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Public Engagement

Public Outreach: Why it Matters

Krystal Paisley

March 5, 2019

Public outreach is a relatively broad term. It can be performed by a community, an organization, a company, or others to connect, inform, and get feedback from the local community and/or customers. Think of it as a more in-depth and well-informed marketing campaign to a targeted audience.


The components of a public outreach campaign vary. Face-to-face engagements with residents, handouts at community events, websites, surveys, billboards, advertisements, and newspaper articles can all serve as various elements of a public outreach campaign. Really, the components of a campaign depend on your project and your audience.

Why a Public Outreach Campaign

Talking about the audience brings me to my next point: why should you consider a public outreach campaign?


First, let me ask you, “Why not?” Public outreach is a beneficial component to any project. Regardless of your community project, you will impact residents and customers. Improving a roadway? You’re changing the way daily commuters operate. Updating community facilities? Guess what, your customers are the public, and they will want to provide input.


By including a public outreach component to your project, you are directly engaging and informing the community. Not only does this serve as a “heads up” to the project, but it also gives the community a voice. Make a point of contact with residents and create a channel for feedback. Residents will not only have a voice, but they can also help shape the project and identify issues you may not have previously considered.


While a public outreach campaign does add an extra step, it can lead to less of a headache in the end.

No Two Campaigns are Created Equally

Public outreach campaigns are as unique as the community they involve. These campaigns are far from “one size fits all.” You must consider the community, how citizens interact, what type of outreach is needed, the project itself, and so much more. Most importantly, you must understand your residents and go to them. Don’t expect residents to come to you.


Some components of an outreach campaign can include:


  • Informational website
  • Online surveys
  • Public meetings
  • Community involvement
  • Billboards and banners
  • Brochures
  • FAQ handouts
  • Direct mailings
  • Door hangers
  • Promotional items
  • Door-to-door engagement
  • Branding
  • Dedicated phone number
  • Social media
  • TV/radio interviews
  • Press releases


…and the list goes on and on. Often times, a public outreach campaign includes a mix of all of the above. The key to success is engaging a variety of residents to get a full view of the community. While it may be assumed that not every single person can be engaged, a defined strategy to make the most of your time and efforts can yield amazing results.


Use a public outreach campaign to inform, educate, and get buy-in for your next project to make it a success.

Let's Engage Your Community

Whether you’ve already started a project or you’re thinking about the next initiative, ms consultants can develop the right public outreach campaign for you. Our market research, brand strategy, and public outreach experts will define the right campaign for you. The team also works with the firm’s engineers, architects, and planners to understand the project itself from ideation through implementation. When we say we’re a comprehensive firm, we really mean it.


Not sure where to start? Contact Krystal Paisley at to talk about how we can help with your next initiative.