Showing posts with label consultations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label consultations. Show all posts

Sunday, February 21, 2010

32 Ways To Communicate A Construction Project

I have been looking at some recently completed community relations campaigns that have supported major developments in Australia.

Here’s some of the communications tools and strategies used by companies and government agencies to get community buy-in for large construction projects:
  • Advertising.
  • Blogs dedicated to the construction project.
  • Complaint management systems to register and track complaints.
  • Construction staff volunteering for local charities and events.
  • Employing local people and buying from local suppliers.
  • Conveniently placed information centres where residents can get information.
  • Dedicated website or minisites.
  • Demonstration projects.
  • Displays at community events.
  • Email channels for complaints or queries.
  • Employing local communicators who understand affected communities.
  • Fact sheets with specifc themes that can be mailed, emailed, downloaded or handed out.
  • Information packs for businesses, schools and retailers.
  • Interactive mobile kiosks in libraries, shopping and other high traffic areas.
  • Leaving behind legacy projects after construction such as new roads, school improvements, parks and other recreational facilities.
  • Media briefings on constructions sites.
  • Media relations.
  • One on one briefings with landholders and other key people.
  • Operational changes based on community feedback such as scheduling work at night or during school holidays.
  • Presentations to local groups on a one-off or regular basis.
  • Print materials such as newsletters, bulletins, advisories, bulletins, posters.
  • Transferring communications staff to live in the areas affected by construction.
  • Research on audiences and attitudes before, during and after construction.
  • Site tours and open days for the public.
  • Specially equipped information buses that can travel around communities.
  • Sponsoring organisations or events in areas affected by construction.
  • Staff from diverse backgrounds tasked to communicate with multicultural communities.
  • Stakeholder consultative bodies offering feedback on the effectiveness of communications.
  • Thank you events once a project finishes.
  • Toll free hot lines.
There was little use of social media in these constructions projects but this many change as more people use new digital platforms to get information on local developments.

Friday, October 30, 2009

10 Steps To Engaging Communities

In recent weeks I have been working on a major conservation project which is in response to climate change. It is as much about people and communities as it is about science and data.

No matter how compelling or frightening the data may be, governments still need to convince people they need to act in the face of challenging circumstances. This means consulting them, getting their input and then fashioning a response individuals, communities, business, government and others can act on.

Often community consultation involves a series of inter-locking steps:
  • Identifying stakeholders and individuals who wield influence
  • Identifying local attitudes, aspirations and concerns
  • Helping those affected understand what it is proposed, how it will improve things and when things begin to happen
  • Providing opportunities for community feedback and involvement throughout the project
  • Keeping people, especially key people, continually informed
  • Incorporating feedback into planning and subsequent actions and, as importantly, telling people you have done so
  • Communicating milestones and outcomes
  • Simplifying communications yet providing access to detailed data if people want it
  • Frankly acknowledging setbacks and disappointments
  • If people have to change behaviours, providing information when they need it and how they need it and offering ongoing encouragement
Above all build flexibility and persistence into your own mental mindset.

Things rarely go to plan 100% of the time in community consultation, coalition building and communications. After all we're dealing with people - just like us - and that's just the way it is.