Public Consultation is such a ‘hot’ word right now! Too much? Anyway, it’s certainly vital no matter how popular/unpopular it is. It offers people an opportunity to speak up and contribute to the conversation. Need to undertake a public consultation in your city? Please say you have a plan in place? If not, we’re here to help.
Why A Strategy?
Simple, life is easier with a plan. People who don’t plan, don’t succeed, not in PC anyway.
Having a strategy helps you recognize your strengths and weaknesses before the public does. When drawing up your strategy you need to involve people who may be affected by the decisions of your consultation or the people who can influence the implementation of your decisions. These guys are called stakeholders and you’ll need to nail them down sharpish!
You need to position yourself in the market early which means early outreach. You need to avoid being labeled an untrusted organization, people need to trust that what they hear about is true and positive. Publicly traded companies that do stakeholder engagement increase their market valuation. This means develop a solid vision statement.
Let’s take The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, who are currently undertaking a consultation that invites you to provide your views on the content of the draft BAI Strategy Statement for 2017-2019. Their vision statement is as follows:
- To regulate, foster and support broadcasting in the public interest
- To promote a plurality of voices, viewpoints, outlets and sources in Irish media
- To foster diverse and culturally relevant quality content for Irish audiences
Pretty concise and clear. You can read that and come away with some sense of understanding about what they are trying to achieve.
What do you want to achieve?
Moving the consultation process through the proper channels to increase your chances of targeted outreach. We hate the term general public, frankly, there is no such thing. You need to drill down beyond that and identify key stakeholders. Figure out those that require the most effort, who you will need to keep happy, informed, the key influencers etc.
You can begin to identify these people through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Then invite them to mobilize and take part in a town hall meeting. Going door to door also helps identify those who support or oppose you.
Understand your stakeholders and get their input, this automatically involves them in decision making. Figure out where you might need to make changes from these interactions.
As times pushes on and you start hearing feedback from your communication channels, you will need to begin adapting.
Adjust and correct on the basis of the engagement. Collaborate with your stakeholders and ask yourself are these changes required.
Make sure you communicate back with certain groups upon discussing these suggestions with your board.
Finally, commit to addressing these issues on an ongoing basis.
If you want to learn more about how Voxcitio can help you with Public Consultation, why not click the button below: