Speaking Wisely: Considerations and strategies for managing public comment

Advocacy organisations want to promote social justice, achieve outcomes for their clients and/or achieve outcomes such as a sustainable environment.

To be effective they will need to have a respected voice that is heard by relevant audiences in the public, government, business and agencies. Their clients and supporters need to be able to find the organisation and the organisation needs to get its views and arguments into the debates and decisions in the community. This inevitably means making public comment in a variety of forums, including the media.

Most organisations will be making public comment in some way already. They might be thinking about doing more but are wondering how to manage the risks that may arise. How do you balance speaking wisely (and boldly) without overstepping the mark and potentially facing embarrassment, loss of reputation, or being sued for defamation, for example? These outcomes distract and detract from the effectiveness of the organisation.

How Speaking Wisely can help

Speaking Wisely is a toolkit designed to address those concerns, providing a practical guide on how organisations can use and manage public comment. The information and resources provided in this toolkit are intended to help you develop the organisational policies and procedures your organisation will need to ensure confidence and effectiveness in your day-to-day dealings with the media and public comment.