Getting Approval for Your Project
While each business or project is unique, and business owners need to gear their communications strategies to their particular circumstances, goals, and budget, the following ten rules have been developed by PR Projects for obtaining approval for controversial projects.
Please keep in mind that this is not a ‘quick fix’ for your challenges. These tactics take time. Depending upon the complexity of your project and messaging, you may require several years of work to lay a foundation that will maximize your chances of succeeding.
Get Approval for Your Development Project:
- Use every tool at your disposal to get approval for your project: Address all the angles to garner approval (tap into diverse groups of messengers, develop memorable messages and innovative strategies, prepare for surprises and crises, make sure communication is two way.)
- Listen: Use effective, affordable research to gather information. You will learn a lot about what you need to communicate if you listen first.
- Prepare: Don’t think that everyone is going to play fair. They won’t, and you need to be ready to defend your position and communicate with those who are most likely to support you.
- Invest where it counts: The fight is usually not over the technology, the money, or the actual project – the fight is usually in the arena of public opinion.
- Develop messages that resonate: Craft an emotional appeal, which works more effectively than straight facts alone
- Communicate, communicate, communicate: Don’t let others hijack your messages. Become the authority on your project.
- Utilize alternative media: Don’t depend on traditional media outlets; respond to the public where they’re talking – and listening.
- Ask for help: Reach likely supporters and turn them into valuable endorsers of your project. One-on-one briefings are effective for reaching influencers. Influencers can include community leaders, business leaders, and elected officials.
- Make a memorable impression: Memorable moments, timed well, can be very effective.
- Remember “The 51% Rule”: Not everyone needs to love your project; focus on garnering enough decision makers’ votes to obtain approval for your project.
The Public Hearing as Theatre
When it comes time to plan your appearance at a public hearing, be sure to plan out your performance. Each part of your approach will be evaluated on the optics. If you need specific strategies and help planning your strategies to maximize your success, please give us a call.
Thanks to James E. Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, CCEP for naming “The 51% Rule.”