Technology is all around us and it is useful for enhancing stakeholder engagement as well. What used to be done by door-to-door mailings, now only takes one click of a button. It is faster, much more is possible and it offers many opportunities to get communities on board and excited.
How can you use technology to enhance stakeholder engagement in construction and infra projects? Naturally, this depends on the nature of your project and the types of stakeholders you are aiming to reach. Here, we give you some ideas on how technology can enhance stakeholder engagement in your project.
Technology is expected, but not for all
One big advantage of using technology, is that it is probably already expected by your stakeholders. They use their devices daily, profit of improvements made by technology all around them and they have come to expect nothing less. This does not mean that you cannot impress them anymore when interacting with your external stakeholders.
There are a few groups who still find it hard to deal with all the technology and modernisation around. The elderly, for example, might not be able to fathom high-tech communication. Also, you might have external stakeholders whose first language is not English, or who have a disability. That is why you have to make a stakeholder engagement map to see if your target audience is ready.
5 ideas for using technology to enhance stakeholder engagement
Having said that, the majority of your external stakeholders will be familiar with technology and what it can do. And that creates many opportunities for your construction or infra project. We hope that the ideas below help you incorporate this into your stakeholder engagement plans.
1. Set up an interactive lounge
If you are running a large construction project, it is very beneficial to set up an interactive lounge where residents, shop-owners, the local politicians or vicars, the businesspeople and schools can drop by for information. This is a great way to keep reminding everyone of the end-result and what you are all working towards.
In your interactive lounge you can use technology for stakeholder engagement by, for example, showing them a 3D image of what the end-result will look like. You can even introduce Virtual Reality so they can look and walk around as if they are already there.
Touchscreens, laptops, televisions and a tablet where they can leave feedback is also always a good idea. Of course, there would have to be one of your community engagement officers present as well, to help and answer all the questions. Use your lounge for exhibitions, a timeline with milestones and theme nights. Your stakeholders have a solid place to go to if needed.
2. Online conferencing and recording
Nothing is more effective than face-to-face communication. And community meetings are probably already an integral part of your stakeholder engagement policy. At these meetings information is passed around, questions and concerns are immediately dealt with, and internal and external stakeholders get a chance to meet.
There will always be people who want to attend the meeting, but cannot due to other engagements. For them, you can offer a link so they can participate online through a video connection. That way, they can ask questions in the comments section as well. If you also record the meeting, and you can use SitePodium to send it around for people to watch back or for those who missed it to catch-up.
By offering this, nobody has to miss out on what has been said. Using this type of technology for enhancing stakeholder engagement gives you an even broader reach.
3. Live-streaming and social media
It is never a bad idea to set up a social media page about your construction or infra project. You use it for general communication. It is an interesting medium for external stakeholders who work in the area or who visit it regularly. They are not as directly involved, but are interested in what is happening.
You can do many more things with social media than only posting updates. You can raise a poll, for example, asking people about their opinion on a certain matter.
A very beneficial tool with social media is live-streaming. You can put a community engagement officer online to answer questions, get a construction worker to give a tour of the site or let a supplier speak about the benefits of the materials they provide. Your stakeholders can watch it from their phone and interact if they want. Live-streaming offers many opportunities and is great technology to use when you want to enhance stakeholder engagement from your site.
4. Use a dedicated app for stakeholder engagement
Sometime enhancing stakeholder engagement with technology is as easy as putting a free app to your phone. SitePodium is an easy to use application for sending out all your stakeholder engagement communication. It has a news feed, a feedback page, an about page and a page for contact information.
If you promote it well, you can use it as your major communication tool for your external stakeholders. In many cases, internal stakeholders download it to their phones as well. A stakeholder engagement app like SitePodium can be used for sharing updates, notices, announcements, milestones, infographics and pictures.
5. Targeted communication through technology
You do not always want to send the same message to all your external stakeholders. Local business-owners often require a more professional approach than the local residents. Communicating with schools and churches in the area is again different from how you would send messages out to people who only use the area because they work there.
With modern stakeholder engagement programmes, you can set up groups of stakeholders with the same interest in your project. You can type one message and send it only to the shop-owners, for example, and not to the local residents.
This type of targeted communication is often done through email, but you can use it to enhance stakeholder engagement with your app as well.
Enhance stakeholder engagement in your construction or infra project with SitePodium
SidePodium gives you an affordable and quick solution to modernise your stakeholder engagement endeavours. Your stakeholders download it to their phone and get all the updates they need about your project. They can respond and you can see through our reports how your efforts pay off.
SitePodium brings all stakeholders together and gives you one easy to use app for all your communication. It is a platform for construction sites that allows you to speak and listen to your communities. Transparent communication and measuring support has never been easier.
Through our website you can find information about the app, the pricing, you can get in touch or book a demo. There is a brochure you can download, which you can read at your leisure. We would love to hear from you. Tell us about your project and we will help you enhance stakeholder engagement through technology that everyone understands.