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Motivating the hard-to-reach – The key to successful engagement of many hard-to-reach groups lies in understanding an entirely different mindset

One of the success-stories of the last decade has been the gradual acceptance by consultors, that their attempts to engage stakeholders and the public have to be more socially inclusive. Seeking the views of the usual suspects has always been easier than building relationships with communities and groups who are less accustomed to the culture and processes of British bureaucracy! At last we’re looking beyond them.

Most public bodies – and the more socially-aware private firms – today recognise that they do a better job if they take account of the diverse nature of modern society. The Equalities agenda has made Managers at all levels more aware of the need to avoid discrimination on racial, ethnic, gender or religious grounds. Legislation such as that on Disability is having a growing influence, and despite derision in the popular press, Councils and other organisations have made appointments of people whose full-time role is to ensure that those whose views were previously neglected, are now able to be heard.

In theory, therefore there should be fewer people who are hard-to-reach.


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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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