Contact Us

Constructive Candor

It's All in How You Sell It (Tip #8 in Your PI Toolbox)

Your tool kit is complete. You have your marketing/outreach plan, a brand for the project, a website to share what's happening with your project, a database to record who you spoke with, duct tape to ensure you listen completely, tennis shoes to help you connect in person, and a partner in the media to broadcast the stories you collect. Now what? It's time to sell.    


Partner with the Media (Tip #7 in PI Toolbox)

Many of us will readily admit to having anxiety when receiving press inquiries regarding a controversial project.  I am sure you immediately envision drawing a blank on live television.  Or in your nervousness you begin to talk and you realize nothing is ever "off the record."  Breaking into a cold sweat yet?  This doesn’t have to be a scary experience.  In fact, the advantages far outweigh the temporary heart palpitations.


Use Duct Tape (Tip #6 in PI Toolbox)

Duct tape was originally invented to tightly bind together two objects. This tape was made differently from the standard scotch tape or masking tape. Developed to be durable, stronger and more reliable. You just couldn't break this tape. Did you know as a Public Involvement facilitator you may need to use duct tape to accomplish your job? 


Wear Tennis Shoes (Tip #5 in PI Toolbox)

Successful political campaigns depend on mobilizing people to vote.  According to the US Census Bureau, leaders running for political office shouldn't generally expect more than 60% of the constituents to vote.  So, aspiring politicians with the need to build name recognition among voters must resort to "door belling" -- a  concept I hadn't been introduced to until a couple of years ago when a friend asked me to door bell for a local community leader with political aspirations.  I believed in this leader's message and wanted to help share who he is, what he stands for, and why our neighbors should vote for him.  I door belled for 4 hours and I was exhausted.  I have to confess I can't imagine door belling every day for two to eight hours!  This is the truest form of grassroots politicking and commitment to a cause. 

While I knocked on doors, I met all kinds of people:  those interested in politics, those disgusted by politics, and those who didn't want to talk.  Ringing door bells allowed me to interact directly with my community.  You never knew who would open their door and what story they may be interested in telling if I took the time to listen.  My tennis shoes became an essential tool in completing my task.

In Tip #5 of our Public Involvement Toolbox, I'm going to emphasize the value of door to door stakeholder outreach to gather valuable public input.


Leave us a comment below