Project Comms

Embracing face-to-face interactions

The key to successful community consultation in infrastructure projects

There are three components to the communications cycle, the:

  • strategy;
  • engagement; and
  • feedback funnel.

At the heart of this and correctly positioned in the centre is the engagement process itself. In order for this to be as effective as it can be we must first plan our approach, identify our audiences, research which channels of communication will be most appropriate for them and ensure we provide an opportunity for feedback.

As we navigate the dynamic landscape of renewable and infrastructure projects, the importance of face-to-face interactions remains unparalleled. In our journey toward sustainable development, engaging with communities directly is not just a strategy; it’s a cornerstone for success.

Our Project Communications team has been at the forefront of community consultation across a diverse range of projects spanning renewable energy, residential development, commercial and educational projects.

Meaningful dialogue that facilitates genuine two-way interactions, lies at the heart of effective community consultation. Face-to-face interactions allow us to establish genuine connections, fostering trust and understanding among stakeholders. These interactions pave the way for inclusive decision-making processes, where every voice is heard and valued.

To deliver an effective community consultation campaign, crafting a well-thought-out strategy to inform and support it is essential. It’s about more than just gathering input; it’s about creating spaces where diverse perspectives meet, sparking innovation and collaboration. Face-to-face engagements offer invaluable insights into community needs, preferences, and concerns, enabling us to tailor solutions that truly resonate.

In our digitally driven era, embracing multiple forms of communication is imperative. While face-to-face interactions lay the foundation, integrating digital technologies amplifies our reach and impact. From virtual consultation rooms to online mapping to interactive platforms, technology bridges geographical barriers, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all.

Moreover, digital technologies serve as powerful tools for information dissemination, transparency, and feedback collection. They empower communities to stay informed, actively participate, and hold stakeholders accountable throughout the project lifecycle. Providing a platform for feedback is a crucial element of the engagement process. Giving the community a voice and an avenue to express their opinions is key. Whether it be through comment cards, email, telephone, or website, gathering that feedback completes the communication cycle.

In essence, the synergy between face-to-face interactions and digital technologies drives community consultation to new heights of effectiveness and relevance. By embracing both, we not only enrich the consultation process but also foster lasting relationships built on mutual respect and shared vision.

At MKO, we will continue to prioritise meaningful engagement for our current clients and those we have yet to meet. Leveraging the best of both worlds to drive sustainable development and create a brighter future for all is at the heart of our approach. If you want to be part of our success story and have a project that could benefit from effective communications, contact our Project Communications Director, Toni Bourke tbourke@mkoireland.ie


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