Partners often have agreements about the coordination and timing of engagement activities with external audiences. Engagement plans are necessary in part because communication occurs in an increasingly crowded space. Contemporary media has spawned an environment in which many competing messages are presented, limiting bandwidth for new considerations that a thoughtful line of research might bring. RPPs, like other entities, must determine how and where they fit in and how they can reach their audiences effectively. This often requires a more active approach.
Engagement requires bi-directional communication, feedback, sense-making, and co-planning for action. Opportunities for both formal and informal engagement are essential. Engagement plans ensure that key stakeholders (e.g., contracting agency staff, parents, and key advocates), beyond the primary agency partner context, also have opportunities to inform and be informed about key findings, and can, if necessary, develop their own responses to findings in which they are implicated. This might include training workshops, in-person public briefings with question and answer sessions, and interactive video conferences.