We have a long standing history leading some of Nashville’s most recognized community engagement initiatives; specifically we’ve led programs with a focus of reaching a wide swath of community members, many of whom are often left out of important decision making conversations.
It is our goal to go beyond traditional methods of communication to reach each layer of the community stakeholders - from grassroots to grasstops. This often means that we start with two guiding principles: using past and existing context to determine short term “wins” that help us build immediate trust, and set an expectation that we will work towards a best outcome over the best industry practice or theory.
The outcome of our work is to encourage and increase community participation, which is such a critical component to ensuring the success of any public or community driven process. In particular, multiple and varied - sometimes dissenting - voices being a part of a campaign can only ensure that we have listened to, asked, and answered as many questions or concerns as possible. We don't run from an audience because they are not the popular opinion or familiar to us. Instead, our trained mediator and community engagement team works to educate the community to make decisions with power, develop short term outcomes that respond to real-time concerns, and ensure culturally sensitive plans and campaigns.
Our comprehensive community engagement strategy creates a pathway of access to grasstops information while connecting with a variety of people through grassroots efforts. From community meetings to walking tours, coalition building to neighborhood art projects, and storytelling podcasts to focus groups, our team develops a process that is equitable and accessible for the entire community.
Step 1: Set engagement objectives, boundaries, and guiding principles
Step 2: Identify and engage stakeholders
Step 3: Determine level of project impact
Step 4: Select appropriate engagement methods
Step 5: Draft community engagement plan and seek feedback