Public and Community Engagement
Whether you’re bringing forward a planning application or exploring a new product or service, our strategic approach will help you to stimulate community involvement and mobilise public support.
Case study: Putting down roots
Community engagement, well done.
Orbit worked with Peel Energy to build relations with the local community on the island of Yell, part of the Shetland archipelago, as it sought permission for a large-scale wind farm on the island. Faced with a community suffering wind farm fatigue, our objective was to encourage local community engagement with the consultation process and to build strong community support for the proposals.
Early and regular meetings with MPs, MSPs and local councillors was held, as well as open and regular contact with the local media, regular updates to the local community on the project’s progress and a series of public exhibitions. This provided extensive information on the project, and the consultation exercise resulted in 88% of the island’s population expressing themselves as strongly supportive of the wind farm. This was followed with a unanimous decision by Shetland Islands Council Planning Committee not to oppose the development.
Case study: Hanover Scotland
Working with Hanover Scotland, Orbit delivered a series of training sessions for their senior staff and communications team on how to respond to media inquiries, how to manage the media and broader response in a crisis scenario and improving and perfecting pre-recorded and live TV interview techniques.
For this work, we imagined potentially real-life situations in which the organisation would either be attempting to promote a particular announcement and how to decide the best way to do that, as well as providing a potential crisis which would generate significant controversy and media interest and worked with the team on how to best manage the situation.
These full-day sessions provide a thorough understanding of crisis communications and media relations and help clients understand and practice how they and their team can respond effectively in the future.
Case study: Promoting Scotland's First Ever
Scottish Housing Day
Orbit Communications worked with the Chartered Institute for Housing in Scotland (CIH Scotland) to promote the first ever Scottish Housing Day on Monday the 19th September 2016. The purpose of creating a Scottish Housing Day was to raise public awareness of housing, the process of finding a home and the different housing options potentially available to people.
A public opinion poll was commissioned which sought to gauge general levels of public awareness of different ways of renting or owning a property. We then analysed and published the results of the poll to help promote Scottish Housing Day and encourage participation.
The campaign resulted in an indepth interview with CIH Scotland on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland on the morning of Scottish Housing Day itself as well as widespread coverage across national, local and trade media. Overall, hundreds of housing and non-housing organisations engaged with Scottish Housing Day through social media using the hash tag #scottishhousingday.
Case study: Southdale, Armadale
Orbit supported developer and landowner, EWP, in engaging with the local community and other stakeholders to shape proposals and achieve community support for Southdale, a mixed-use development at Armadale in West Lothian.
Southdale is one of Scotland’s largest regeneration projects. This mixed community offers housing, employment and business opportunities, as well as leisure pursuits.
A key aspect of the strategy to shape these proposals and deliver community ‘buy-in’ was through an extensive and wide-ranging programme of stakeholder and community engagement. .
This involved working in partnership with the community and other stakeholders, such as the community council, community groups, local councillors, MSPs and MP, through a structured series of consultation events and meetings.
Delivering such wide-spread support also assisted in supporting the planning applications for various aspects of the scheme through the planning process.
Orbit also supported the developer in working with Armadale Academy to devise both the name ‘Southdale’, and the logo for the development.
Through Orbit’s auspices the developer has also been a keen supporter of both the Armadale Gala Day and Armadale Thistle youth football team.
The overall outcome of this process has been the creation of an exemplar development, widely supported and fully integrated with the current town.