Over the last seven years, the world of engagement has changed beyond recognition. Kanda has been at the forefront of best-in-class consultation since launching in 2017, but since Covid, digital techniques have evolved and redefined how we can get the best out of conversations in the community.

Kanda were the first agency to realise the full potential of transposing digital marketing strategies to the built environment, and have had a digital consultation toolkit long before lockdown required it from teams.

With digital ambassadors in each team, Kanda has embedded the practices needed to efficiently and effectively build the right audiences, promote consultations, and protect against feedback being disproportionately skewed by vocal minorities.

There are four key steps/principles to our digital offer, with each stage building on the last:

  1. Identify
  2. Broadcast
  3. Educate
  4. Mobilise

Our principles guide our activities, and each one builds on the last. These stages are distinct, but are designed to feel seamless to an individual. These have been successfully used across our projects of all shapes and sizes – from large to small, and strategic to discreet.

Here’s how our offer works in practice.

Identify

Where there is a programme of engagement or consultation which has sufficient space and lead-in time, Kanda is able to identify a receptive target audience. As part of this identification, we can build a granular picture of audience(s) interests – where they have rigid boundaries and rules (e.g. all cat people don’t like dogs!), but also where interests might overlap and extend.

Broadcast

With a comprehensive audience picture identified, we can target broadcast across multiple channels to ensure materials are viewed by hundreds of interested people, rather than the more limited numbers at an in person event. But this isn’t mutually exclusive of course, as we can also use this technique to boost numbers at in-person consultation events and get more detailed feedback.

Educate

One targeted broadcast is rarely enough to build audience contact pre-submission. That is why we need to educate stakeholders this can be achieved through multiple means. Physical pop ups along with virtual ones, web updates and email updates on benefits with short surveys giving an opportunity to be part of the application progress even post submission.

Mobilise

It’s easy to oppose something, but it’s much harder to show support. Using all the previous steps, as a planning determination approaches, we can encourage audiences or sections thereof, to show support for a scheme, either formally or informally, depending on the circumstances. This helps mobilise passive supporters into being active supporters, and ensures that small vocal opposition groups don’t take up all the oxygen.


Our proactive approach to digital engagement is supported by a rich blanket of data that can indicate by age, gender, postcode or relationship to a site, who is most likely to support or oppose projects of a certain use-class in all the boroughs in which we operate.

Kanda have also pioneered a pre-acquisition consultation service, where we know important sites are coming to market, and a variety of potential buyers see different futures for an area. So far this has proved instructive for shaping bids and refining offers.

If some or all of the above could add value to your project, please get in touch with John Greenshields, Director of Data and Insights.

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