Public Engagement During COVID-19 – The Virtual Alternatives
With the expertise of our Community Engagement Team, we have the ability to ensure our clients have alternatives to in-person engagement events that still meet the needs and timing of their projects.
What We Do
We believe community engagement plays a key role in creating great places to live, work and play. The integration of public, stakeholder and Indigenous perspectives and voices into decisions being made supports responsible community growth and renewal.
ISL has been providing public, stakeholder, and Indigenous engagement services since 2004. Our team of trusted professionals is committed to improving our clients’ strategic outcomes with responsive, innovative engagement solutions.
We start by developing a careful understanding of the project context and factors that will be central to decision-maker, stakeholder and public discussions of the project. We use this analysis to provide project stakeholders and the public clear communication and opportunities for sharing meaningful and informed feedback with the project team.
Generating New Ideas.
Solving Big Problems.
Why Engagement is Important to ISL
OUR PRACTICE IS CHARACTERIZED BY BALANCING MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES, CONSIDERING VALUES, ENVISIONING ALTERNATIVES AND DEFINING SOLUTIONS.
For ISL, cooperation and teamwork—whether it is with client groups, other firms, or the public—is an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to making our
communities great places to live.
As an interdisciplinary firm that offers a full range of services in planning, transportation, water and wastewater, municipal and structural engineering, and landscape architectures, our community engagement professionals are able to integrate technical expertise with community engagement best practices to ensure a successful project for both our clients and the local community.
We collaborate with our clients to create customized and effective community engagement plans that directly contribute to project deliverables. Project outcomes combine technical expertise and the lived experience of the community to ensure stakeholders and the public are involved throughout the entire project process.
This helps build trust between our clients and the community and develop an understanding for our clients’ initiatives.
Ensuring communications content, materials and channel distribution is consistent with the engagement vision and objectives. We incorporate stakeholder and environmental scans into the communications plans and materials we develop in support of our clients’ engagement processes. We monitor communication metrics and tone to proactively ensure that project and engagement communication stays relevant and meets evolving client and participants needs.
We build environments to empower participants and equip them to participate in constructive twoway- dialogue. We brief staff on the procedures, objectives, and key messaging for each stage of engagement, and we address any staff questions or uncertainties prior to events taking place. By incorporating the needs of both participants and staff, we maximize the potential for successful implementation.
We work with clients to create digital and traditional awareness tools to ensure that communities and stakeholders know the project is happening and how to get involved, and where to find more information.
Data Analysis and Evidenced-Based Reporting
We use in-house tracking, coding and thematic analysis to identify key themes and develop documents that summarize key findings, level of engagement, how input was considered, next steps, and verbatim feedback.
Tools and Techniques
At ISL, we offer a variety of community engagement techniques to suit project needs. We design our techniques to gather input that will inform project outcomes, enhance them with creative and fun activities, and create an environment where participants leave with a desire to continue following the progress of the project.
Walking and Bus Tours
These tours are an exciting and tangible way to explore an area with community members to see opportunities and concerns in-place in real time. Exploring the project space in-person can inspires unique perspectives
Situated at local gathering places or community events, this convenient technique reaches busy stakeholders where they already are. Pop-ups reach a larger diversity of stakeholders as locations can strategically target audience groups.
Set-up within a project study area or on a specific site, idea boards are used to share information and collect feedback. They provide an additional method of sharing information and allow residents and passersby to review and reflect on ideas.
Fast-paced and solutions-focused, hackathons bring groups of people with varying levels of lived and professional expertise together to solve challenge statements related to the project objectives.
Targeted, invite-only workshops help explore unique perspectives on topics. Key stakeholders, invited to participate in these workshops, share their experience and have the opportunity to learn from each other.
Coffee House Conversations
Bringing together the local community and project team, coffee house conversations held in a local café are an informal technique that aids in creating a more approachable environment for your audience group.
Online Input Tools
Online tools allow stakeholders to review information, share ideas and concerns, and prioritize or rank values and options. ISL provides both implementation and support of digital feedback tools.
A storefront is a staffed semi-permanent project exhibition space, located at central, relevant location. Storefronts provide an opportunity to view key project information and offer a chance to speak directly with project team members
ISL can utilize in-house expertise to develop a unique interactive mapping tool. This tool allows participants to geographically locate an area of concern and annotate their thoughts within the tool using text boxes.
The Crowchild Trail Study was recognized with a 2018 International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Award of Excellence in Community Relations and an Award of Merit in Issues Management and Crisis Communication.
It was also recognized as the Project of the Year by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) for Extending the Practice through Creativity, Collaboration and Innovation in the Field.