Celebrity Consultation – Are there occasions where the Big Name helps to get a better response for a public consultation?
Before everyone shouts “Get me out of here!”, this topic explores those occasions when a Big Name or VIP can help attract publicity for a public consultation.
The starting point is acknowledging that we still face an uphill struggle to secure the degree of public engagement that important local or regional issues deserve. Public policy is seldom exciting, and is usually drowned by the immense reach of the entertainment industry. Rising above their ambient noise-level is difficult. It takes an emotive issue like a hospital closure, a controversial bypass or, maybe, unwelcome housing developments to mobilise large numbers of the public to participate.
Yet many other consultations are equally important and need a reasonable degree of participation for legitimacy. There are yet others where particular hard-to-reach groups like the young, or maybe the elderly, need encouragement.