With so much emphasis on Higher Education and public engagement I was thinking about how we could adapt the basic underlying principles of the Visitor and Resident Model to develop a workshop to explore how an organisation interacts outside of its own borders and what we could do to help enhance that engagement.
The VandR principles of engagement are well established and in use to explore our digital self. And in order to make the most of a workshop looking at how we engage as an organisation I would propose that the participants have already created maps of their own activity a useful starting point.
To look at organisational activities I suggest adapting the visitor and resident axes to represent individual activities and organisational activities (vertical axis) and instead of visitor and resident on the horizontal I substituted read only / broadcast and engagement.
You can see from the template above that as well the axes it is also divided into three sections, open content (on the read only end) open engagement (on the engagement end) and organisational only in the centre.
I mapped some of the digital activities of my own organisation onto this template, but it may not be limited to digital.
There are no startling revelations here, but I did notice some things. For example, there are many people using twitter, but relatively few are using them in an engaged or conversational way, hence I created two spaces on the map (but did not name anyone). I also reflected that whilst the corporate website was just that, the webmasters had gone to some length to make it about people, and highlighted our staff, hence it moving in to the section representing individuals.
My Colleague David Kernohan also generated his own map from his perspective, shown below. There are broad similarities but also some key differences that reflect our individual roles and practices.
Both David and I only spent a short time sketching our maps, if we approached it as a team, and discussed it in depth I have no doubt we would create a better understanding and more nuanced map. From here it would be interesting to look at individual VandR maps and look at our individual activities and experiences online to identify ways of enhancing engagement.
Small changes to practices, as identified on the maps could yield much bigger returns on engagement with our audiences. I am still thinking this through, but most immediately I think I can see opportunities to work with, for example, research groups in how they communicate their research, and how they engage more outside of their institutional boundaries, and with comms teams to better place organisational approaches to communications with their audiences.
If you want a copy of the Powerpoint template get in touch.
Are we engaging or just broadcasting? by Lawrie Phipps is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://lawriephipps.co.uk/?p=7826.