Engaging with your community through online consultation

Engaging with your community doesn’t have to stop through a lockdown

A lot of work practices are having to stop at present due to the latest Government measures but engaging with your community doesn’t have to be one of them. In fact, it could be argued that now is just as important than ever to reach out to your community about your proposals and plans. This can be done through online consultation.

So, how exactly can you get around the issues of a lockdown when you need to crack on with your engagement strategy? The answer is technology. The methods set out below allow for companies, developers, councils – just about anyone really – to engage effectively with their stakeholders and key groups throughout these unprecedented times.

The ease of using technology to communicate with individuals, groups and larger event crowds poses the question: should we move toward this way of communicating anyway?

See what you think of our Online Consultation Offer and get in touch today to see how we can help you with your comms needs through this time and in future.

Using online technologies to host webinars, Q&As and live consultations

With the abilities and practicalities of various apps, such as Zoom or Teams, it is now easier than ever to host communications and consultations online.

We can help you to host various meetings, from smaller stakeholder meetings to larger consultation events. With a range of elements, such as breakout rooms for focus groups and the ability to control who can speak, it makes for a very efficient way of communicating with groups online.

Distributing all information online, via email and in the post

Correspondence and information can easily be shared online, rather than face-to-face. Where normal consultations might involve information boards being displayed, the internet allows for this information to be shared and directly downloaded for a user to look at in their own time.

This information can also include a link to online surveys and recordings of any Q&A sessions that have been held.

For those that cannot access online materials

It is always a difficulty when looking to communicate with hard to reach groups, and in this situation that falls to those without internet access.

However, through Freephone and Freepost services, we will enable anyone in the community to get in touch with our project team, ensuring that everyone’s questions can be answered, and all concerns can be listened to.

For members of the community that can’t fill out online feedback forms, it’s important that we continue to offer printed copies that can be returned via our Freepost services.

For now, and the future

While the current situation is allowing us to explore the options of moving consultations online, we feel that this could shift practices for the future too. By ensuring all materials are always available online and that all stakeholders and members of the community can engage with our comms, no matter where they are in the world.

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Online Consultation services from East Anglia based agency

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you with your community engagement throughout this time, please get in touch with our Community Engagement Team at [email protected] or call 07748 793509