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Meaningful engagement: transforming the sector?
Today, the Participation Agency (a collaboration between Amazon and partners) launches a report that shows how important it is for voluntary and public sector organisations to engage meaningfully with service users and communities.
The report, based on 70 responses to a quantitative survey and a series of qualitative interviews, suggests that engagement (done well) can have a transformative impact, and many organisations are using it to improve relationships, develop services and inform strategies.
To achieve meaningful engagement, people run events, meetings, surveys and interviews (with formats ranging from the traditional, to the more creative and innovative), and use tools such as media relations and social media.
What's important, though, is the way people approach engagement and whether or not they recognise how valuable other people's expertise and experience is. Engagement is about people being truly involved and a part of what you do, having an influence and a voice.
Most people who took part in the research believe that engagement will become more important and will be taken more seriously in the future, though its effectiveness needs to be better demonstrated. There is a need to develop a more compelling narrative.
Amazon to help SSAFA mark WW1 centenary
Amazon has been appointed to work with the communications team at military charity SSAFA to help mark the WW1 centenary. Our work will focus on highlighting the charity's support for current and former members of the armed forces and their families in 1914, and in the present day.
Ann-Mari Freebairn, Director of Marketing and Communications at SSAFA, said:
"SSAFA was the only national military charity in existence when war was declared in 1914, so this year's centenary offers a significant opportunity for us to strengthen our public profile and grow understanding of the services we provide. Amazon has been involved since the planning stages of this work, and the team have helped us shape a programme of communications focused on a 'then and now' message. We're looking forward to working together to share that message as widely as possible."
GP engagement campaign exceeds targets
Across the country the number of carers is increasing, particularly those caring for over 20 hours per week. Reports have found that carers are likely to experience mental health problems and physical illness and injury.
GPs play an important role in identifying and referring carers for support, however research points to low numbers of carers being registered by GPs.
For the past year Amazon has been working with Carers in Hertfordshire on a project to engage GP practices across the county. And as a result of our campaign the number of referrals from GPs has risen from 232 to 736, far exceeding the campaign target of 500.
Carole Whittle, Health & Wellbeing Manager at Carers in Hertfordshire, said:
"Amazon provided excellent strategic insight and guidance and we have worked in partnership on a campaign that has been very effective. They took the trouble to understand us and the issues affecting carers and have been very easy to work with."