Community relations involve establishing a two-way rapport with the community, raising and maintaining the organization's public profile and ensuring broad public input into the decision-making process to build buy-in and support for decisions made.
Community relations involve establishing a two-way rapport with the community, raising and maintaining the organization´s public profile so as to ensure broad public input into the decision-making process in order to build buy-in and support with decisions made.
Unless your community relations objective is to remain unknown, which is not recommended, the first order of business is to raise and control your own community profile. This is important for two reasons:
If you do not control your own reputation, you are leaving it up to someone else to do it for you, or let people in the community do it for themselves. In both cases you run the risk of someone misinterpreting your organization, or worse still painting a negative picture of your organization. This will just make it more difficult for you to achieve your community relations objectives in the future.
Increasing the community's awareness of your organization helps you address point number one, but also raises your profile in the community so that when you have something to say, people will listen.
Ideally, community relations should be ongoing. The longer the process lasts, the greater the opportunity to form a constructive relationship with your community and the more your ongoing efforts will be successful. A solid community relations plan, whether it be an ongoing initiative, or a one-off project involves the following five steps:
Quick Community Audit
Take our 5-minute quick self-assessment to see how your organization fairs when it comes to managing your Community Relationship.
Full Relationship Audit
To get a total picture of how your organization fairs in terms of all 6 relationships, we recommend you take our full assessment.
You will need approximately 15-30 minutes to go through the assessment.