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What is engagement?

So, what is engagement?

We’ve asked ourselves many times and have come to the conclusion that there’s no simple answer.

It’s identifying. It’s including. It’s involving. It’s meeting. It’s talking. It’s listening. It’s knowing that your next encounter is likely to be with someone who disagrees with the reason for engaging with them in the first place. Engagement is really whatever the person you are engaging wants it to be, and it depends on context.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is:

n. 1 the act or state of engaging or being engaged. 2 an appointment with another person. 3 a betrothal. 4 an encounter between hostile forces. 5 a moral commitment.
For Results Communications, engagement is a combination of all of the above – and more. Traditionally ‘engagement’ has been a box-ticking exercise for many. The ability to say ‘we told them what we want to do’. But for us, it’s not about telling your stakeholders what you want to do; it’s about showing them what you hope to do and finding out their views. Listening to their fears about how it may impact on how they live, where they go and what they do. Working through your plans and their concerns to see if there’s another way to achieve what you want while still mitigating their concerns.
So we ask ourselves again, what is engagement?
For Results Communications, it’s involving, communicating, listening, and learning. It’s also about, where possible, tweaking what is planned to recognise the concerns of those who are likely to be impacted by what is planned.
And, in the spirit of involving, communicating and listening, we’d like to hear what you think engagement is. Feel free to let us know…