Consulting with communities

Consulting with communities

Muddy Boots PR
two-minute briefings

Consulting neighbours is a necessity

  • It’s Government policy, a public right
  • … and a basic human courtesy
  • It has to be done well
  • … and properly documented
  • It can often be tough
  • But it can also be a prime factor in permission.


ps: we can build you a consultation strategy and drive it for you

It's good to talk

  • One-to-one and face-to-face is the ideal
  • Build relationships even with opponents
  • Make the most of your positives
  • … and achieve understanding for the negatives
  • You need to engage with politicians
  • Public meetings tend to be emotionally driven
  • Exhibitions work better as a public forum.

ps: we have great designers and do exhibitions

Create a forum?

  • Bring together those who matter
  • Select an independent chair
  • Identify the main issues
  • Narrow them down to areas of difference
  • Look for ways to reach consensus.



ps: we can guide you on setting up a forum and making it work

Identify allies

  • A vociferous minority will often dominate
  • Those in favour often stay quiet
  • … you need to help give them a voice
  • … and show planners they exist
  • Don’t forget your own employees
  • … and your customers.

Manage the media

  • Brief them at the outset – include visuals
  • Try to build relationships with journalists
  • You have a right to seek balance
  • Avoid letter wars – the antis get more oxygen
  • Try to keep overall tone constructive.



ps: we are journalists and we know what makes them tick

Make it more visual

  • People often don’t understand plans
  • They do understand television
  • A few minutes is all that’s needed
  • Animation might help to make things clear
  • Show your track record
  • … but get the tone right.


ps: video and animation are real areas of expertise for us. See here.

Use the power of the web

  • Web will never replace human interaction
  • But it is a superb consultation tool
  • Open all hours and available to all
  • Facilitates two-way dialogue
  • Keeps a record for your application.


ps: we are practiced at making consultation work on the web. See here.