Developers and Builders: How do You Communicate Changes and Developments to the Community?
You’re a developer or builder working on a substantial private project. What are the best ways to communicate your message to affected communities, and listen to the people whose lives are disrupted during the project?
No News is Bad News
When it comes to economy-shaping, life-altering construction projects, nothing is worse than silence. Residents can’t and shouldn’t tolerate a lack of information. Information vacuums breed rumors, which grow frustration rather than ease it.
These guys are ticked off that they aren't getting information about your project. Well, one of them is mad. The other two are fabulous.
Forums for Feedback
Another problem that frustrates residents is when there aren’t clear channels for offering developers and builders their honest feedback. People want to have a voice, and they’ll use it whether there are appropriate opportunities or not.
There are many ways that project leaders can leverage digital communication to address these issues.
Case in point: The I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project in Orlando has impacted most of us who live and work here. It’s got a catchy name, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s a royal hassle to drive on I-4 at certain times of day. Other routes are more crowded now, too, since drivers are trying to avoid Orlando’s main thoroughfare.
Rather than plow into the project with heads down and blinders on, the Department of Transportation has facilitated a website, social media accounts and text alerts that help residents stay updated about road construction, traffic, alternate routes, commuting tips and more. There’s also a clearly-marked feedback form.
A full-blown website is one option for managing communication about a project. What are some of the others?
Small Marketing Budget
Cultivate Project Advocates Through Email
Be diligent about collecting the email addresses of those who have an interest in your project. They have the potential to be influencers in their communities, so fully educate them on your project with a drip email campaign. Armed with correct information, they can help you spread key information.
Medium-Sized Marketing Budget
Interact by Establishing a Landing Page
A landing page is a simplified website. It’s just one page, which is enough space to convey messages and engage your audience through a sign-up form. You can collect email addresses to feed your drip campaign, and offer residents links to social media channels if you’ve created them.
Larger Marketing Budget
Canvas Neighborhoods With Address-Linked Web Ads
New web technology allows you to reach residents in specific neighborhoods, even on specific streets, with your digital banner ads and pre-roll ads by linking their physical addresses with their IP addresses. All devices in each home will display your messages. These ads can take people to a landing page, which is your main communication platform and, in turn, allows you to collect email addresses for a drip campaign. The Citrus Bowl renovation, which significantly disrupted the surrounding neighborhood, would have benefitted from this technology.