How many times have you spent the evening in a draughty hall waiting to discuss an issue with members of the public. You then find the meeting has been hijacked by a few people with a particular point of view, who dominate the meeting, skew the results and put off other members of the public who made the effort to attend…

Sound familiar?

Maybe it’s time to have a fresh look at working in partnership with local communities.

Herts Healthy Homes – Winter update for partners from Red Potato on Vimeo.

One answer could be a revitalised citizen’s panel. When we build a more representative citizen’s panel, which engages with local people at a time and a place convenient to them, you will get a better response rate from residents by working in this way. Our experience is that by having an active panel, public sector organisations find the cost of running a consultation decreases and confidence in the quality of the responses increases .

Who are the most excluded groups from your consultation programme? Perhaps the answer is not as obvious as it might first seem.

For instance how well represented are those people who are in work, with no time available to fill out paper based questionnaires – never mind attend a public meeting?

What about young people – should you be asking the same questions of an 18 year student as a 58 year accountant considering retirement?

How can you make your survey relevant to both groups – and stay in budget?

…It can be done, just a little forethought is required. Red Potato can help you plan and implement an effective online consultation strategy. Our Partnership management service has reduced the costs for partners by upto 30% and increased the speed for clients to access “hard to reach” groups by upto 45%. The Red Potato partnership management service is a proven solution which saves you time, money and helps you reduce the risks associated with consultation and engagement .