According to US wealth magazine Forbes, ‘getting engaged with your community’ is one of its Top Ten Tips for improving a company’s reputation. Not only that, but improving a company’s reputation with the public is often the gateway to financial growth. Reputation and corporate success are linked.
In a world where Localism is the war cry from communities with an unprecedented awareness of their role in the planning and development process, organisations need to make sure their reputations are more solid and unshakeable than ever before. Reputation and development proposals are linked too.
Corporate reputations are influenced by the way in which a planning application is sought; and it can go either way. The traditional values of honesty and integrity can go a long way towards winning the respect of a local community hostile to development proposals. If they think you are honest the chances of overcoming their concerns are considerably enhanced. If they don’t…
At the heart of public and community engagement is reputation enhancement and reputation protection. It’s not a choice, it’s a fact. The choice is whether or not to manage it.
Engagement that isn’t genuinely two-way will damage the reputation. Conversely, bringing stakeholders into the process allows a collaborative approach that can elevate the reputation of a development and developers, leading it to be warmly embraced. We’ve seen this approach work many times and most recently on an infrastructure project in Cumbria. A once hostile local community now works collaboratively with the client to find solutions for community issues.
But a good reputation has to be earned – through hard work on the ground communicating with local communities, investment in local projects and engaging with influencers and stakeholders. The right messaging, at the right time and through the right channel, is the key to achieving not only a good, but a great reputation.
And that’s one of our Top Ten Tips.