This was a busy week in Concord, NH. With controversy and discussion around using public money to build a new golf course clubhouse, as well as a new middle school. As we saw from the Concord Main Street Project and the White Park Skate House - the success or failure of a publicly funded project often hinges on more than just the merits of the idea itself.
The critical key to success is a solid communication plan. The responsibility of ensuring effective communication lies squarely on the proposing organization, and here's why it can be a road to success.
Crafting Stakeholder Understanding: A major project involves lots of stakeholders, each with its own interests, concerns, and expectations. A good communication plan ensures that these stakeholders have the information to clearly understand the project's goals, benefits, and potential impacts. This understanding is key to garnering support from diverse segments.
Building Public Support: Public perception can make or break a project. A thoughtful communication plan allows the proposing organization to share the project's value to the community, address concerns, and build public support. Engaging the community early and transparently lets you turn skeptics into advocates.
Addressing Opposition and Concerns: Any major project is likely to face opposition or concerns. A proactive communication plan anticipates potential issues and outlines strategies for addressing them. Whether it's environmental impact, economic concerns, or community disruption, addressing these early can prevent escalation.
Transparency: Transparency leads to trust. A communication plan is built on transparency, keeping stakeholders informed about project developments, timelines, and any modifications. This openness fosters trust among stakeholders and the public, contributing to a smoother project process. Sharing, listening and asking for input is crucial - as is checking in on changes and new ideas. Dismissing disagreement as "ill informed ocies" is not a tactic for a successful project.
Adaptability to Changing Circumstances: Major projects often unfold and change. A communication plan should be adaptable, ready to address unexpected challenges, and keep stakeholders informed and give them an outlet for feedback.. This adaptability demonstrates resilience and proactive management.
Building Public Trust: A comprehensive communication plan showcases a commitment to responsible project management and a respect for the media and process. Credibility is an earned asset, especially when seeking support or partnerships. A poorly managed effort can destroy goodwill, and have a negative impact on a community.