Our Project Communications team was engaged by St Joseph’s Patrician College in Galway City (The Bish) to manage the public consultation process around their planned relocation from their historical home at Nun’s Island to a new greenfield site in Dangan.
MKO designed and implemented a media and stakeholder engagement campaign to highlight the need for a new school to be built to accommodate the growing numbers of pupils expected to enrol in The Bish over the coming years, and to extol the benefits that a brand-new, state-of-the-art campus will provide for the city going forward.
This campaign comprised the strategic planning of an information update to local and national elected representatives. It also comprised the creation of a promotional video featuring interviews with Bish pupils, teachers, parents and members of the Board of Management, and a co-ordinated release of it and a press release to selected media outlets, with the aim of exercising as much control over the messaging as possible. MKO also provided media coaching to the Bish principal and Chairperson of the Parent’s Council ahead of their appearance on Galway Bay FM to discuss the project. This interview took place the morning after the elected rep meeting and enabled the Bish project team to proactively announce details of their intention to proceed with the project, and how stakeholders and neighbours would be consulted.
The Project Comms team worked closely with MKO’s in-house graphics team to design a website for the project (bishrelocation.com) which hosted the promotional video, details of the proposed plans, latest news updates and contact details. The website also hosted the Virtual Consultation Room, an interactive online space which showcased detailed plans for the new school building, photomontages, and much more. MKO also created and manned a dedicated email address to field questions or concerns from the public regarding the development.
MKO project-managed a Public Information Event in the Ardilaun Hotel. This event, which was attended by representatives of the project architects, members of the Bish staff and BoM, and MKO staff, was designed to allow members of the public to view the plans for the new development and put whatever questions they had to the design team in a controlled environment.
As was to be expected, some local residents close to the development expressed concerns regarding traffic flow, parking, drop-off points, etc, but these had been anticipated in advance and through careful management, these questions were fielded and discussions held calmly and efficiently. Some suggestions were taken on board and led to tweaks to the final plan.
The client was thoroughly satisfied with the service offering provided by MKO on the project. An application for planning permission has subsequently been lodged and it is hoped that plans for the new school can continue to progress swiftly.
The client drafted this testimonial: “MKO recently provided support to St Joseph’s Patrician College in a community engagement role around planning for our new school facilities in Galway. They provided professional, thorough, and efficient support to the Board of Management and our school project team and we were very happy with the quality and timeliness of their service, which brought much-valued expertise and experience to our team.”