The underrated value of civic communication

Technical planning and communication as a successful duo.

Civic Communication

Technical planning and communication as a successful duo

Infrastructural or other construction projects continue to be primarily managed by engineers/technicians and designers. (Civic) communication is often forgotten about as a key element. Its importance is either underestimated or dismissed as an expensive, time-wasting factor. But this is a short-sighted view: In our society, which is increasingly demanding information and co-determination, (civic) communication is becoming an inherent part of project success – and communication ultimately contributes to the added value of the company as a whole.

Soft factors and their contribution in individual projects

Information nights, resident consultations, options for involvement: All these communication measures do take time and money. But they create intangible resources like reputation, image, acceptance and stakeholder satisfaction. These soft factors gain importance when projects are being carried out, and often determine the success or failure of a project. Communication plays the role of the “enabler” during a project. It produces situations in order to generate the soft factors. Anyone who ultimately gets their project accepted by stakeholders will be able to immediately proceed to the technical planning stage. And the project will remain on schedule and within budget.

Communication as an added-value creator for the entire company

The positive image and strong reputation which could result from specific projects boost stakeholder trust in the actions of the company as a whole, giving it more scope to carry out further projects. The inventors of the Balanced Scorecard*, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton from Harvard Business School, tell many businesses that intangible resources are now worth much more than tangible assets. Businesses do not necessarily think of the soft factors, and the two experts believe that those who have taken them onboard will enjoy a long-term competitive advantage.


While (civic) communication itself does not generate income, it does act as a key driving force for project and business success. In its role as “enabler”, it creates important conditions for the added value of the company as a whole.

*The Balanced Scorecard is a system combining financial KPIs with facts about customers, internal processes and innovations. It is the link between business strategy and operational activities.

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Karin Schrott

Dr. Karin Schrott
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