Public Involvement Handbooks

We’ve collected a variety of Public Involvement Handbooks and public consultation plans to help PR and  public communications managers who need to use public consultation best practices in interacting with government and the public. Lots more public consultation resources at Public Involvement Blogs and Public Participation Tips & Strategies.

Note some documents are lengthy pdf  format and may require patience while downloading and the free Adobe Reader for viewing. Sites with a W are PR Coach “winners.”

A Handbook for Outreach: US Fish & Wildlife Service
An excellent quick-reference guide to outreach planning, tactics and techniques, outreach tools and partnerships. An excellent resource!  W

Bureau of Land Management 2007 Collaboration Desk Guide
This BLM guide shares collaboration strategies and tactics in building consensus on public land use issues.

EPA Superfund Community Involvement Handbook
Lengthy Environmental Protection Agency handbook covers risk communication, planning, communications, dealing with the media, and other EPA community involvement requirements. If environmental public involvement is your thing, read on.

Florida Department of Transportation Public Involvement Handbook
Comprehensive guide to public engagement on transportation planning in Florida. See chapter 4 on “How to involve people” and the Appendix for really practical outreach tools and techniques.

Getting in Step: Engaging and involving stakeholders in your watershed
This extensive EPA publication provides useful tips on stakeholder involvement, specifically when watersheds are the issue. Look for practical tips on planning, stakeholder identification, and management, outreach and communication tools.  W

Health Canada Policy Toolkit for Public Decision Making
Very useful, practical guide and tools for public involvement with research, checklists, techniques, case studies and evaluation suggestions. Worth reviewing.  W

Improving Stakeholder Relationships: Public Involvement and the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan: A Guide for Site Managers
One of the most comprehensive guides to public involvement from the Canadian federal government. Strong theory and loaded with practical tips for any situation, especially contaminated sites.   W

Involving Edmonton – A Public Involvement Initiative
One of the best guides to local municipal government public involvement we’ve seen. 80-page PDF document is loaded with tips, techniques, templates and tools to guide you in public engagement best practices. Really worth reviewing.  W

Leader’s Guide to Environmental Public Involvement
US Army leader guide features strategies on strategic planning, identifying stakeholders, effective public involvement methods, measuring success and risk communications.

North Saanich Public Involvement Handbook
Thorough local government guide to public involvement, including several helpful lists of passive and interactive consultation methods and tools.

Ohio Department of Transportation – Public Involvement Handbook
ODOT has an extensive manual and guidelines for public participation. Also check out several excellent communication tools and techniques as well as public involvement samples.

Public Consultation Guide: Changing the relationship between government & Canadians
Extensive guide has a wealth of valuable tools, tips, and strategies though it does not cover today’s online consultation needs and tools. W

Public Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen Engagement
This report for the IBM Center for the Business of Government contains a user-friendly review of best public involvement practices. Particularly useful are the face-to-face and online tools as well as innovations in deliberation techniques.

Sites for Our Solid Waste: A Guidebook for Effective Public Involvement
This manual has tips on stakeholder ID, siting, public involvement, communication, clear presentations, and program evaluation.

Superfund Community Involvement Toolkit
Designed for EPA Superfund projects, the toolkit has extensive resources including tips, tools, sample materials, outreach strategies, evaluation methods and loads of other practical advice.  W

The Community Toolbox – Southern Rural Development Center
An excellent resource with 46 chapters and more than 300 sections packed with practical, step-by-step tips for community-building skills. Sections on planning, promoting public interest and involvement and media advocacy are valuable.  W