Cratus has launched Cratus Engage, a new digital consultation and engagement service, which allows for interactive engagement to continue during lockdown.
Designed as a long-term solution, the new service is not just a COVID-19 stop gap, and it will form an integral part of the way Cratus operates over the coming months and years.
At its heart, Cratus Engage, now being showcased on our website, allows our clients to engage digitally to a far wider audience than can be reached through traditional leaflet and exhibitions. Cratus Engage integrates a webinar for consultees for the presentation of plans, live questions, and immediate responses. In effect, mirroring the interactive approach of the best public exhibitions.
The presentation and exhibition boards are combined on the website to allow participants to navigate through the proposals and have questions answered. The example has been configured as a new town centre for Lakeside but it is flexible to allows for multiple uses suitable for councils, developers and private individuals.
The breakthrough that Cratus Engage offers is a user friendly and accessible blend of digital and traditional face-to-face engagement methods. We believe that face-to-face engagement is crucial in creating understanding and building trust and will never be replaced. However, Cratus Engage gives clients a further opportunity to reach a broader audience thanks to seamless integration with widely used social media platforms.
Our combined approach also recognises the limitations of the broadband and the appetite to engage online.
Steve Quartermain, senior advisor to Cratus, said: “The ability to use digital platforms like Cratus Engage have to be welcomed as they create flexibility and more opportunity to reach a wider audience. These sorts of platforms are here to stay.”
Julian Seymour, managing director of Planning Communications at Cratus, said: “The lockdown restrictions have proved the tipping point for digital engagement. But digital shouldn’t be seen in isolation. When combined with the best of traditional methods our clients will have the ability to reach and engage with a much wider audience, understand their issues and address them interactively. In the short-term Cratus Engage gives clients – and the councils they work with – the confidence that stakeholders are being properly engaged.”