Too often businesses make decisions without considering the implications for neighbours, staff, suppliers and other stakeholders. Often by the time you realise that you should have been talking to others it’s too late and you’re in crisis mode as you try to retrieve a situation.
It’s much easier to think about all stakeholders before starting a project. Who might be impacted, what might the impact be and how do you manage the process to ensure minimum fall out. The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) sets the benchmark when it comes to consulting and engaging with stakeholders about a project. Their definition of public participation is “to involve those who are affected by a decision in the decision-making process. It promotes sustainable decisions by providing participants with the information they need to be involved in a meaningful way, and it communicates to participants how their input affects the decision”.
IAP 2 spectrum of participation ranges from informing the public at one end of the scale through to empowering stakeholders in the decision making process so they are part of defining and developing the outcome. At different times and with different decisions, organisations will sit at various ends of the spectrum when it comes to decision making.
At Cherry Red Consulting we are qualified IAP 2 practitioners and we work with a range of clients to determine how to consult, who to consult with and techniques to use. Public Relations is no longer simply about telling people your story – it’s about engaging with them and developing strong, enduring and meaningful relationships.