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Community Engagement Strategies and Techniques 33 identified a number of well-defined planning processes and tools for community engagement. The remainder of this chapter provides implementation steps and a discussion of how to carry them out for planning, informing, and engaging the public regarding aircraft noise issues. Although best practice sources recommend different numbers of steps, the essence of these steps varies little. This section will help airport managers understand, design, develop, and implement a public engagement program that will suit the unique circumstances of their airport and its relationship with its surrounding community. What is in the Implementation Steps Matrix? The Implementation Steps Matrix (Table 4-3) provides a recommended step-by-step implementation framework, from identifying the stakeholders and issues to carrying out public involvement and issue resolution. Public involvement and communications is a cycli- cal process that can be divided into four general steps. This section describes these steps in sequence; however, public involvement may not follow such a straightforward approach. For a public involvement program to be effective, it is necessary to keep the process flexible. The level of detail of the plan will depend on the magnitude and potential impact of the project or plan. Overall public involvement objectives are listed in the first column, followed by specific tasks to achieve. References to the tool kit are identified in the last column. The recommended imple- mentation steps are: · Step One: Establish Preliminary Plan · Step Two: Plan & Conduct Outreach Methods and Message · Step Three: Plan Level and Method of Public Engagement · Step Four: Evaluate Public Involvement Activities How to Use the Implementation Steps Matrix To gain the greatest benefit from the matrix, the following steps may be used: Step 1: Complete the self-assessment questionnaire. · This will provide a baseline or current assessment of the airport's community engagement program. · Using the results, refer to later sections of the Guidebook in Chapter 4 that address the areas(s) identified with the lowest results. Step 2: Review the full matrix and assess where the airport stands in the process. · The Matrix provides four steps, determine what stage of planning is needed to begin: Step One: Establish Preliminary Plan. Step Two: Plan & Conduct Outreach Methods and Message. Step Three: Plan Level and Method of Public Engagement. Step Four: Evaluate Public Involvement Activities. Step 3: Review Objectives and Tasks. · Review each public involvement objective, listed in the first column, followed by specific tasks to achieve shown in the middle column. Step 4: Complete each Task. · Complete each task and document results. Step 5: Reference the Toolkit as needed. · Reference the later portions of this chapter, identified in the last column, and the Toolkit examples, as needed.
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34 Aircraft Noise: A Toolkit for Managing Community Expectations Table 4-3. Implementation steps matrix. Steps Tasks Resources Step One: Establish Preliminary Plan Identify Program Parameters · Define communication program parameters. See Toolkit example There is no one way to conduct public · What is the extent and purpose of the public communications involvement. Therefore generally no two public involvement and communication program? manuals. involvement plans will be the same. Scoping is · What is the airports experience with noise See Chapter 2 Need for a continuous process; expect the plan to information communications? Building Relationships. evolve over time. · What is the past level of public interest? · What is the current relationship with the public? Ensure Department Commitment · Solicit and secure support from senior airport management. See Chapter 1 Success requires a clear commitment from · Clarify airport goals and objectives for the public Introduction Culture senior management supported by clear goals involvement effort. Shift Required. and timelines. · Memorialize management direction and decisions. Verify Regulatory Requirements · Verify regulatory requirements by jurisdiction or See Toolkit example Gain an understanding of any applicable funding source. communications regulatory requirements. · If required, clarify expectations and how they will manuals. impact the public involvement plan. Determine Level Of Public Involvement · Determine the factors that are key to defining the See Toolkit example Definition of the level of public involvement level of public involvement necessary to communicate communications and the role of the community in decision- on noise issues. Example factors may include: manuals. making is critical during preliminary planning. o Degree of anticipated noise change. Interactive public involvement is not always o Sensitivity of the public to noise issues. appropriate for all program elements. To be o Locations of interested public. successful, intentions must be made clear at o When decisions or plans must be completed. the beginning. · Determine if the involvement process will be open to all of the public or only a representative segment of the community. · Determine the level of public involvement and the role of the community: o What needs to be decided? o Define limits of authority over the outcome. o Define what the public can and cannot decide. o Are roundtables, focus groups, or advisory committees desirable? o How will their input be used? Identify the Audience · Identify community interest in noise issues and See Toolkit example Before the first public contact, collect gauge their attitudes toward the airport. communications background data to identify preliminary public · Look at the community as a whole system. Identify manuals and checklist issues. This research will inform the balance of the target audience such as: for communications. your plan and is an effective way to o Direct and indirect stakeholders. anticipating controversial issues. o Interested groups or agencies. o Identify the opposition. o Identify groups traditionally under-represented, such as minority communities. o Network with local leaders. o Consult with the local business community and aircraft operators. o Consult with Metropolitan Planning agencies · Memorialize what is learned. Establish Timeline, Resources, Budget · Determine level of interaction or communication See Toolkit example A successful public involvement and needed to address issues. communications communication program allows for adequate · Select techniques to be used. manuals and checklist lead time, resources, and budget to implement · Determine the location, timing, and function of public for communications. its components. involvement activities. Determine the best method, resources, and · Allow flexibility in the budget and consider: costs for communicating with the public. o Meeting expenses (e.g., advertisement, refreshments, rooms, equipment); o Costs for community data, studies or profiles; o Costs for information dissemination; o Costs for document public input; and o Costs for technical assistants or consultant support.
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Community Engagement Strategies and Techniques 35 Table 4-3. (Continued). Step Two: Plan & Conduct Outreach Methods & Message Establish Communication Mechanisms · Develop a strategic communications plan with clearly See communications Develop communication methods that the local defined goals and objectives. planning checklist community prefers, and "the accepted o Identify preferred communication methods example methods" that will be effective for delivering such as radio, TV, newsletter, newspapers, communications information. web, e-mail, direct mail. manuals. o Advertise through media sources such as radio, TV, and internet. · Develop and use attention-grabbing materials and visuals for newsletters, fact sheets, posters, etc. · Determine in advance the timing of public notices, published ads, and direct mail. Typically two weeks. · Document outreach activities, events, and dates. Define Key Messages To Be Conveyed · Define the key messages based upon airport and See Toolkit example Develop messages for the community that are noise program goals and objectives such as: communications clear, understandable and make the noise o Airport role in the community. manuals and checklist issue relevant to their daily lives. o What the noise compatibility issues are. for communications. o Program process, approach and timeline. o Who is involved and why. o Who makes the decisions. o Who is responsible for what aspects of noise compatibility management. o Status and opportunities of the communications program. o How the program will involve the public and elected officials. o How their input will be factored into the consideration of noise compatibility issues. Define Level Of Information Needed By · Prepare summaries of long, complicated, and highly See the example tools The Community technical documents. provided in Chapters 6 · Develop appropriate supplemental tools to help the through 9 public understand the issues and effects. · Provide access to full-length documents. Refine Target Audience · Refine target audience relevant to project goals and objectives. · Collect ownership data no sooner than 90 days from date of distribution. Refine the Schedule · Reaffirm the location, timing, and function of public involvement activities at all levels. Determine What Technical Or Consultant · Based upon the preliminary plan outlined in Steps 1 Support Is Needed and 2, determine what technical or consultant support is needed for: o Development of communications message, graphic tools, media, and dissemination of the message. o Preparation of technical or graphic documents, brochures, or fact sheets. Provide Information to the Public · Identify and prepare materials that will be See Toolkit example Provide the public with access to accurate, distributed. communications understandable, relevant, and timely · Package the message in formats appropriate to manuals, checklists for information. audiences identified communications, and checklists for meeting preparations and meeting announcements. Track Progress And Revise Plan · Track project and communications progress. · Memorialize plans and decisions. · Revise the plan as needed to address the unforeseen. (continued on next page)