Engaging Stakeholders and preparing Communication Strategy for ICZM
The objective of this task is to ensure full engagement of stakeholders and the public in the ICZM Process and its implementation.
Time and resources must be allowed for the process of consultation either formally or informally to ensure that stakeholders and the wider public in the coastal area are not just aware of the plan, strategy or programme and its importance, but are also engaged in the process of its preparation. Ultimately the success of the implementation will rely on the key audiences being inspired by the process and its objectives.
Based on the stakeholder analysis, a Communication Strategy, defining stakeholder engagement, will be drafted at this stage. Communication Strategy should contain the following:
- Communication objective: Communications should support the Vision and Objectives of the ICZM strategy, plan or programme.
- Key message and the “identity” of the strategy, plan or programme: ICZM and other acronyms are not recognised or relevant to the non-technical audience, the technical nature of the Process can be a barrier to effective communication. The Key Message should be positive, simple and widely accepted (see Setting the Vision).
- A professional branding and identity specification will ensure consistency of presentation across media and the web, throughout the Process and strengthen the wider recognition of the strategy, plan or programme.
- Identification of key audiences: This should follow from the stakeholder analysis, but should include a brief description of what each group should know about the strategy, plan or programme; the reaction or “result” from each group (e.g. raise awareness, become involved, change entrenched attitudes, give political support etc.); and the appropriate media. Key individuals may also be identified who may become “ambassadors” for the strategy, plan or programme. The audiences will also be divided between external (i.e. local communities, government agencies, NGOs, business, media, opinion formers, etc.), and internal (partners, technical staff, external consultants, etc.).
- Communication and promotion mix: how the message is conveyed. To the external audience this will include: press and TV, online, print, events and conferences. Internally this will include meetings, printed media and electronic media. Training in communication may be required. Innovative methods of communication and visualisation should be considered.
- Measurable targets should be set where possible (e.g. number and frequency of press releases, printed material, number and type of meetings, etc.) along with measures of effectiveness (e.g. hits on web-site, attendance at meetings, etc).
- Budget: Define what funds are required within the programme and what external support can be offered by partners (for example web hosting and meeting venues).