Community Relations: Tips & Tactics

Cranberry Bog Open House

How are your community relations?

Community relations is back in style, helping organizations grow meaningful roots deep into their local communities.

Whether you call it community investment, public participation or community relations, we’ve put together a bunch of tips and resources to inspire you and help you get even better results from your community engagement strategies and programs. C’mon in. This community center is open!

Other PR resources include  Public Consultation and  Do-It-Yourself PR.  And, if you have other resources to share, just send us an emailSites with a  W are PR Coach “winners.”  Note some links are PDF documents, so opening time may require patience.

5 Tips on Establishing a Presence in Your Community
Entrepreneur Magazine offers community relations tips and tactics for small business owners.

10 Commandments of Community Relations
Written for a solid waste disposal facility project, these are ten valuable steps to help promote public and political support for any project.

72% of Americans Want to Work for Companies That Support Charitable Causes
Volunteerism and corporate citizenship are good for recruitment, retention and reputation.

76 Trends Driving Community Involvement
Research report identifies important trends impacting community involvement.

Advertising and Community Relations – Get the Best of Both Worlds
This article focuses on using local sports teams to raise awareness for your brand and improve your ROI on your community relations programs.

Befriend Your Community
A little community involvement helps promote your business while doing good.  The payback? Eight out of ten people say they purchase from a business because they approve of its involvement with the community.

Cause-Related PR Generates Greatest Coverage
Cause-related news outperforms other company news according to study.

Civic Strategies
Interesting resources and site for civic leaders and those who aspire to lead.  Useful for community relations strategists, particularly for the challenge of changing communities.

TypePad Best Blogger

Communicator’s Guide
Federal Communicators Network guide is a useful primer for any communicator.  Rich resources include sources and information to help communicators refine and sharpen their skills.   W

Community Engagement Tools
The Oregon School Board provides a great collection community relations resources that can be applied to many organizations.

Community Involvement Checklist for Brownfield Sites
List of activities to promote opportunities for stakeholders to gain information and provide feedback about their understanding of the implications of  your actions to their community.

Community Relations Plan for the Blue Ridge and Amity Mine sites
This is a superb example of a detailed and professional community relations plan.  A great template.

Community Relations Resource Kit
This 71 page resource kit provides a guide for individuals, community groups and organizations interested in developing positive community relations strategies.  Highlights include a section on planning, best practice case studies and a glossary.  W

Community Relations, With and Without Technology
Coyote Communications offers a dedicated collection of resources regarding community relations geared towards non-profit staff with limited technical knowledge.  W

Consultation Guidelines
Our Scottish Borders produced this valuable set of guidelines on public consultation. Excellent view of consultation methods, tools and a useful monitoring checklist.   W

24-7PressRelease.com – Share Your News with Journa

Conventional Cause Marketing Evolves Via Social Media
78% of consumers believe brands should support causes while 60% say they did not buy a brand from one they consider bad corporate citizens. Six of ten of the highest traffic websites were community-based.  Nuff said.

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative
CSRI works to enhance the effectiveness of CSR. Numerous reports and studies worth reading.   W

Corporate Social Responsibility Toolbox
Mario Vellandi reviews CSR Europe’s toolbox which will help companies and stakeholders be more CSR savvy in Europe.

Designing a Public Relations Plan
NW Regional Educational Library walks through a PR planning process that will help form a PR plan.

Do Well By Doing Good: Support Community Giving With PR and Social Media
Heather Whaling shares an excellent presentation on using PR and social media to strengthen community relations.

Ensuring Effective Community Relations
The United Way has prepared an outline to assist non-profit organizations with  planning and developing an effective community relations strategy.

Ethical Corporation Institute
ECI works with leading companies, NGOs and academics to promote responsible business. Many resources, reports and research of note.

Facilitating Community Involvement: Practical Guidance for Practitioners and Policy Makers
Practical ideas, tips and best practices on how to get the community involved.   W

Good Companies, Better Employees
Research study shows how corporate citizenship can enhance employee morale, motivation, commitment and performance.

Guide to Community Speech Making
Tips for speeches before community groups including scheduling, promotion, picking a topic, organizing and preparing your speech, audiovisuals and conferences.

Here Are 11 Cost-Effective Ways to Build a Positive Corporate Image
A checklist of 11 tools to help improve your company image from Rebecca Hart of The Business Journal.

How Being a Good Neighbor Can Pay Big Dividends
The hardest part is getting started but these tips from Wilson Public Relations can help you do it right.

How to Use Community Relations to Grow Your Business
Tips to help increase your ROI for all your community relations activities. Includes a small list of pros and cons.

Institute of Community Cohesion
ICoCo has numerous CR toolkits including these top ten communications tips.

Landfill Community Relations Programs
This article from Waste Age is an excellent resource for those who need to plan for a contentious project.   W

Mobilizing the Community
OSU shares superb fact sheet on mobilizing community including what’s needed, strategies, mobilization model, barriers and payoff. Outstanding!   W

Neighborhood Meetings
Practical guide to planning and carrying out neighborhood meetings effectively.

New Study Sheds Light on Corporate Philanthropy Strategy
Study shows corporations less likely to give to organizations that directly impact bottom line, instead to use giving programs to improve image and community relations and increase employee loyalty.

Organize To Win – A Grassroots Activist’s Handbook
A detailed guide to help people organize community campaigns.  W

Participatory Action Research: A Menu of Methods
Presentation of useful methods for participatory action programs in a checklist template.

Planning Special Events: Blueprint for Success
Though set up for libraries, this planning guide and checklist will help anyone planning a community event.

Public and Community Relations: An Online Guide for Parks and Recreation
Northern Arizona U provides a useful overview of PR and community relations planning and tactics for parks and recreation organizations.

Real Community Consulting
Rich Millington suggests consultants answer some key questions when helping clients build online communities.

Selling a Leaky Landfill as the World’s Best Practice
In absence of true public participation, PR around Homebush Bay site has focused on vacuous media stunts and photo opportunities.  Brochure by Olympic Coordination Authority falsely describes remediation of site as “world’s best practice.”

Seven Behaviors That Cause Community Relations Programs to Fail
Jim Lukaszewski points to seven common reasons why community relations programs are failing across the US.

Sponsorship and PR
A well planned sponsorship program can be invaluable. Here’s 15 things to do and five not to do for best results.

Standards of Excellence in Corporate Community Involvement
Here’s a look at trends and standards of measurement of corporate community involvement.

Taking the Mystery Out of Community Relations
Create an effective community relations campaign by going back to the basics of Public Relations.

Ten Steps in Building People’s Organizations
Includes integrations, social investigation, groundwork, tentative program, meeting, role playing, mobilization and action, evaluation, reflection and organization.

Top Tips to Community Relations
Easy guide to building an effective community relations strategy, from tips and tactics to planning and principles.   W

Photo credit: Eddie S