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Stakeholder and Community Engagement

With questions around the development of public infrastructure and large-scale construction projects increasingly fraught, for reasons spanning the environmental, the social and the political, engaging with relevant stakeholders to help secure buy-in has never been more vital.


Whether the objective is to garner consultation responses, amass public backing for an initiative, or prompt legislative or regulatory changes, our communication methodology transcends conventional boundaries. At Grayling, we recognise that thriving campaigns extend beyond just public policy audiences; they engage a plethora of stakeholders through a strategic mix of tactics and channels to educate, build advocacy and, ultimately, deliver beneficial outcomes for business and community alike.


Grayling Engage, our dedicated team specialising in stakeholder, community, and digital engagement, serves as the cornerstone of this approach. Operating across regions and sectors, we merge our proficiency in engagement and consultation with the nuanced insights of local markets. Our experience spans multiple industries, including Government, property and development, transport and infrastructure, health, and the third sector.


Our principal responsibility is to aid clients in identifying key stakeholders, and equipping them with the messaging, content and tools required to effectively engage them. We have crafted a campaign strategy that works to engage political and community stakeholders, the media, and the public. Our innovative digital tools and platforms work to encourage a more diverse assortment of respondents and viewpoints, ensuring that all stakeholders can feel seen, heard and represented, and delivering a diversity of views which is often absent from more traditional stakeholder engagement methodologies.


Our proprietary platform, EngageOnline, provides unrivalled adaptability, customising each campaign to cater to your unique needs. We design tailored digital hubs that articulate a persuasive case for your project using podcasts, animations, infographics and a range of other content formats to tell the story of your project, and its benefits, in the most compelling and audience-appropriate manner possible. We have redefined online engagement through live chats, virtual drop-ins, and exhibitions, ensuring total accessibility.


With a focus on interactivity and audience engagement, our online events platform is designed to mimic the appeal of physical events but with an increased focus on accessibility and participation – our platform is VR compatible, meaning we can bring to life proposed developments in a way that is truly immersive, and deliver a more educative experienced to a wide range of stakeholders, whether in-person or remotely.


For consultation and engagement to be effective, the underlying data must be rapidly collected, comprehended, and evaluated. Thanks to our comprehensive CRM system we are able to capture user data and feedback across a range of different touchpoints in seamless, streamlined fashion, meaning we can have a close and accurate impression of how communications is landing and adapt strategies in realtime in response.


We also recognise that no campaign exists in isolation. It is vital to comprehend the context surrounding the campaign, consultation, or engagement, including the apprehensions of local residents, key stakeholder motivators, and the broader news agenda. To stay informed and ensure the relevance of our messaging and engagement, we fuse unmatched on-the-ground knowledge with advanced online listening tools.


In essence, Grayling’s approach to stakeholder and community engagement is flexible, innovative, and grounded in a profound understanding of our clients and their audiences. By strategically combining traditional consultation methods, digital engagement, and advanced analytics, we don’t just foster interaction but also drive the narrative, driving engagement, support and belief in your project and helping create a receptive environment amongst the people that matter. 

Some of our clients

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About EngageOnline, a bespoke online home for your project

Successful consultation has always been about creating conversations – genuine dialogue. Traditionally, this has happened in town halls, libraries and other public spaces, but the COVID-19 pandemic meant this was no longer possible. The ability to continue to involve local communities in these discussions is essential to ensuring the projects that are key to the country’s recovery are not stalled – infrastructure, housing, retail, energy and health.

We have designed our EngageOnline offer to provide the tools needed to comply with the consultation requirements for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. At the same time, it also has the flexibility to meet the needs of a wide range of other projects from planning applications for housing developments, to change programmes being run by the NHS.


Why EngageOnline?

EngageOnline is fully customisable, user-friendly and offers complete flexibility – designed to be as effective for ‘digital only’ consultations as it is for ‘blended’ programmes including both face-to-face and digital techniques. By creating a bespoke virtual ‘hub’ for each project, EngageOnline allows you to utilise tools including podcasts, animations and infographics, while facilitating meaningful conversations through virtual exhibitions complete with live chat, virtual drop-ins and meet-the-team sessions.

We’ve moved the conversation online. Visit our EngageOnline website or contact engage@stggrayling.wpengine.com to find out more.

Discover the Future of Engagement

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we engage. Society as a whole has switched to using technology at a greater rate than ever before, while businesses, politicians and stakeholders have been forced to rethink their approaches to engagement.

The impact this has had on consultation and engagement practices is highlighted in new report The Future of Engagement. Through UK-wide research with the general public and industry professionals, we explored how the pandemic changed public decision making, and what this could mean for the future.

Download the report here – and then get in touch with us to find out how we can help you develop your stakeholder engagement practices to reflect these new realities.