all know that what we do is hard to quantify, but recently we have been able to bring some measurement to our craft.

In a study of over 200 clients over 2 years, and thousands of engagement and consultation projects, we are now able to see patterns that determine the difference between good and excellent engagement. And the results were surprising.

We’ve learned that what practitioners do seriously affects how much engagement you see on an issue. What are the factors that a practitioner can affect:

  • Technique matters
  • How much and how often matters
  • What you choose to engage on, and how you explain it, matters
  • How you promote your engagement matters

The obvious question now is: “how?”

We’re looking forward to the big reveal in October.

What we have learned will seek to propel our practice forward, allowing practitioners to focus on techniques that work and helping them understand the resourcing needed to conduct world-class engagement.

Bang the Table is the keynote partner of this year’s IAP2 Australasia Conference, and Don Sharples will be presenting “Engagement leadership – a study of 200 organisations over 12 months” at the Digital Session on Wednesday 19th October.

Visit www.iap2conference.com.au for more information.