Community Engagement Plan Template

Community Engagement Matrix and Plan Template

When you’re starting out writing a community engagement plan, it’s often handy to use a template. As engagement specialists, we’ve prepared hundreds of strategies, plans and reports and assisted clients with many more. Here is our template for a communications and engagement report, starting with a contents list and then a detailed explanation of what you need in each section

Contents of a Community Engagement Plan

Project Overview 

  • Project Snapshot
  • Project People
  • Consultation / Engagement

Project Timeline 

Project Analysis and Evaluation 

  • Business Case Evaluation
  • Project Analysis
  • Stakeholder Identification and Analysis

Communication and Engagement Planning 

  • IAP2 Spectrum
  • Assessing the level of impact
  • Identify your channels and tactics
  • Develop your communications and engagement framework
  • Develop your communications and engagement tactical plan

Planning out your Consultation  

  • Online Engagement Software
  • Project Tools
  • Informative Tools
  • Feedback and Collaborative Tools

Communications and Engagement Reporting 

Our Community Engagement Plan template in more detail:

Project Overview

This introductory section provides top-level information about your project and objectives, who is involved and the objectives and limitations of your consultation/engagement. We use several tables to display the information clearly.

Project Timeline

In the second section of your report, you can use a table or Gantt chart to display the timeline of your project and consultation. Make sure you include a clear description of the activities along the timeline, who is responsible for any particular requirements for each stage.

Project Analysis and Evaluation

This section discusses the business case for the project, any risks that need to be mitigated or addressed and whether there has been enough information prepared such as supporting documents, endorsed plans or strategies to support the business case.

Full project analysis is then required to prepare your consultative process and collateral:

Community Engagement Plan - Example project analysis template

The final part of your analysis and evaluation section is Stakeholder Identification and Analysis where you undertake a thorough desktop review of your stakeholders enabling you to identify:

·       Who needs to be encouraged to participate? (e.g. so you do not just have input from the noisy voices)

·       What do you perceive as their interests, benefits and concerns?

·       How are you going to reach them and encourage them to participate?

·       What methods of engagement should be used

For this you can build a stakeholder matrix that may look something like this:

Engagement Hub - Basic Stakeholder Engagement Matrix Template

For more information on identifying your stakeholders and creating a stakeholder matrix you can read our detailed blogs on these topics:

Communication & Engagement Planning

The IAP2 spectrum provides a guide for community engagement participation objectives, however, this can also be applied to non-public engagement. View a table of the IAP2 spectrum and information on how to interpret it for your project in our Ultimate Guide to Community Engagement.

Once you have decided on your consultation objectives and scope you can assess the level of impact:

Level 1 – High impact on large group of stakeholders

Level 2 – High impact on small group of stakeholders

Level 3 – Lower impact on large group of stakeholders

Level 4 – Lower impact on small group of stakeholders

Next you need to identify your channels and tactics against each level of stakeholder and record all this in your matrix.

The final step in this section is to develop your communications and engagement tactical plan. You are likely best to do this in Microsoft Excel. Here is an example of this:

  Community Engagement Tactical Plan Template

Planning out your consultation

This section is about what tools you are going to use. With Engagement Hub online engagement software you can utilise as many of the 27 information and participation tools as you like on your project and turn these on and off as you need them across the project lifetime.

An online engagement platform is a great tool not only for engagement but also reporting and stakeholder management and can save you valuable time in planning, delivering, reporting on and evaluating your consultation activity. Read our Ultimate Quick Guide to Online Engagement Software for more information.

Communications & Engagement Reporting

The final section in your plan is about reporting. It’s important to consider how and when you will report on your consultation results at the outset and communicate this clearly throughout all your engagement activities. It’s vital for people to trust the process if they can understand how their engagement will inform the outcomes.

As an Engagement Hub customer, you can access our full suite of template plans, reports and matrices. As Engagement Specialists, we support our clients not only with our world-leading software but also with tailored advice on planning and implementing your engagement activity.

To find out more about Engagement Hub tools and features, view our website or our demo site to see the engagement tools in action. Much of the power of the software is behind the scenes, so book a no-obligation virtual demonstration with us

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