Know your campaigners – speaker briefing note
June 2014 | | 17 Carlton House Terrace
Who we are
Westbourne is a communications consultancy (www.changeopinion.com). We help
organisations tell their story and have effective conversations with the people that
matter to them.
Our specialist engagement practice, Engage Opinion (www.engageopinion.com), works
with clients to connect with their communities and make better decisions. We encourage
our clients to sit down with campaigners to have a genuine, honest dialogue on key
Background to the event – the report
With new democratic powers and the rise of social media the traditional balance of
power has changed; and in recent years we have seen the visibility and efficacy of
campaigns increase dramatically.
This has led to a ‘battleground’ culture and companies and campaigners routinely
approach each other with a default attitude of hostility. Companies see campaigners as
impediments to whatever they are trying to achieve. Campaigners feel they have
something important to say but are being ignored.
We decided to speak directly to around 30 of the most active individuals from across the
country to understand more about the experience from the other side of the table.
We asked them about some of the challenges they face in getting their voices heard and
how they would like to be engaged and produced a report, Know Your Campaigners, that
summarised our findings.
We have put together an interesting and diverse collection of panellists to discuss the
role, importance and changing nature of engagement. Alongside yourself, this will
? Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell Foundation
? Dr Evan Harris, Hacked Off
? Lottie Dexter, One Million Jobs
The purpose of the event
The event will launch the report “Know your Campaigners” and will be an opportunity to
summarise the findings and delve deeper into the issues, bringing together campaigners
and organisations to talk together in one room as part of a constructive conversation.
Who will be invited?
Invitations for the event will be sent to Heads of Communication and Engagement at all
of the major private and public sector organisations involved in key campaigning areas
such as development, healthcare, media, equalities. We will also be inviting consumer
groups, smaller campaigns and the heads of campaigns at major charities and NGOs,
including many of the campaigners that we interviewed for the report.
The event agenda
The agenda for the event will be as follows:-
? Introduction to the event and speakers by Chair (James Bethell) (5 mins).
? Presentation of the findings of the report by Westbourne Engage Opinion team (10
? Panel discussion (30 mins).
? Audience Question and Answer session (40 mins).
? Wrap up by Chair (5 mins).
? Drinks and networking.
The format of the discussion
Your experience on the Cure The NHS campaign offers a fascinating insight into
engagement that would complement the findings of our report very well.
There format of the event will be an informal Question Time style panel discussion, with
questions from the Chair followed by the audience.
Panellists will therefore not be expected to draft speeches for the event, but it would be
helpful if you could prepare talking points you might like to raise in your answers around
the following questions:-
? the importance of engagement
? if, how and why engagement is changing
? why your campaign values engagement
? your experience of the difference between public and private sector engagement
(including good and bad practice examples)
? what organisations should do to better engage with campaigners