The last decade, and particularly the last few years, have witnessed a remarkable transformation in the construction industry. Today, this industry is one of the most dynamic, innovative and technically advanced of any sector in the UK’s economy. Unfortunately, the industry’s image and its reputation lag a long way behind its true picture. Further aggravated by the lack of a cohesive, coordinated, all‐encompassing body to bring this very disparate industry together, little has been done to address the gap between the exciting reality and the depressing perception of construction among the public. Fundamental issues such as skills shortages and a dramatic fall in students entering the construction professions are a real threat to the sustainability of an industry so critical to delivering the ongoing development of the country’s built environment. Nevertheless, the profound changes that have revolutionised the industry have, at the same time, demanded and even necessitated, an equally dramatic change in its approach to community relations. Of all the elements that comprise the corporate social responsibility concept that is being embraced by all businesses today, it is the success or failure of its community relations activities that will determine the outcome of several issues currently confronting the construction industry. This paper examines how the industry’s structural changes have impacted on the industry’s community relations and how, given the new importance of community, the industry is responding to the challenge of nurturing good relations with its public audience at site and project level. Guidance and guidelines are given for implementing a practical “best practice” community relations programme at this local level of construction operations.
Smith, A. (2003), "Community relations: How an entire industry can change its image through proactive local communications", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 254-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632540310807403Download as .RIS
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited