The Problem with Participation

Image by: Emma

The participation band wagon rolls on in adland with agencies and clients seeming content to sacrifice effective communications for a couple of the clinically insane and the entire staff of the PR agency uploading some old tat to a website in the name of ‘doing something on Facebook’.

So how do you get it right? Well there have been some excellent posts on planning for participation recently with few more helpful than this from the excellent Patricia MacDonald at Planning in high heels. She identifies the need to understand who you really want to participate and to what degree and critically what their motivation for doing this will be. Not to mention the need to understand the trade off between effort and reward which clearly seems to escape anyone using the word ‘upload’ in their current campaign. And of course there is the great Clay Shirkey mantra about people needing the means, motive and opportunity to take part, which works for me.

However, while all of this is helpful I think there are two issues that continue to dog participatory campaigns. The afterthought issue and the performing monkey issue. Read more…

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