When you’ve identified the audience for your statistics, the next step is to decide the best method for reaching them and involving them in the development of your statistics. The first step can be as simple as asking for feedback as part of your publications. When you’ve done that, consider trying out the following ideas.
Online tools are a great way to connect with your audience, and there’s a huge range of them available. For example, the Welsh Government used a webinar as part of its consultation on deprivation.
Bulletins and newsletters
Lots of people still like to receive news straight to their inbox. The Health and Safety Executive sends out a regular e-bulletin to over 30,000 subscribers, allowing them to expand their reach in a quick and simple way.
Face to face events
Hosting an event which brings your users together might take a bit more planning and effort than some other approaches, but the rewards are worth it. Three different departments have shared their experiences of organising events for users.
- DCLG’s user engagement day
- Health and Safety Executive’s user conference
- NHS National Services Scotland’s user engagement event
- DCLG Homelessness Statistics User Forum
Alternatively, you could try bringing together a selection of the people that use your statistics in a working group. ONS wanted to better understand its younger users, so set up an undergraduate working group on economic statistics.
Bringing it all together
The most successful approaches to engaging your audience will bring together a range of tools and techniques.
The Ministry of Justice used a range of approaches to help extend the reach of its consultation on criminal justice statistics.
HMRC’s user story shows how they went through the whole process from identifying their audience to targeting they way they engage with different types of users.