Step 2: Decide on exactly what to engage about

Why do this

  • It helps to focus on extracting exactly what information is required from the activity
  • It cuts out unnecessary topics and questions
  • You may decide you don’t need to spend money on further engagement because you already have the information
  • You may decide to focus on parts of a topic, or questions, that need further exploration
  • It stops repetition of questions that have already been asked


  • Is there national, regional or local data already available?
  • Has this engagement taken place elsewhere in Essex or is it being planned?  Check on Essex Insight
  • What information do I and others already have in our organisation?
  • Can I build on results from past activities?
  • What has changed since I last engaged?
  • Are there similar activities taking place at the same time?
  • Do the results have to be comparable with previous results or those from other similar activities?


  • Don’t just ask about things that you think are appropriate. Think from the customer’s point of view.


  • Your public engagement activity will be appropriate, relevant and value for money.
  • The public won’t always be consulted on the same things so won’t become cynical about consultation.
  • The public will understand that they are being consulted with good reason.