Public outreach/external affairs (PO/EA) is critical to any project’s success by supporting regulatory requirements, providing effective communications, and building relationships with stakeholders. In response to changing social and technological norms, customers’ expectations for transparency, communication, and access to information have risen. Communities and interest groups can organize, share information, and express opinions quickly and effectively through social media. Public opposition remains a major risk to the approval and construction of infrastructure projects such as electric transmission lines and substations.
By providing the public with the opportunity to provide input, a project can identify risks and challenges early in the process and develop mitigation tactics to address public concerns. Additionally, providing consistent communications helps to build and maintain productive relationships with stakeholders. Public outreach should continue through the life cycle of a project. This helps to reduce risk to the project’s execution, schedule, and budget, and reinforce the utility’s reputation as a considerate neighbor and community partner.
A comprehensive community relations plan providing for open lines of communication with all affected stakeholders is essential to the success of the project.
Download a copy of our public outreach services sheet.