Communication Strategy

1 week
Toolbox Themes
  • ParticipationInclude diverse stakeholders, sectors, and perspectives to improve and make more inclusive the urban planning process and results.

Set a communication strategy to invite to participatory activities, share and validate the ongoing progress of the plan development, and establish a communication channel to solve any public concern.

  • Communication strategy


In addition to the steering and advisory committee, the broader public must also be informed and consulted during the urban planning process. In alignment to the Participation Plan (Activity 9), the plan development, activities, and process is continuously communicated to the general public using different platforms and tools, such as organising digital forums, questionnaires or public hearings. This communication is initiated by the project team. 

For an adequate communication strategy it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the following: target audience, goals, channels, tone and level of information. The target audience usually represents the general population. However, depending on the context and the objective of the local government, other target groups that require specific communication strategies and methods may emerge, especially reaching vulnerable groups may require special means of communication. The main goal of the communication strategy is to inform the general public about the planning process and validate any important steps. Additional goals and objectives that may be specific to the context (e.g. empower women and youth in decision-making processes, increase awareness of environmental topics, etc.) can be included. The main channels for communication are the municipality web-site, social media, journals and newspapers, physical posters, digital forums, and events. If the municipality lacks the budget to elaborate and maintain a communication strategy, it would be ideal to seek non-financial collaborations with third parties instead of avoiding it. Qualitative communication is a key component to embrace participation.

Finally, the tone and the level of information are also important to ensure an effective communication strategy. The language and tone of voice are framed considering the target audience. Highly technical words may discourage engagement in the discussion, and not enough information might create confusion and frustrations. It is worth creating a variety of articles and posts addressing specific groups instead of a unified approach that may be too generic and not catchy. 

  1. Define the target audience, goals, channels, tone and level of information, according to the defined activities and milestones in the Participation Plan (Activity 9) and work plan (T8 Work Plan Template)
  2. Designate a communication officer or communication focal point, responsible for implementing the communication strategies.
  3. Define the media to be used. This might include creating a digital platform or social media page.
  4. Define a calendar of virtual, hybrid or in-person activities to share invitations, updates or validate steps of the process, in alignment to the urban planning process work plan.
  5. Follow up and continuously revise the communication strategies based on the planning process outputs.