You represent a group of companies that want to build a new transmission line that will run near several farming communities, through First Nations Treaty land, and across three major rivers. The line is needed, but you expect opposition from people locally.
JGR Communications understands a project involves more than the client, the financiers and the contractors. Any person, group or organization that has an interest (or a perceived interest) in the project is a stakeholder, including local communities, Aboriginal communities, local businesses and industry, government groups, economic groups, environmental groups and so on.
A plan to engage
Ensure your project plan includes a stakeholder consultation component. Some elements include:
- a full understanding of all regulatory requirements for public consultation
- a list of interested groups, with priority to those most affected or most involved in the project’s activities or have the most credibility and trust with other stakeholders
- a plan and timeline to communicate and engage groups, including mail-outs, meetings, open houses, public service announcements, surveys and media coverage
- a system to collect and analyze feedback
- flexibility to modify the project based on stakeholders’ feedback
Why have it?
Stakeholder consultation can uncover potential issues before they become obstacles. As well, they can also reveal potential partnerships that contribute to a project’s success.
The most common mistake is determining actions before analyzing stakeholder interest and past consultations. Analyze, build your hypothesis, test your hypothesis then take action. Remember: Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.
Sometimes the right approach is to inform stakeholders of what you’re doing. Sometimes you need to inform them and give them the opportunity to provide input – sometimes your consultation requirements are deeper and more complex.
JGR Communications has extensive experience in stakeholder consultation and can assist with planning and execution of your public participation plan.