For an organisation to work effectively with a particular community, it must have carefully developed consultation and communication strategy. This will ensure increased understanding of community needs and aspirations, effective communications and feedback, identification of the key influencers within that community, possible objections or antagonists towards the organisation or the projects it seeks to implement and possible protagonists who will provide support and access.
Too often projects get bogged down in conflicts that could have been avoided - or at least managed - had proper consultation and effective communication being undertaken before and during implementation of the project. The aim should be to ensure effective communication and participation that leads to outcomes that satisfy the majority of stakeholders.
Balfour Consulting has received both national and international recognition for its community consultation skills and activities, working with private and public sector organisations to implement projects within communities. Mary Balfour is also a member of the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).