Port Pirie Regional Council
Port Pirie Regional Council staff were thinking of ways to provide better messaging and communication to the key people who were most often in contact with council for different elements of the development approval process. A common dilemma for most council’s is that often there is a lack of knowledge within customers about what is required, what is the whole process and why there is a process at all. Whilst completely understandable as this is generally councils’ business not customer/developer business, the challenge is to find ways to improve that understanding so as to get quicker and less troublesome applications and to reduce the negative feedback onto council.
Whilst not a new concept but something that hadn’t been done for some time and to the same scale and reach, it was decided to conduct an early morning ‘Tradies Breakfast’. The program consisted of a short presentation from each of the relevant officers; planning, building, environmental health; as well as plenty of opportunity for Q and A, then general networking whilst chewing on a bacon and egg roll for those that could stay for a while.
Whilst the key outcome for staff was to provide relevant information to the right customers, the additional and possibly most beneficial outcome was the opportunity for customers and staff to interact without the pressure of trying to get an outcome on a difficult development application as is often the case, and thus get to know the person behind the process.
Staff have now conducted 2 of these and have modified the content based on attendee feedback via a customer survey form that is provided at the event. There was also opportunity for other agencies and industry advocates to provide flyers, info sheets etc. to a captive audience which was very beneficial. At the most recent event a local business donated a door prize (Weber Q!) and this was a great initiative that added a bit of fun to the day.
Key learnings and messages:
- Keep presentations relevant and in language of attendees not technical professionals,
- Conduct event outside in the community, use opportunity to showcase council projects or utilise local sporting facilities. This helps change the ‘feel’ of the event and keep everyone comfortable and
- Cater using the local small businesses or service groups available.
Visit the Port Pirie Regional Council for more information.