Public Relations & Community Engagement
We specialize in creating public relations and community engagement strategies that use innovative combinations of media relations, social media, and web content to align with our clients’ immediate needs and long-term objectives. At CSS, we identify stakeholders and incorporate them into our outreach efforts. Our company recognizes the strengths of each individual community while also addressing weaknesses, transforming each community into a more bonded and unified group through the sharing of information. Our staff creates a unique communications structure that embraces socially and culturally diverse communities; valuing the differences, building on trust through commitment and providing a voice so that all constituents are heard.
Whether there is a crisis communications issue that demands 24/7 support, or a long-term campaign, we have the proven ability to develop a winning plan and execute. Capital Strategic Solutions specializes in creating community engagement strategies to enhance communications, mitigate impacts and respond effectively during an emergency. Community engagement is essential to building consensus and support of initiatives and projects. By building goodwill and encouraging dialogue, we build trust within the community.
CSS works diligently to develop a strategic road map to engagement for each of our clients, building community trust and confidence through effective conversations:
- Building and Identifying stakeholders
- Conducting community surveys, interviews, and focus groups
- Developing and maintaining project databases
- Creating a priority-based plan optimized for community support, with staff input
- Implementing, developing, and maintaining social media strategies
- Providing website development and maintenance
- Producing and distributing presentations, notices, newsletters, updates, educational videos, and public service announcements
- Staffing and facilitating neighborhood meetings
- Understanding your community’s culture, values, and priorities with effective listening
Our staff ensures that we are connecting with the right people and in the right arenas. We understand the importance of meeting with your community members where they are most comfortable. We get to know your community and identify key stakeholders, as well as other individuals that should be involved in our engagement efforts.
- Local and state elected officials
- State and regional agencies
- Influential community members
- Community, school, and civic leaders
- Indigenous people
- Chambers of commerce and business leaders
- Local, regional, and national media
- Local and regional interest groups
- Universities, colleges, and schools
- Potential service providers or contractors
At CSS, we focus on building bridges of knowledge with community stakeholders and identifying opportunities for dialogue around projects and programs that affect communities, knowing that nothing beats human interaction for building real relationships. Our team researches and learns about the community we are working in and ultimately designs and implements a communications strategy that addresses the community, cultural, economic, and environmental aspects of your projects.
Every employee, constituent and business owner has the potential to be an advocate for a project, program, or initiative. Public relations and community engagement arms your stakeholders with the knowledge and ability to make informed decisions and act with integrity, compassion, and respect.
Impact Mitigation & Crisis Communication
Impact mitigation and crisis situations can arise from natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and blizzards to external disasters and medical emergencies including fires, chemical exposures and multiple victim accidents, workplace violence, etc. Our team works to assist our clients in developing and implementing a strategic communications plan to keep the community informed and stays one step ahead of the evolving situation. Our team is certified in:
Federal Emergency Management Training (FEMA):
- Introduction to Emergency Management
- Advanced CAMEO, MARPLOT, and ALOHA
- Multi-Hazard School Training
- Weapons of Mass Destruction
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Training (MEMA):
- Emergency Operations Center Management and Operations
- Exercise Design
- Basic and Advanced Public Information Officer
- Shelter Management (Red Cross)
- Incident Command System (ICS) for Executives
- ICS 200, ICS 300, ICS 400, NIMS ICS 700
- Multi-Hazard School Training
- Continuity of Operation
- Continuity of Government
We work closely with the incident command team to keep communities informed and ahead of the potential impacts of an evolving situation. We offer information hotlines to give community members piece of mind in the throes of a critical event. Our team works in tandem with agencies to mitigate damaging events and to aid in relaying critical information to the media and community members in their time of need.
Strategic Communications for Construction-Related Impacts
CSS creates strategic communication plans for impact mitigation. The undertaking of infrastructure improvement projects will have a wide range of impacts during construction that, depending on the size, can have a direct impact on neighborhoods and entire communities. Construction impacts that occur during construction may include property access issues, noise, dust, traffic, emergency vehicle access, temporary disruption of critical services.
CSS works with the project team to identify and implement a strategic communications plan to keep the community informed and one step ahead of the work. Our plan includes:
- Planning neighborhood/community meetings prior to the start of construction
- Project website development and maintenance
- Implementing, developing, and maintain social media strategies for infrastructure projects
- Pre-Construction, Post-Construction and Weekly progress photographs
- Utilization of WAZE to move traffic while construction is in progress
- Distribution of notifications in advance of anticipated impacts
Tactical Social Media Outreach
Our team develops and manages social media strategies that reach our clients’ targeted audience and speaks to the areas in which their community is most interested. We adapt the message and method to each client and situation using traditional and digital media.
CSS offers communities an understanding of social media marketing and the importance of its role in changing perceptions and behaviors. Our campaigns are tailored to meet the individual needs of each unique community and may include radio or video public services announcements, posters, press releases and individual outreach. Our outreach plans include combining messaging platforms and content development:
- Social Marketing and Issue Campaigns – CSS designs individualized strategic communication campaigns for clients in need. We develop and implement strategies that reach all of the community stakeholders.
- Strategic Media Placement – CSS identifies traditional outlets, such as print and radio, and new media outlets, such as YouTube and podcasts, that will reach targeted audiences, develop a strategy and schedule to maximize message exposure.
- Reports and Presentations – CSS works with clients to produce reports and presentations that use visually appealing graphics and easy-to-understand language in accessible formats.
- Organizational Management and Strategies – CSS assists organizations in managing campaigns and issues through a combination of strategic planning, problem solving and public relations skills.
Virtual and In-Person Event Planning
Our team is skilled at planning community events of any size and scale, from intimate neighborhood meetings to large scale events that encompass an entire community and feature many components such as: public relations, the incorporation of social media, community-based programming, public/private coordination, civic engagement, and opportunities for public participation in-person or virtually. Community events emulate the spirit of a community and provide monumental moments for attendees.
We’ve had the opportunity to work within the enclaves of government, and are well versed in public meeting law, as well as ADA compliance and the maintenance of public records. We work with our clients from the initial creative concept phase through the final rehearsal to ensure that every official, community leader, celebrated community member, and the public receive timely communications, and instructions to participate. Our team delivers creative and cost-effective services that maximize success, including:
- Concept and Strategy Development
- Public/Private Partnerships
- Budget Management
- Entertainment Recruitment and Management
- Graphic Design
- Website and Mobile App Design
- Comprehensive Digital Platform Management
- Guest Invitation and Event Instructions
- Creation of Planning and Event Timelines
- Multimedia and Programming Management
- Event Direction and Production
- ADA Compliance
- Multilingual Translation Services
- Captioning for the Hearing Impaired
Project Example: Columbian Square Improvement Project, Town of Weymouth
The Town of Weymouth is working to improve the safety of pedestrians and vehicular traffic movements through Columbian Square; as well as to create a vibrant, walkable atmosphere spurring commerce within the historic village center. Mayor Hedlund has committed American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds awarded to the Town of Weymouth for the completion of this project. The improvements include expanded sidewalk areas at each corner of the intersection of Pleasant Street with Columbian Street and Union Street as well as expanded sidewalk areas at the intersection of Pleasant Street with Chauncy Street. Further improvements will address the safety concerns of the area.
Capital Strategic Solutions (CSS) was retained by the Town of Weymouth to provide outreach services to stakeholders -businesses, and neighborhood residents -in preparation for a 10-million-dollar improvement project to Columbian Square in South Weymouth MA. Improvements include major upgrades to streetscape and full signalization of a major intersection in Columbian Square. CSS played a major role in conveying to all impacted by this project that the Town of Weymouth was prepared for the uncertainties and disruption to businesses and traffic patterns this construction project would create. Using print and social media CSS was able to both inform the public about the project and its potential impacts during construction and convey the Town’s ability to handle the situation.
Director of Planning & Community Development, Town of Weymouth