Headlines: April 19th, 2012

A new website has been launched to help councils, charities, retailers, service providers and campaign groups to explore the new opportunities that the digital world offers for engaging and empowering citizens and consumers.

Digital engagement is not only important for organisations in the public, private and not for profit sectors, it also has the potential to change how individuals and communities live and interact. Taking part in local decision-making or discussing future policy can make a real difference to how people think about themselves and their role in society.

The Digital Engagement Cookbook has been created by Kind of Digital, in partnership with PartiTech, on behalf of Consumer Focus. The website aims to help users decipher which technology-based methods are best-suited to consumer empowerment activities such as campaigning, consulting and collective action. It is one of the most comprehensive, categorised collections of digital engagement methods on the web and includes over 140 links to examples of them in action.

The website will help public engagement professionals to explore the full range of ways to engage consumers effectively, and think wider than social media or web-only methods. The Digital Engagement Cookbook examines methods from webinars and online forums, to serious games and crowdsourcing, and everything in-between. It offers practical examples and detail on putting the methods into practice. It also gives information on evaluating the process as you go, to ensure users achieve the desired impact.

Lucy Yates, Head of Sustainability and Consumer Futures at Consumer Focus, said:“Digital tools and channels are an increasingly essential way of engaging citizens and consumers, and helping them to mobilise around an issue or make more informed decisions. The Digital Engagement Cookbook aims to help users to find the perfect recipe to reach their target audience. The website shows the strengths and weaknesses of a range of methods, to help make digital dialogues with consumers in the future as constructive as possible.”