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Launching a Consultation – When a consultation justifies a high-profile launch

How do you kick off a large-scale consultation?

Do you write letters to key stakeholders? Send copies of the consultation document to those you know are interested? Send e-mails? Issue a Press Release? Alternatively, do you make a determined effort to secure maximum publicity, generate some razzmatazz, and launch the consultation with a fanfare of trumpets?

Obviously much depends upon the context. A technical consultation of deep interest to only a small number of predictable stakeholder organisations is quite different from a more general public participation exercise. Even then, you have to make a judgement as to whether the subject of the consultation is suitable for high-profile coverage. Some issues lend themselves to this approach. “Remember to have your say in the Great Congestion Charge Debate” sounds a lot more credible than “Help us prepare an integrated strategy for sustainable development”.


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About the Author

Rhion Jones is considered a leading authority on Public Engagement and Consultation. A founding Director of the Consultation Institute, he is co-author of “The Art of Consultation” (2009) and “The Politics of Consultation” (2018). He has delivered over 500 training courses and Masterclasses and is a prolific writer on the subject, having written over 350 different Topic papers and over 50 full Briefing Papers for the Institute. Since 2003 over 15,000 person-days of training based on courses he invented have been delivered. Rhion is in demand as an entertaining Keynote Speaker and Special Adviser, particularly on the Law of Consultation, and its implications for Government and other Public Bodies. In 2017, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

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