Consultation – or just another survey? – Surveys can be useful in gathering information – but do not amount to consultation on their own. Don't confuse "Let's do a survey!" with a true commitment to consult!
Consultation is such a popular idea that the label is increasingly being misused to describe activities which aren’t quite ……….
There is already a thin dividing line between some so-called consultation exercises and blatant PR. I have in mind the glossy brochure that effectively says, “We think we’re wonderful. Now tell us what YOU think!”. An analysis of feedback from such documents might just prove valuable – but consultation? Hardly!
A similar danger exists with surveys. Asking people questions, and getting an instant opinion-poll result is certainly one way of gathering data about what people think.