Engagement & consultation
When you want to have a conversation with your community, you want to know you're being heard, but more imporantly, that you know and understand what the community is saying back.
Community relations is much more than meetings, or newsletters. 'Engagement' is the buzz-word of the day when it comes to having a conversation with the community. What it really means is that instead of going out with a pre-determined agenda to achieve what's wanted, companies, NGOs and government are increasingly describing what they want to achieve, then enlisting the community's ideas before they decide how they're going to meet their goals.
Which sounds like common-sense, but as we know, common-sense isn't common at all. Starting a conversation with people who might be directly or indirectly affected by what you do, starts you on the road to a constructive and enlightening process that will, if done right, achieve much more than you could anticipate.
According to IAP2, community engagement and consultation ranges across a spectrum, with informing at one end (the least impact), and empowerment the other. It's not hard to see that when you empower people, you take a big risk, because that's when the people make the decision. When you collaborate, and involve, you will gain insight into your communities, their perspectives and ideas.
Sometimes, it might be most appropriate to simply inform. We understand what will work for you and your stakeholders and communities.
We have extensive experience in large-scale engagement and consultation processes, and what will work to increase community support for what you want to achieve. This experience includes a major property development and large infrastructure projects.