Engagement is always a learning exercise - there's not a magic formula that works all the time. Our partners have experimented with multiple ways to organize engagement activities, and for most, it is a process of trial, error, and learning to find an approach that works.

Start somewhere. Community engagement can seem like a lot of extra work, and it can be daunting to hand over the reins of the conversation to a facilitator or to the audience who may say some unexpected (or uncomfortable) things. It will require a different kind of listening, and a willingness to open up your journalism to being more community-directed and influenced.

But don’t be intimidated. Transparency and honesty about where you’re coming from - a place of good faith - goes a long way to strengthening relationships, building trust and making engagement successful.