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Serious planning and preparation for construction communication is essential to building community, political, public policy, and even worker trust and credibility. And advance planning allows prompt response whenever accidents, adversity, and community antagonism might occur. The key elements in building and maintaining trust, no matter what the constituency or audience, are providing information in advance, promptly responding to incidents, and building early understanding. Trust allows people, communities, and organizations to be comfortable with how you are going to behave during major construction projects, and helps them better understand adverse situations when they occur, as they most likely will. This feeling of safety and comfort is the essential platform from which to forestall or at least manage the inevitable anti-project efforts of critics, opponents, and perhaps competitors. But most importantly, honorable companies doing needed projects benefit from a well-structured, simple, sensible, and positive approach, which is what this monograph intends to deliver. The key guiding strategy is this: Plan for and execute sensible communication, simple communication, empathetic communication, and positive communication. Deliver it promptly, and as often as possible in advance of potential situations or incidents that could cause community anger or irritation. Consider adopting a comprehensive and unassailable communication philosophy for your construction projects. Virtually all adversity during construction can be forecast. Understanding where problems, friction, and conflict may arise allows the contractor and the sponsor to analyze their project, both in terms of the actions and sequence of actions that need to be identified in advance, and those areas where confrontation and irritation are likely to occur. Along with the construction schedule, a communications program outline should be designed to provide advanced warning and early answers to questions so that the key building blocks of trust and calmness can begin to grow within those whose lives or environments you will directly or indirectly affect. This approach also helps prevent, detect, and deter potentially negative circumstances. This monograph provides a Model Communications Policy plus site-specific construction factors in 21 areas, including the Web. While many issues may negatively affect community relationships, these construction communication issues and elements deserve significant attention.
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James E. Lukaszewski (loo ka SHEV skee) advises, coaches, and counsels the men and women who run very large corporations and organizations. He is an expert in managing and counteracting tough, touchy, sensitive corporate communications issues. The fastest growing portion of his practice involves civil and criminal litigation. He is one of the few who can and truly does coach CEOs. He is a prolific author (several books, hundreds of articles), lecturer (corporate, college and university), coach, and counselor. He is quoted in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Miami Herald, the Harvard Business Review, and industry trade journals. He is a columnist, advisor, or editor for almost every major public relations periodical. His 1992 book, Influencing Public Attitudes: Strategies that Reduce the Media's Power, remains a classic work in the field of direct communication. He is the author of the four-volume Executive Action„¥ Crisis Communication Management System and has published 26 unabridged monographs on critical communication subjects since 1994. He is an internationally recognized speaker on crisis management, ethics, media relations, public affairs, and reputation preservation and restoration. Visiting his Web site, www.e911.com, is like attending the University of Crisis Management. An accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (ABC) and the Public Relations Society of America (APR), Mr. Lukaszewski is a member of the PRSA¡¦s College of Fellows (Fellow PRSA) and Board of Ethics & Professional Standards. He served as a crisis communications advisor to the International Disaster Advisory Committee, Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance from 1989 to 1992, and is a civilian advisor to several other federal agencies. He lectures annually at the U.S. Marine Corp's East Coast Commander's Media Training Symposium and was the second recipient of its Drew Middleton Award. He is the recipient of both Ball State University¡¦s 2004 National Public Relations Achievement Award and the 2004 Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA, and is among the winners of the 2005 PR News Lifetime Achievement Award. His name appeared in Corporate Legal Times as one of ¡§28 Experts to Call When All Hell Breaks Loose,¡¨ and in PR Week as one of 22 ¡§crunch-time counselors who should be on the speed dial in a crisis.¡¨
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