What Might Have Been: Project Communications Part 2

In this follow-up to Economic Development Communications 101: How to Effectively Communicate Your Project to Your Audiences, we take a closer look at some of the biggest risks to project communications.

Wind turbine against clear blue skyRenewable energy projects that weren’t built. Much needed power plants that never came online. Improved food production stopped in its tracks. Vaccinations that were never administered. All of these are examples of how extremely competent subject matter experts and leaders of technical industries had the carpet yanked out from under them because of poor or absent communication and public engagement.

You can also see it at play on a smaller scale within organizations when new projects or initiatives are derailed because staff, customers, stakeholders or the public were not engaged in the process.

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Economic Development Communications 101: How To Effectively Communicate Your Project To Your Audiences

By: John McKay

National Economic Development Week logo

The art and science of economic development communications is often over looked by the very organizations who need it most. As a communications agency with clients in all levels of government and from economic development organizations, we have gained some insights.

In celebration of International Economic Development Week, here we outline some of the top tips for those wishing to communicate clearly and effectively about economic development projects in 2018 and beyond.

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Unforced Errors

How organizations take on costly and unnecessary communications risks

Woman on a headset phoneA reporter calls Andrea at Complexity Professional Services (ComplexPS). Andrea says, “I’ll look into it and call you back before deadline.” Then she and several others scramble to put together a response.

She prepares a clear response in plain language that quickly gets bumped down into jargon and emptied of any real content during the internal approval process. Just before the reporter’s deadline, she sends an e-mail or calls the reporter to provide the empty statement and a link.

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Who do you prove yourself to be?

A tradition is only a tradition if you keep on doing it.

Mars spacecraftThe “way the world works” only works that way if everyone agrees that’s the way it does. “Playing the game” is only effective if everyone agrees that’s how the game is played.

This is all self-evident but it comes with a proviso. It is unwise to keep using the same traditions, ways and games long after the context in which they operate changes in fundamental ways.

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