Finding the Right Staff for Community Engagement

12 Jan

Over the past year we have seen a marked increase in public sector spending on face-to-face engagement campaigns, and have been involved in staffing stop smoking initiatives both in England and Wales, recycling activities and education awareness roadshows.


The narratives embedded in these campaigns are rarely easily learned one-liners. These campaigns often consist of complex issues which need to be absorbed and understood, and carry numerous key messages which need to be communicated effectively and relevantly to the target audiences. Promotional staff choice is therefore more important than ever, even if you are providing full training.

If you are organising a community engagement campaign, how can you ensure that you pick the right people for the job?

Firstly think about your target audience – who are you targeting and what are you communicating to them? Once you have done this, here are 5 points we are think are vital to consider when selecting your team:



1 Demographic


Encouraging people to engage in conversation on the high street or in their local supermarket is not an easy task. People like to engage with other people that share common ground. Therefore if you can match the demographic of your promotional staff to the demographic of your target audience then you are off to a great start.

Do the age groups of your promotional staff reflect the age groups of the people you are trying to reach? Alternatively, are your promotional staff able to relate to your target age groups?  It’s important that your audience feels comfortable speaking to your staff.



2 Ethnicity


Is your campaign ethnicity related? Or what is the prevalent ethnicity within the area you are targeting? When sending a promotional team into the community, it’s always a good idea to ensure that at least part of that team represents the prevalent ethnicity within the area.



3 Languages and Regional Dialect


Languages and dialects are important to communities so it is really important to acknowledge this and ensure that at least part of your promotional team is locally based and therefore able to engage in the chosen language and dialect of the regional audience.



4 Personal Interest


So that a promotional team can talk passionately and convincingly about your campaign, it is vital that they understand and agree with the objectives, hold some personal interest in the subject matter and can relate to any issues surrounding it. For example, if you are organising a recycling awareness roadshow, why not select promotional staff that are resident in your borough and can therefore relate to recycling challenges faced by the target audience, meaning they are better placed to give relevant advice.



5 Experience


In order to stand the best chance of good results it is important to ensure that your promotional staff hit the ground running, and the best way to ensure they do so is by selecting people with relevant experience. Whilst a lot of promotional staff are highly versatile, a brand ambassador that has excelled on a technology roadshow or a promotional model who has done a great job on a beauty campaign, aren’t always the best people for a community engagement event.




Promotional staff are the backbone of most face-to-face engagement campaigns – choose your team wisely and set off on the right foot. For any staffing and experiential support needs, contact us today.