MD2300 Talk London Engagement Approach

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD2300
Date signed: 
27 June 2018
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

Talk London is an inclusive, vibrant online community that supports City Hall to involve Londoners in meaningful debate and consultation about how to improve the capital.

Community statistics indicate that certain groups of Londoners are under-represented in the membership.

Research and testing has informed the development of a new engagement and outreach approach to ensure all Londoners, especially those currently underrepresented on Talk London, feel motivated and able to participate. This form seeks approval for expenditure to support this new approach.

Decision

That the Mayor approves:

1. Expenditure of up to £240,000 (as per the breakdown at para 1.6) to support the delivery of a Talk London engagement and outreach programme to ensure its user base better reflects London’s diverse population; and

2. A delegation to the Assistant Director, Intelligence to approve (in consultation with the Mayoral Director of Policy, but without the need for a decision form) the detailed proposals for the digital campaigns.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Talk London is an inclusive, vibrant online community that supports the Mayor and the GLA in placing Londoners’ needs at the centre of its strategies and programmes by involving citizens in meaningful research, debate and consultation about how to improve the capital.

Talk London has 42,000 members, and in the last year has delivered nearly 12,000 responses to consultations on the London Environment Strategy, Housing Strategy, Economic Development Strategy, Skills for Londoners Strategy, and Health Inequalities Strategy via Talk London – at no cost to policy teams.

Community statistics indicate that fewer young Londoners, women, BAME Londoners, and private and social housing renters, currently participate in Talk London. Recently, we undertook research with both members and non-members from our target audiences to understand the issues that matter to them, and attitudes towards active participation and involvement on Talk London.

This research has informed the development of a new engagement and outreach approach that aims to ensure all Londoners, especially those currently underrepresented on Talk London, feel motivated and able to participate.

We trialled this new engagement approach to some success in relation to the Smart London Plan. Our online Tube journey tool, developed to catch Londoners’ attention and engage them on the complex topic of city data, attracted a high number of unique users. It was notable that the proportion of young people who joined Talk London reflected the size of this population at large.

We have demonstrated that the development of compelling, accessible, and highly shareable content has the capacity to drive huge audience reach. Crucially, it also drove participation from some of our target audiences. We now seek approval for funding to support the delivery of our engagement and outreach approach to ensure the Talk London user base better reflects the London population. *

We anticipate this funding would provide resources for approximately five campaigns over a 12-month period. Campaigns would be selected based on their ability to drive participation from our target audiences, and would support high profile Mayoral programmes such as #behindeverygreatcity and the Young Londoners Fund. Campaigns will be approved by the AD for Intelligence in consultation with the Mayoral Director for Policy. Competitive procurement processes will be undertaken to identify digital agencies with the right skills and expertise for the campaigns.

*See breakdown of funding on decision form.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Delivery of four to five campaigns that increases the proportion of our target audiences on Talk London, so that the community better reflects the London population. Target audiences include young Londoners, women, BAME Londoners, and private and social housing renters.

Equality comments

The Greater London Authority has an obligation under the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty to consider how its policies and decisions affect people who are protected under the act. Campaigns will be designed to ensure that our community membership is better reflects the London population. Demographic information collected on registration will ensure we are aware who participates in Talk London and act to promote participation to a broad range of Londoners.

Other considerations

Risks and issues: Talk London was established to gather Londoners’ views to help steer important policy decisions. It is therefore important that we reach and engage Londoners from all walks of life in our work. Each campaign will have clearly stated measures of success and will be delivered using agile methodology; optimising efforts to deliver the most effective engagement tactics, user journeys and content to maximise opportunity for recruitment to Talk London and to ensure value for money.

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities: The Mayor has stated that he wants to lead the most engaged, transparent administration seen at City Hall. The Talk London community ensures we allow Londoners to participate in the design, development and delivery of strategies, policies, interventions and services. Campaigns will be selected that support high profile Mayoral programmes.

Impact assessments and consultations: The appropriate procurement processes will be followed to ensure that the successful company complies with the GLA’s equal opportunities requirements. Conducting surveys with a representative sample of Londoners will ensure that the GLA involves a broad constituency of people in our work.

Financial comments

The expenditure of up to £240,000 will be funded from the 2018-19 Director of Communities and Intelligence’s Minor Programmes Budget.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Project sponsorship is provided by Dr Nick Bowes. Christine Wingfield (Opinion Research & Statistics) will manage the project, working closely with colleagues from Digital, Marketing and TG.

Activity table

Campaign scoping and selection

June 2018

First campaign digital agency procurement

June/July 2018

First campaign launch

September 2018

Final campaign launch

March 2019

Programme evaluation and recommendations

May 2019


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