Creating Social Licence
Today, social licence is everything.
Whether you’re planning a large-scale infrastructure project or implementing a policy change, community and stakeholder expectations for engagement have never been higher. Genuine and collaborative engagement with community and stakeholders is critical to navigating issues and social licence.
We work in a partnership with you, to increase community understanding and trust in projects and to manage delivery risk. We achieve this by:
- Using research expertise to provide evidence of wider community views. Our successful community engagement strategies are informed by data-based research on community opinion.
- Covering all bases during your engagement. Our integrated offer combines community engagement tools with communications outreach and community research techniques – to enable you to reach engaged audiences as well as the wider majority whose sentiment can be harder to gauge.
- Using good data to improve problem solving. Our approaches provide a robust exploration of proposed policy shifts or project changes that emerge during community engagement, and provides insights into:
- how far does this community issue really extend?
- how strongly is it felt?
- how do the results of our community engagement fit with the needs of the wider public?
- are we on track?
- Tracking your project’s social licence. Building social licence requires a combination of:
- communications activity to capture interest;
- engagement activity to lift ownership; and
- research to regularly test your position.
This means we monitor project legitimacy, credibility and community acceptance and approval.
Communications and engagement for both large and small projects
Engagement with community and stakeholders is a pivotal part of successful infrastructure project delivery.
From business case to construction, from policy changes to upgrading services – stakeholder and community engagement can:
- minimise impacts;
- improve project understanding; and
- identify potential cost and timeline efficiencies.
The methodologies we use depend on the challenge at hand.
We will work with you to develop a bespoke approach, to collaborate with communities and stakeholders. We know that often it is the basics that really matter – the ability to work with people in an honest and practical way to get outcomes.
SEC Newgate Engage understands the statutory requirements that projects need to meet as part of the approvals process.
We specialise in:
- intelligence gathering on community issues;
- developing and delivering communication and engagement strategies;
- integrating with multidisciplinary teams working on project approvals;
- stakeholder mapping and database management
- on-the-ground engagement;
- complaint and enquiry management;
- issues and crisis management;
- evaluation of engagement activities; and
- peer reviews of engagement strategy.
Deliberative discussions are a practical, efficient and effective way to engage with people on complex and sensitive issues.
When you need to know what your audience wants after all the information is accessible and considered, this engagement can range from a single day to several days of learning, discussion and thinking.
SEC Newgate Engage will work with you to design deliberative discussions that deep dive into issues, enabling you to understand the views and perspectives of stakeholders, and to progress those views by:
- building trust and effective relationships;
- building participant information and knowledge; and
- having constructive dialogue.
SEC Newgate specialises in:
- delivering deliberative sessions face-to-face, or online, or a hybrid approach to reach stakeholders;
- ensuring a broad range of stakeholder groups are represented in the discussions (e.g. residents, businesses, environment groups, influencers etc.);
- allowing deliberation on issues – in which participants can weigh up the information provided to them, to consider the constraints, possibilities and options;
- pre-forum and post-forum thinking and evaluation;
- developing the materials to be covered, with briefings and client presentation coaching, detailed agendas and skilled facilitators; and
- using various tools to engage and capture participants’ views and ideas through individual conversations, small table discussions, Q&As, open forums and a range of dynamic facilitated activities.
SEC Newgate prepares strong tender bids that make a compelling and persuasive case to decision-makers tasked with selecting a project partner.
We specialise in PPP or market-led project tenders in the sectors of:
- infrastructure; and
SEC Newgate understands government outsourcing and contracting priorities. We use this to inform strong tender bids and prepare best practice engagement schedules and advocacy strategies.
Planning and strategic thinking is a pre-requisite when writing high-quality tender documents for government or the private sector.
Our areas of expertise include:
- intelligence gathering;
- identification and management of issues and risks;
- government relations advice and support;
- stakeholder mapping, engagement and education campaigns;
- development of third-party supports
- preparation of tender content, communication, and engagement plans;
- peer review of tender responses; and
- internal communications.
Online Engagement Solutions
SEC Newgate identifies and implements cutting edge online solutions that enhance your engagement program and reflect the needs of engagement participants.
Online engagement tools provide a practical alternative for large groups and geographically dispersed communities.
This enables you to reach a wider community audience, as well as keep interested stakeholders up to date 24/7.
Solutions include virtual rooms, online forums and workshops, online mapping and interactive websites, social media and more.
Whether you need to provide the community with a quick snapshot update, or you’re engaging on topics that need deep thought and time to ponder, SEC Newgate’s online engagement solutions will help you achieve a positive outcome.
SEC Newgate specialises in:
- understanding the various online solutions available to expand engagement and enhance participation;
- providing information in a format that best suits the participants;
- improving accessibility for participants who are out of area, interstate or overseas;
- designing intuitive user experiences to maximise engagement;
- encouraging feedback on project issues;
- sharing comments and views between participants;
- delivering events with online tools to facilitate open discussions such as quick polls, sorting and prioritising tools, tools to explore imagery and videos, online mapping and fast-paced live chat sessions; and
- evaluating and reporting on the level of engagement with quantitative and qualitative measures.
Providing In-House Engagement Assistance
Smooth project delivery requires coordination and collaboration that is underpinned by trusted client relationships.
By embedding an engagement specialist in-house, SEC Newgate is able to ensure trusted advice is always readily available to you, while forging strong working relationships with you and your other advisers.
SEC Newgate Engage team members have extensive experience joining project teams as in-house advisers and engagement specialists, helping to manage some of Australia’s most complex and challenging projects.
The knowledge that there will be consistent quality for community and stakeholder engagement ensures peace of mind for your project team. Seamless inclusion into the team builds trust and cultivates camaraderie and collaboration.
Our people work within different organisations to:
- develop communications strategies and material, including communications plans and collateral such as media holding statements, risk insights, fact sheets and ministerial briefing packs;
- provide strategic advice and support to executives and internal staff;
- engage directly with stakeholders and the community on behalf of clients; and
- assist with place management, including preparing place management strategies, working with local stakeholders, preparing, reviewing and distributing community information and attending meetings for oversight of upcoming work and potential community impact.
Engaging Regional Communities
SEC Newgate has deep insights into regional communities. Our appreciation of stakeholders, communities and industry in regional and rural areas stems from our collective personal and professional experience in these areas.
Many members of our team were raised in rural and regional Australia, while others have gained experience through previous careers as ministerial advisers and departmental officers.
While our offices are in the major capitals, our work regularly takes us into regional and rural Australia.
SEC Newgate teams have undertaken extensive regional community engagement and research, often being relocated to regional communities for extended periods of time including in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT.
Our work in designing and delivering high quality engagement for our clients in regional NSW has been recognised at a national level by IAP2 in their annual awards.
Team Training to Build Engagement Skills
Communicating with stakeholders and the community continues throughout a project lifecycle and providing your team with the right skills to work with stakeholders is important.
Team building events have long been considered an important way to focus on the importance of teamwork. Done well, team building can help people work better together by understanding, valuing and developing the strengths of the people in your team.
SEC Newgate Engage can provide your staff with the tools they need for your next project. With our team’s broad range of experience, we can deliver relevant training that is tailored to your needs. This includes organisations moving through times of change, including welcoming new staff, or assessing and considering new ways of working to improve business outcomes. Revisiting the importance of communication and collaboration reminds people of how fundamental teamwork is to an organisation’s success.
SEC Newgate offers bespoke training modules in:
- getting to know your team;
- building an environment of collaboration and trust;
- community and stakeholder engagement;
- managing difficult conversations;
- project induction packs; and
- Engagement information capture and database management.
Our team members are accredited by the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2)