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Public Affairs

Millennials demand your message matter

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Millennials demand your message matter

Businesses struggle today in how to deal with the millennial workforce and yet, millennials are forcing the hands of companies to speak up and speak out on high profile environmental issues and on perceived social injustices.Where government fails to act, millennials are demanding their employer or the company's they do business with, step up to the plate to make an impact beyond their bottom line.

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 When do CEOs make their personal views public?

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When do CEOs make their personal views public?

If speaking up results in public backlash, the business leader should be prepared to deal with the issue and work with their PR and legal team to get in front of it. Whether it is holding a news conference, publishing an op ed or posting a Tweet. Words do matter and they should be communicated carefully.

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When the community benefits we all benefit

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When the community benefits we all benefit

When the community benefits we all all benefit.  That is one of the reasons why voters in the City of Detroit passed a community benefit agreement (CBAs) for projects receiving government funds or tax breaks. partner with a local consultant who is familiar with the people, places, personalities and politics of the region. 

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Reverse Mentoring For Professional Growth

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Reverse Mentoring For Professional Growth

We have a lot to learn from each other.  “Another year older, another year wiser,” can often be found on the inside of a birthday cards, but in reality we have the most to learn from those who are younger than us – especially in the creative economy. 

New tools emerge daily to help companies enhance their brand. Some stick around longer than others but knowing which tool can really help companies target their core market. 

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How to Avoid WICKED Problems

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How to Avoid WICKED Problems

Despite the festive aurora of Halloween we are surrounded by wicked problems.  They affect a lot of people and for a company they can disrupt business or even change the industry. To deal with these problems, companies need to be agile and both need to deal with issues quickly and easily before an issue becomes a wicked problem.

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WANTED: A Message That Resonates

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WANTED: A Message That Resonates

Moving your audience to action is about influencing how they think and feel and ultimately, what you want them to do. By understanding the desired outcomes at the start, you’ll be able to develop messages that drive your key audiences to action.

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RELATIONSHIPS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

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RELATIONSHIPS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Public affairs professionals with a solid reputation in the community and one who is familiar with the stakeholders and the issues important to them, can then help develop strategic and meaningful relationships, long before a high profile and often controversial project is announced.  That professional can then create a  community roadmap to help the project team navigate through the minefields of any project.  They will help minimize risk and help anticipate barriers to seeing projects to their completion.

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The community benefits when everyone is engaged

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The community benefits when everyone is engaged

The community benefits when everyone is engaged. From the design stage to the public process in securing permits, in addition to raising capital and targeting potential retailers and other tenants, constant engagement is vital to the success of any high profile project. 

Developing strategic relationships “early-on” helps minimize risk and helps anticipate barriers to seeing projects to their completion. Effective communications is vital to the public’s understanding of the project and the governments involved in helping the project move forward. Therefore, the company or consortium leading the project should be in control of the process and be proactive with their messaging and outreach.

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3 Tips Every Developer Needs To Know Before Announcing A Project

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3 Tips Every Developer Needs To Know Before Announcing A Project

I have worked with developers and commercial real estate firms on high profile projects. In working with them, and their team of consultants, I saw how important it is to engage key stakeholders early in the process of any mix-use development and project that has the potential to impact a community. I have also experienced this as the Communications Director for the City of Detroit and Press Secretary for the Mayor of Detroit. 

From the design stage to the public process in securing permits, in addition to raising capital and targeting potential retailers and other tenants, constant engagement is vital to the success of any project. In addition, developing strategic relationships helps to minimize risk and help anticipate barriers to seeing projects to their completion.  

Here are three simple tips every developer needs to know before announcing any high profile project:

  1. Get to know the key stakeholders who will support and oppose your project. This includes government leaders and community groups. Develop relationships with them long before you announce your project, to build trust, understand their concerns and find support later on – should you need it. 
     
  2. Meet with their leadership in advance to understand their concerns and be ready to respond to them if necessary. This will also help bolster your position during the public process in securing approvals for permits and variances. 
     
  3. Identify a reporter that would be interested in your project to share information and background with so that when you are ready to announce, it will be covered extensively. 

More specifically, here a three action items you should implement now and before you publicly announce your project:

  1. Create a website to gauge and solicit stakeholder input and encourage conversations from project stakeholders. This could help in generating ideas, set priorities and avoid risk to external issues later. It will also help bolster your position before city council in seeking necessary approvals.
     
  2. Directly engaging community groups to develop strategic relationships and support for projects early on in the process. This includes engaging members of city council directly on your vision and the merits of your plans well before you announce anything.
     
  3. Work with the media in educating others about the project.  This includes developing relationships with specific trade publications covering the development and construction industry to share information about the projects you are working on or recently completed.  By building up a portfolio, people will begin to trust you and the work you do in the communities you serve. 

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