The first thing to do when starting a new public engagement project in government is to consider your goals, objectives and where you want to end up (i.e. getting input into policy, building support to empower underrepresented communities, etc.). The next step is locating where you are currently, and then, of course, how you want to get to your destination.
Determining your route is essential. While many of us have become dependent on algorithmic mapping, where Google simply spits out the most efficient way of getting to our destination, in public engagement, the experience and reflection of the route is absolutely essential. Charting your course towards public engagement should include meaningful stops along the way, landmarks that will allow you to take stock of your progress and perhaps reassess how you want to get to your destination.
The next several sections are meant to help you fill out the roadmap. The roadmap should be printed and hung in a prominent location and used as a reminder of your destination and how you’re going to get there.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Engagement is not linear. It’s important to have a map in front of you. Too often, people get lost in the details of public engagement and lose sight of the larger goals.