User:MCruz (WMF)/Sandbox/Consultation Tool/Format and Distribution

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Contribute what you know about running consultations in your community.
Make your edits between the <onlyinclude> tags, and it will be included in the Consultation tool automatically.

  • Use different channels (both public and private) for your consultation. While some consultations are public and open, it is highly recommended to also have a private channel where users can respond more freely about sensitive issues. Private feedback can be collected through surveys, forms, conversations, or Emails.
  • The right combination of channels is specific to your context. Those doing consultations on tech products, for example, may find IRC (Internet Relay Chat) an effective way to collect feedback. A consultation around a sensitive topic may need a private survey.
  • It is important for somebody on the team to respond quickly to relevant feedback. Timing is critical to engaging in productive conversations, and being present throughout the whole process is keeps participants motivated and engaged in the consultation. Questions may help clarify important aspects of the feedback you receive. This is why it is important to have someone dedicated to monitoring and responding to different conversations, and why channels that enable conversations and responses may be helpful for getting some types of feedback. You might consider implementing changes as you receive them, to show participants how your team is responding to conversations and suggestions in real time.
  • Consider how you will distribute information about your consultation carefully, to get the results you want. Find your audience where they are, and reinforce communications by reaching out to users on the projects where they are active, regardless of the consultation topic. Some ideas for distributing information include:
    • MassMessage village pumps. Consider translating the message to the language of the project you are posting to.
    • Message users with 10+ edits in a relevant namespace or on a relevant project
    • Send Email announcements to relevant mailing lists (for example, wikimedia-l and announcements-l)
    • Central Notice banner. If your audience is specific, this may not be the best option to promote your consultation.
    • Find your allies. People with influence will be very helpful in spreading the word, including active contributors, board members, committee members, and other leaders. Engage your allies them early on in the process, by making them a part of the planning or preview phases of the consultation.