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UQ Sport Engage

Almost 1,500 people took part in UQ Sport Engage, initiated to better understand the role of UQ Sport in the community, the needs of stakeholders, and to help guide future strategic planning.

UQ Sport Engage set a benchmark for future engagement to drive organisational change, monitor performance and meet community needs and expectations.

The engagement strategy was built on three key themes including:

  • Awareness – knowledge of UQ Sport’s facilities and services; drive to participate and motivation to interact.
  • Relationship – quality and state of relationships; trust in UQ Sport; shared values and beliefs.
  • Participation and Expectation– use of facilities and services; satisfaction levels; future use, current and future communication; improving the quality of facilities and services.

Digital engagement was key in attracting the interest of a young university cohort. The interactive play dough survey attracted a strong crowd, asking participants to get hands on and select responses to a survey by touching play dough shapes.

The digital survey had over 1000 responses with 100% completion rate, a resounding success.

The engagement was meaningful, easy-to-access, open, forward-focused, responsive, diverse and fun.

Five things every community engagement person should stop doing

Every day and in every industry we are continually adding ideas or processes. But so often we forget to delete.

When we review or audit community and stakeholder engagement within organisations, we see how passionate our engagement colleagues are. Their passion for engagement means we’re adding innovations and improvements every day.

But what should we be deleting from our engagement practice?

  1. Outdated processes – legislation is being updated every year in different sectors and states. If your engagement policy or framework was completed more than 5 years ago, it may need updating. Since then, we’ve seen new legislation, policies and standards introduced at the national level, as well as the state level in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
  2. Newspaper notices – unless it’s required by legacy legislation, a newspaper notice is simply not enough to attract community attention. Very few people read newspapers and even fewer read the notices section.
  3. Burn out of great professionals – at the IAP2’s last engagement conference, I was moved to tears by tales of great engagement professionals who felt burnt out and traumatised by having to work with daily angry, aggressive or bullying behaviours. We need to make sure our colleagues are supported and encouraged on those tough projects.
  4. Jargon – yes, even engagement people can over-use jargon. So if you find you’re spending too much time talking about scope, deliberative, collaborative partnerships, levels of engagement, the DPM, honeycomb profiles and more … then stop and translate to your project teams.
  5. Engaging solely on problems – if you’re only engaging when things are contentious or there’s a risk, then you need to stop. We could spend an entire blog talking about this, but in essence it causes (a) a failure to engage on topics that the whole community wants to engage on (b) an engagement capacity gap – where we unintentionally build the skills of those who always turn up, and diminish the engagement skills of those who don’t (c) we don’t ask the right questions of community (d) our innovation is focused on problems rather than opportunity (e) it can create a false sense of what community really thinks

If you’d like to keep up with the latest in engagement strategies, why not enrol in the Strategies for Complex Engagement course.

When engagement gets tricky: tips to get you across the line

When engagement gets tricky: tips to get you across the line

A question we hear time and time again from our clients is how to tackle difficult engagement.

Whether it be highly emotional issues, opposing viewpoints, lack of strategic direction, or differing levels of commitment – engagement can stop short in its tracks without the right approach.

The following tips will help you to navigate often tricky situations:

  1. Understand your stakeholders and their needs. Undertake a risk analysis to ensure you know their key issues, concerns, requirements and how you might approach the engagement.
  2. Have clear objectives around the engagement, don’t stray away from what you are trying to achieve. This is when things can become challenging.
  3. As the engagement progresses, be prepared to make changes. Engagement pathways can change depending on influencing factors such as political or social environments.
  4. Treat everyone with respect, give them equal voices and make them feel heard. You may need to make tough decisions along the way, but your process will be respected.
  5. Keep records, follow up, communicate outcomes and be willing to accept feedback on your approach.
  6. Try to keep the emotion out of it. Stakeholders can get emotional about an issue, but as professionals your job is to be objective with your approach.
  7. When you feel your engagement is not fulfilling its objectives, or there’s a lack of commitment, review what you’ve done and re-assess your strategy. Don’t be afraid to take a different approach.

Why live community forums are making a comeback

In the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of live community forums in South East Queensland. While attending these forums it struck me how much has changed in community engagement practices in the past ten years. More recently live community forums, with open invitations, seem to be making a comeback.

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Queenslanders: The State of Health

As our attention turns to State of Origin this week, the team and I have stopped to recognise the many amazing wins that the State of Queensland has championed. Our discussion sharply focused to what we do better than NSW.

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Project E

Here at Articulous we have been working on a very exciting start up project which promises to be a game-changer in the world of engagement and evaluation.

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Why a Sesame Street explanation of Empathy Should be at the Centre of your Community Engagement Practice

In community engagement, we talk a lot about collecting people’s ideas and feedback. We talk about the power of active listening. But, if you really believe in community and engaging at a deeper, more meaningful level, then empathy should be the key focus throughout your planning, strategising and most importantly-engagement activity.

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Why we should ban the word “Backflip”

"Backflip". It's become the ultimate criticism of Government, an easy, almost flippant attack wielded by media, oppositions and disaffected interested groups.

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Changing the Cycle of Negativity

There are times in most projects when participants can simply be tired. This can sometimes be referred to as a cycle of negativity.

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The Hidden Persuaders talk Pokemon Go App and why politicians just don’t listen – ABC Queensland – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Feedback – The Crucial Final Step to any Engagement

Have you ever provided an opinion on a topic or contributed to a project and been unaware of what happened to the information?

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