Plane at an airport

Airports that work

Is traditional community and media engagement dead?

Community engagement

Traditional consultation is dead.


We live in a world where we are more connected than ever before, where we are exposed to an unprecedented amount of content.

It is now critical that governments and organisations have a more cohesive and coordinated communication approach to community and stakeholder engagement on key infrastructure projects, such as Sydney’s second airport.

Sydney’s second airport operator will need to consider the new and non-traditional communication channels available to their communities and other stakeholders to share news and information across a broader community.

The idea of a broader community is not a new one. Governments and organisations are increasingly aware that public relations and reputation management go well beyond just a glossy brochure or positive media coverage. What happens at a local level can have a far reaching, if not global, impact.

Aurecon’s ‘integrated communication approach’ allows an organisation to address community concerns, as well as manage their brand and build their reputation.

In order to operate successfully, Sydney’s second airport operator will need to move away from traditional one-way consultation. Instead, by integrating its public relations and engagement, Sydney’s second airport operator can do more than just contact its audiences. It will connect, engage, and partner. This means thinking beyond the neighbouring community, to all communities and stakeholders impacted and/ or interested in Sydney’s second airport. This is often referred to as ‘social licence to operate’.

To earn and maintain a social licence to operate, it is vital to develop an open and transparent relationship with communities and stakeholders and demonstrate a genuine interest in what concerns them. It is equally, if not more important, to follow through on issues raised and to deliver on any promises made.

By integrating public relations and engagement, Sydney’s second airport operator can better connect, engage and partner with communities and other stakeholders.

Holding a social licence to operate is now a critical factor for successful major infrastructure projects and is only achievable when stakeholder engagement is entwined with an organisation’s public relations, media and operational plans. At Aurecon we call this the ‘integrated communication approach’.

An integrated communication approach not only creates an open and transparent relationship with the community and involves them in projects but it also provides the opportunity for Sydney’s second airport operator to address community concerns, as well as manage its brand and build their reputation.

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