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Public Engagement with Research

Digital Tools for Evaluation

When are digital tools useful?

Digital platforms can be an effective way to reach a large or more diverse audience, and to engage with them before, during and after an event or activity.   They can also be effective in both reaching out to, and capturing responses from particular demographics. 

How should I use digital tools for evaluation?

You should use digital tools with the same care as other evaluation methods. A digital approach needs to be well thought out and constructed to elicit the information that you are looking for, but there is also scope for creativity.  Digital platforms offer an accessible and responsive way of communicating with your target audience, and encouraging a two-way dynamic or dialogue with them. 

Example - using Twitter to gather and analyse data

1. You promote your engagement activity/event via your project Twitter account (using a #hashtag)

2. You, or one of your team (if you have one!) are live tweeting during the activity itself

3. After the event, you use Twitter analytics to check the reach of your activity among your target audience.  You can explore:

Who engaged?

What was retweeted? - extent of retweets - most retweeted post etc.

What kind of interactions were taking place within the tweets?

4. What does this tell you?

Were your aims achieved?

Has anything unexpected come to light?

What would you change or adjust if you were to repeat the activity again?

What scope is there to continue the dialogue?

5. Congratulations - you have used social media analytics as data to evaluate your public engagement work!

Some digital platforms to explore


Data analysis

Most platforms have analytic functions built in, so its worth exploring the options fully during your planning, to help you select the most suitable platform, and get the most from it for evaluation purposes.  NB be sure to have the analytics function activated before you start to use the platform!

Watch our 'how to' videos below for more info:

 

 

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