Community Engagement Audit for Utilities
A precision community engagement audit assesses your strengths and gaps when compared to best practices, regulatory standards, mandates, and your own organization’s mission.
Your service area is more than a geographic territory populated with consumers. As a steward of public infrastructure, you are responsible for the strength of the economy, quality of life, health, safety, peace of mind, and capacity for innovation that is the bedrock of your business and residential community.
What do you fuel? Families who are burdened with the new reality of work, school, and life in quarantine. Entrepreneurs incubating an idea they believe will be world-changing. Recent immigrants working to build a new life. Local leaders serving the under-resourced.
Given what is on the line, the people you serve deserve your best intentions to connect with their needs and listen to their concerns. In good faith, you seek to comply with the expectations for community engagement as articulated by local jurisdictions and regulators’ mandates.
Thus, community engagement is not a discretionary or reactionary set of activities. It is an on-going relationship that leverages your connection to your community as well as your physical and human resources. Community engagement is inextricable from the structure of your business processes.
A disaster stems from a shock or stress to your system. You can prepare for the inevitable incident but not predict exactly what or when it will be. When disaster strikes (and it always does), there’s no time to try to figure out who’s in your community, who is a supportive stakeholder, or who would be an ideal partner.
The disruptive event could be dramatic and relatively sudden like an earthquake, wildfire, hurricane, or tornado; or it could be slow moving like extreme heat, rising water, or snowstorms. Or it could even be the process of requesting a rate increase or managing a regulatory shift.
When the full force of your capabilities may be called into action at a moment’s notice, it is a prudent practice to regularly take stock of your community connectivity and community engagement plan. What are your strengths? What are the gaps? What are ways to fill those gaps by repurposing, leveraging, backfilling, and augmenting your programs by drawing on your current resources before you spend new money?
The gold standard for community engagement has been codified by the experts at Stratiscope, who’ve redefined the way organizations engage with their stakeholders and community members. We find most organizations have strong components of the ideal community engagement program and simply fail to see how they can operate most effectively. Only when those resources have been properly assigned and allocated do we then recommend additional spending.
Through this audit, you will discover where your strengths can be amplified and what gaps exist that are weak links in your work to truly serve your community. By benchmarking against best practices, we help you with compliance and your internal commitment to the community.
What We Review In A Typical Community Engagement Audit
- Staff training/certifications
- Written community engagement protocols, manuals, templates, and plans
- Internal metrics: your measures of success in terms of external engagement
- Integration of community engagement work beyond “public affairs” departments
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and policies
- Tailored and Innovative engagement practices
- Process mapping for internal sharing of community insights
- External communications online and on-ground
- Executive involvement in initiative development and oversight
Audit Deliverables Include:
- Annotated Score Card
- Gap Analysis
- Recommendations for planning, programming, and measurement
To schedule an initial conversation about the insights your organization requires and preview the Community Engagement Audit, contact Stratiscope at CEA@stratiscope.com.
Related Stratiscope Programs That Might Be of Interest:
External Groundtruthing™ and Community Sentiment Analysis
Civic Leader Reliability and Resistance Scoring
Nonprofit and Civic Board Leadership Placement
Community Services Ecosystem Audit and Matrix