Community engagement is a process. It’s more than a meeting or an email blast or PowerPoint that alerts the affected community about your project. People who take this single-handed approach often find that these tactics don’t fully engage with those who are impacted by the project.
As with anything, your messaging must be customized for the target audience. Any disconnect can lead to a project’s failure. When developing your community engagement strategy, take into account the community’s history, including economic investment, socioeconomic shifts, psychographics, etc. Then, determine the most appropriate vehicles for information.
Bottom line: there are no easy, one-step answers. Think of it like a PB&J sandwich: it might seem basic, but there are multiple options for bread, jam, how the sandwich is sliced, and so on. You need to build the sandwich that best matches the affected community’s preferences.