by Jessica Delaney, Principal, Engagement + Communications
Over the last week or so, the Delaney team and clients have discussed the same basic questions: “what’s next?” “when and how do we decide on what’s appropriate?” “can we just do our engagement online?” Based on these discussions, we want to share a bit of a decision making flow chart to help you think about “what’s next”. Click here for our decision making flow chart below.
Regardless of what you decide, here are three key pieces of advice for your consideration:
Communicate, communicate, communicate: going “silent” during this time and then launching an engagement process is not likely to generate good will and connectivity. Even if you are not engaging, communicate with your public and stakeholders to support connection and dialogue because it’s the right thing to do.
Stay nimble: Avoid printing materials right now, manage costs and expenses, don’t put dates on materials and focus on techniques that can transition from in-person to online. For example, think about interviews that could be done in-person or by phone or think about focus groups that could be done in-person or virtually. It will likely be easier to bring together smaller groups of people in-person post-pandemic so think about smaller scale and over a longer period of time.
Risk and Innovation: We often say bad engagement is riskier than no engagement. It is important to remain “human” and recognize that engagement, at any time but especially now, can invite both risk and innovation. That means that if you want to learn about ways to reduce barriers to social isolation (as one of my clients does), it might be a good time in the next few weeks to ask people about their experience, what supports in the future might be helpful and how do they value community and connection.
Want to bounce your engagement timelines and ideas around? Call, email, or text any time.
24 Years of Engagement Excellence… Helping governments, business and NGOs build relationships with their stakeholders since 1996.