Writing a community engagement strategy doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We break down the basic structure you need to get started.
Knowing your purpose when writing a community engagement strategy
Your community engagement strategy sets out your approach to community engagement. This central document may be organisation-wide or project-specific. Some organisations additionally have a Community Engagement Framework which gives an overview of the organisation-wide approach to community engagement. Your strategy is then the detailed execution guided by that framework.
Regardless, there are some common requirements when writing an effective community engagement strategy and here we outline the various sections you need.
(You will also need to add any project-specific headings and sections)
Structure of a Community Engagement Strategy
Use these headings to kick start your strategy writing
- Organisation / Project Overview
- Analysis of the business case – is it fit for consultation
- Objective of Engagement
- Audience – community definition (with primary, secondary and tertiary sub-groups) and potentially also with stakeholder influence or segmentation
- Project team
- Risk matrix
- Implementation / Action Plan (maybe a separate document)
- Project timeline with key engagement points marked
- Communication Plan (maybe a separate document)
- Review / Evaluation
- Next steps
One of the most important but crucial parts to include when writing your community engagement strategy is being clear on how you are going to resource it. Community Engagement can be resource-heavy so you need to choose the right team and tools to support you.