Community Engagement

Community engagement is an effort by individuals in an organization or group to connect its ideas or practices to the efforts of other organizations, groups, specific audiences or the general public. We believe that changing behaviors or revving up public discussion about policy issues takes talent, time, and an inspired mix of services.


Through our community engagement and public outreach efforts we have successfully recruited participants for focus groups on a variety of topics. Involving members of a community on all levels build trust and a lasting relationship.


The word community is also a very broad term used to define groups of people; whether they are stakeholders, interest groups, citizen groups, etc. A community may be a geographic location (community of place), a community of similar interest (community of practice), or a community of affiliation or identity.

Community engagement is therefore a planned process with the specific purpose of working with identified groups of people, whether they are connected by geographic location, special interest, or affiliation or identify to address issues affecting their well-being. The linking of the term community to engagement serves to broaden the scope, shifting the focus from the individual to the collective, with the associated implications for inclusiveness to ensure consideration is made of the diversity that exists within any community.


The emphasis in community engagement is that of honest relationship building for the sake of community.


Steps Include:

  • Determine the goals of the plan
  • Plan out who to engage
  • Develop strategies for individuals you already know
  • Develop strategies of those individuals you don't know
  • Prioritize those activities
  • Create an implementation plan
  • Monitor your progress
  • Maintain those relationships


We provide event marketing & planning, focus group facilitation, needs assessment, group facilitation in various languages, coalition building and influencing public policy leadership sessions. Promotions West is a leader in focus group facilitation, especially with African American audiences and other communities of color.


Our ethnographic practices help us to collect valuable community information, analyze and observe situations that can increase the success of most campaigns. Ethnography is a type of qualitative research design aimed at studying cultures and groups from a unique perspective. Ethnography helps us to observe groups in a natural setting or field. Observations are the main form of data collection. We conduct interviews to clarify those observations.


At Promotions West we use ethnography to:

  1. Search for the meaning of social and cultural norms and views
  2. Find reasons for the use of certain behaviors or practices
  3. Examine social trends and instances like divorce, illnesses, etc.
  4. Examine social interactions and encounters
  5. Better understand the roles of families, relationships, and organizations


How do we start an ethnographic study?

  • Identify a question or the problem to address
  • Formulate additional questions of what has been observed
  • Gain access to the population
  • Open Access — Permission not needed
  • Closed Access — Permission needed from the gatekeeper of the population. Access is critical.



Mikael Wagner was a featured member of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

Mikael Wagner is serving as Project Management Consultant with the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Population Health Division.

Mikael Wagner is back from a 2 year assignment with the Office of National Drug Control Policy where he managed a national youth anti-drug media campaign with the White House in Washington, DC.

Promotions West is now providing Social Media planning and management consulting. In addition. we are offering workshops on Cultural Competency & Project Management.

2002 Third Street, #207

San Francisco, CA 94107



P 415.255.0800

P 202.618.0557