community stakeholders engaging in putting together a puzzle

How to draft a sound community engagement plan

Do not underestimate the time that is required in designing and writing a sound community engagement plan which reviews the business case and feeds into your communication and engagement tactics to connect community and drive participation.

A well-rounded strategic engagement plan is an amalgamation of big-picture, stakeholder analysis visionary goals and step-by-step detailed approaches. Contact us for an example of the standard template we use for developing such plans.

There are basic steps to address when writing a community engagement plan for a consultative process:  planning and review;  communications, engaging and reporting. And here, we have listed these in detail:

  • Planning and Review

Detailed planning and business case analysis is the backbone to preparing your communications and engagement plan for any individual project. Understanding and preparing communications around the benefits, opportunities, constraints and risks will lessen push-back during the consultative stage.

The basics to address are  “What are the objectives of this project”, “What level of consultation are we undertaking?” and “Will stakeholders across different levels of influence and interest be encouraged to participate?

This stage is the most important and we recommend to allow 6-8 weeks. This is your control document which feeds into the next stages.

A really important element of this stage, is identifying your stakeholder groups, their level of influence/interest and the best channels to community and engage.

  • Communicating

This is a combination of communications and marketing. The key here is to ensure NOT ONE PERSON that is a recognized stakeholder can turn around and state I NEVER KNEW.

  • Engaging

This is the step wherein you will engage with community stakeholders. While you perform engagement activities, you should also keep evaluating them; by performing regular check-ins, you will be able to identify the parts of community engagement plan which aren’t working and which are yielding high levels of engagement. You get better outcomes when evaluations and engagement work simultaneously.

  • Closing the loop

The engagement stage will conclude with the actions that brought forth good results and those that didn’t. Closing the loop means feeding back the output of the system back into the system. In terms of community engagement, it means to consider the ideas, views, feedbacks or comments that the stakeholders pitched in the ‘Engaging’ stage for implementation in the preparation stage. Closing the loop is very essential as it ensures the stakeholder community that their views are valued which results in making the engagement activities more robust and genuine and hence contributing in deriving interaction and engagement with your projects.

Features of Engagement Hub that can prove instrumental in community engagement action plan:

  • Surveys – This tool allows you to post unlimited number of surveys and feedback forms.
  • Quick Polls– This option makes it easy for you to arrive at a certain decision as you can compare the result of polls.
  • Community Chat– You can have conversations with the entire community in one go or with selected stakeholders, depends on your choice.
  • Interactive Mapping– Using this tool, members can pin feedbacks/ideas and respond to comments on the interactive map. It also gives the option to like and dislike.
  • Ideas & Extended Ideas Wall– This is yet another tool that allows the stakeholders to give ideas and share stories with community members voting up/down or replying.
  • Timeline– This displays the engagement process and other important dates, so that the stakeholders know where they have the chance of getting involved.
  • Video/Picture gallery– Information represented in the pictorial form is more impactful; these two tools allow for sharing of information in picture or video format.

Well, Engagement Hub comprises of many more tools and not just these. All the tools of our platform will help in drafting better community engagement plan. To see the complete list of our tools, visit –  For more on Engagement Hub as a management system

Read more about how simple it is to manage, the benefits, reporting, security and more.

More Articles