The Participation Blog

Embedded Public Participation

One of the challenges that public involvement people face is embedding what they know that works into a system of government that is often less than enthusiastic about the whole idea of sharing control. Officials aren’t often very keen about giving the public any power or influence over their predetermined ...
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The Power of Planning

Online or in person, public participation planning is essential to (re)building or maintaining public trust, reaching the people who need to be engaged, learning the issues, finding the doable level of influence, and getting honest, usable input from people. Knowing and following the basics of good public involvement drastically improves ...
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Whhaad They Say?!

Thirty plus years ago, I shifted to a mostly public sector career from a reasonably successful one in media, and then advertising and public relations. At the time, I was astonished by government’s ineptitude in conveying information to the citizens that it supposedly worked for. The people that I worked ...
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Basics of Empathy

Empathy is linked to our best relationships with people and our own well-being. Empathic people tend to be happier and enjoy less stress. Empathy is a big topic these days because research and empirical evidence suggests that empathy is in serious decline. The University of Michigan found that college students ...
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Use Your Words

If your job requires you to work with the public, at some point you’ll probably get a face to face or Zoom to Zoom audience with those people. They’ll give you their time and attention and you’ll have them in front of you or on camera. You’ll have this one ...
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We Have a Trust Crisis

Trust in expertise, academia, power and institutions of all kinds (particularly government) is at an all-time low. Research suggests that most people truly believe that business and government leaders are purposely misleading them. If that’s the case, how can a representative democracy function? This vacuum of trust opens the ...
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