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The current state of community engagement

by Gerard Reilly

More than 30 community engagement professionals joined the BBS Communications Group team last night for the unveiling of the 2012 BBS Community Engagement Survey results.

This year’s research focused on gathering insights from some of the country’s leading community engagement practitioners about their experiences in gaining internal support and the impacts of differing levels of commitment and resources on engagement.Key findings included:

  • The perceived value of engagement is increasing in both the private and public sector
  • To change the culture of engagement within an organisation, it must be driven from the “top down”
  • A lack of necessary internal support can impact on the range of techniques an engagement practitioner can use
  • In the coming 12 months, engagement is predicted to increase in the private sector, but decrease in the public sector
  • Certain decision makers are still fearful of external stakeholder influence on decision making and put this up as a barrier to undertaking meaningful engagement
  • Engagement practitioners nominated the humble one-on-one meeting as the most valuable technique, with traditional public meetings providing the least value
  • Online engagement was nominated as the next major trend for the year ahead, however most practitioners admitted they are still struggling to integrate online engagement into their participation programs.

For a full copy of the 2012 BBS Community Engagement Survey report, please contact Gerard Reilly at BBS Communications Group on 07 3221 6711 or greilly@bbscommunications.com.au