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Local Government Communications & Engagement Strategy Training

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Develop a communications and engagement strategy for your project, service or program in 48 hours

Galvanise stakeholder hearts and minds to achieve better community, environment and economic outcomes.


Councils make hundreds of decisions and deliver dozens of services, projects, policies and plans that impact the lives of their communities every day. The successful execution of these operations relies on building trusted relationships with stakeholders. Embracing an integrated communication and engagement approach to stakeholder relations helps councils to deliver the right messages to the right stakeholders through the right mediums, and engage them at the right level, using the right techniques at right time.




An integrated communication and engagement approach can help councils avoid the following stakeholder relations pitfalls:

  • Not closing the loop with stakeholders
  • Using the incorrect level of engagement
  • Lack of alignment with the Council Plan
  • Not engaging all relevant stakeholders
  • Perceived lack of transparency and accountability by the community
  • Ad hoc engagement communications
  • Stakeholders not fully understanding the ramifications of a council decision
  • Lack of trust and connection between Council and stakeholders




1              Fragmentation:

Characterised by an inconsistent approach to engagement, ad hoc communications, mixed messages, potential confusion in the community.

2              Recognition:

Characterised by an acknowledgement that an integrated, strategic and aligned communications and engagement approach can add value to the decisions and work of council.


3              Communication:

Characterised by discussions about opportunities to leverage engagement opportunities by integrating strategic communications.


4              Education:

Characterised by building the integrated communication and engagement knowledge and skills of employees across the organisation.


5              Integration:

Characterised by integrated communication and engagement strategies aligned with the Council Plan and Community Vision, and a greater ability to build understanding and trust, and mutually beneficial outcomes.




The two-day training provides a structured approach for participants to develop an integrated communication and engagement strategy for their specific project in real time.


The training covers nine key areas based upon my Core Communication Method for Stakeholder Engagement™ method, illustrated below.



Step 1:     Purpose

Outline of the purpose of the strategic communications and engagement plan, the communication opportunity to be leveraged and expected key outcomes.


Step 2:     Project:    

Outline of why the project is needed, SWOT analysis, risk / issues profile and mitigation measures, and strategic communication goals and objectives.


Step 3:     Policy

Outline of the policy, legislative and strategic context to:

  • understand key drivers for the project
  • ensure alignment with the Community Vision, Council Plan and relevant strategies, plans and policies.


Step 4:     Publics

Identification and analysis of internal and external stakeholders to understand the different levels of interest, impact and influence in relation to the project, and their communication and engagement needs.


Step 5:     Positioning

Outline of the overarching strategy forpositioning the project within the current and future community context.

This section also includes positioning communications, such as:

  • project vision
  • value proposition
  • master narrative
  • supporting key messages for FAQs
  • responses to key objections


Step 6:     Participation

Outline of the engagement approach and recommended engagement techniques and activities, to capture the views and ideas of both key stakeholders and the wider community. This includes closing the loop on all engagement processes by reporting the key outcomes back to the community.


Step 7:     Promotion

Outline of recommended communication tools and tactics to raise broad community awareness, understanding and support for the project, using council owned, bought and earned mediums, and third-party mediums as appropriate.


Step 8:     Plan

Implementation plan, detailing a calendar of communications and engagement activities, recommended resources, timing and responsibilities.


Step 9:     Proof

Outline of key performance indicators to evaluate the goals and objectives of the strategy.




‘Ros’s energy and passion for communications and engagement is infectious and she really helped us as a team articulate our purpose. The groundwork that we have done here is going to be enormously beneficial in creating a Communications Team Strategy moving forward.’ Sam Shalders, City of Ballarat

‘I have gained incredibly valuable information, strategies, ideas and techniques which I will apply in the preparation of a corporate [communications] strategy.’ Alison Martin – Communications Coordinator, Colac Otway Shire Council

‘Thank you to Ros Weadman for this expertly delivered masterclass! Truly enjoyed being part of it and to soak up all the learnings.’ George Bakker, Change Communication Specialist, Boroondara City Council (on Linkedin)

‘Ros has an absolute wealth of knowledge and passion for communications, I could not help but leave the session feeling energized, inspired and ready to tackle new challenges using the insights and principles that we had discussed. I wish everyone in my team could have this experience!’ Emma Williams, City of Ballarat




In-house workshops – to discuss your needs, please contact us here.

Public workshops – See the Events page for upcoming public workshops.





Ros Weadman FPRIA is a leading authority on public sector communications, engagement and reputation. Ros has more than 35 years’ experience building brands and enhancing reputations, including 16 years as a communications manager in Victorian local government. Ros’s work in local government has been recognised with national and state awards from the Public Relations Institute of Australia for community communication and issues management.


Ros draws on her specialist knowledge and expertise to design and deliver local government-focused consulting services, training and mentoring programs, presenting relatable stories that bring to life real solutions.


While working for councils, Ros led crisis communications teams responding to some of Australia’s highest profile incidents, including the Cranbourne Methane Gas crisis (2008), Black Saturday fires (2009), Springvale Salmonella outbreak (1997) and Victorian Gas crisis (1998).





Call Ros Weadman on 1800 677 600 or via email.



'Ros has an absolute wealth of knowledge and passion for communications, I could not help but leave the session feeling energized, inspired and ready to tackle new challenges using the insights and principles that we had discussed. I wish everyone in my team could have this experience!'

Emma Williams
Communications & Design Team, City of Ballarat

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