What impression do you want to leave when you finish a project? Think of the legacy we want to leave in our schools or workplaces. It’s the same in our community projects.
Did you show the results, or did you pop up and then disappear? It’s important to stay engaged with the affected community and demonstrate your results to them — not through a white paper full of technical jargon but through messaging that resonates with that audience.
People remember when you don’t follow up, and for projects that take a long time, e.g. roads, bridges, development, etc., you need to maintain communication even if there’s little progress. Manage your impressions — they last forever.
Was your “engagement” transactional, in which you collected input then didn’t put it into action? Or was it true engagement: a give-and-take in which you built trust and made a lasting, positive impression?