Communication Strategy and Tools During Environmental and Permitting Process

The Situation:

A $5 billion mining project needed to ensure it received its environmental approval from the provincial and federal governments.  Our analysis identified the following risks:

  • Community perception that the project was facing insurmountable environmental challenges.
  • Opposition galvanizing over concerns expressed by the public.
  • Communities and organizations become alienated over the lack of progress on jobs, skills training and contracting.

The Ask:

PR Associates was asked to develop and execute a long-term communications plan to engage with all stakeholders – local communities, indigenous groups, government, NGOs and industry – in support of its EA application process.

The main goal was to positively influence target audience perceptions by providing scientific and fact-based information in easy to understand way.

The Solution:

  • We began the project by designing and executing a statistically valid perception audit used to understand stakeholders’ level of acceptance and perceptions of the project.
  • We then led a stakeholder mapping exercise with key senior member of the Project team to further understand stakeholders.
  • Using the perception audit and stakeholder mapping results, we created a communication strategy which included specific targeted audiences, and all areas of strategic communications: Aboriginal relations, government relations, community relations, issues management, media relations, social media, online and digital communications, crisis communications planning, and advertising.

The Outcome:

  • Upon application for an environmental certificate from both the federal and provincial governments, a perception audit indicated the project had an 84% approval rating from the stakeholders.
  • The survey indicated the stakeholders understood the engineering and environmental work that was completed and felt comfortable with the results.
  • The project was awarded Federal and Provincial environmental approval without significant timeline delays.

PR Associates has offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa.

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