Effective communication is essential to supporting your engagement program. Communication is more than just letting your community and stakeholders know that a project is happening, it can help to foster a sense of connection, build trust, and maintain engagement in your project (and in turn, your organisation).
Why using communication strategies are important to any engagement program:
- It attracts interest to a project with a strong call-to-action.
- Allows for sharing of feedback along the way to showcase diverse perspectives.
- It builds understanding for complexity.
- Keeps the project alive while you turn your interest inward, making it less difficult to raise interest in the future.
- Builds trust and reinforces that the community’s feedback is crucial.
To get the most from your project communications, we suggest developing a Communications Plan that sits alongside your Engagement Plan, or within it.
Your Communications Plan should aim to:
- Inspire stakeholders and the wider community to get involved in the consultation and development of your project.
- Promote your project to encourage participation in engagement activities.
- Clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of your project to assist participants’ buy in.
- Build understanding by sharing diverse perspectives collected along the way.
- Manage expectations around delivery timeframes and organisational role.
- Provide clear messaging for the whole team to use throughout their communication.
- Provide structure, clarity and a strategic approach to ensure communications efforts are well-planned, targeted and aligned with the engagement program.
- Engage with stakeholders effectively by considering the individual needs of key stakeholders, what they want to know about the project, how to best reach them, and messaging that will encourage them to participate.
In the next blog post, we delve into the components of a communications plan and provide a general guide for you to follow.