Beyond Blueprints: Public Affairs and PR for Construction, Real Estate, and Energy Developers

Crane-dotted skylines and fence-wrapped renderings illustrate to passersby what the future site will deliver for the community: retail options, new green space, and dynamic new structures. But what else—and how—could organizations responsible for our built environment share more about what’s coming to their stakeholder communities and the media?

Public Affairs for Construction - several cranes above the buildings
Photo by EJ Yao on Unsplash

When planning for new construction—whether a mixed-use commercial development, multi-family housing, or energy infrastructure—factors beyond the newly planned structure must be prioritized long before any shovels go into the ground. Cities and towns have specific zoning and regulated development review processes and local priorities and regulations for economic investment, community development, and sustainability.

Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy & Planning

Several strategic milestones in the planning stages and throughout the review and entitlement process should be seen as opportunities to establish open and transparent communication channels with public officials, residents, community partners, and stakeholders.

Solidify Messaging

Before introducing your project externally, develop messaging around the project that aligns with your organization’s values and clearly articulates community impacts, short- and long-term benefits, and project timeline. This will help establish trust, mitigate misinformation, and manage your team’s reputation.

    Community Engagement

    Authentic engagement with the local community and stakeholders is critical for gaining support, addressing concerns, and building positive relationships. Community input can influence project design, mitigate opposition, and foster collaboration, enhancing project acceptance and long-term success.

    Transparent Communication

    Clear, honest communication is critical to building trust and credibility. Establish channels for regular updates and provide accessible information about project plans, timelines, and potential impacts. This enables stakeholders to stay informed, all parties to build trust, and minimize misunderstandings.

    Equity and Inclusivity

    It’s essential to meet people where they are and bring them along throughout the project’s life cycle. Not everyone can attend evening community meetings (hello working parents!). Hybrid meetings have remained common post-COVID. Consider multiple languages for the project website, physical materials, and email communications.

    In our recent conversation with Joe Curtatone, president of the Northeast Clean Energy Council, we discussed the importance of representation and community engagement when building a plan; check out the full conversation here.

    Real Estate, Energy, and Infrastructure Construction: Public Affairs and PR Storytelling Ideas & Opportunities

    As communities demand greater transparency and accountability, prioritizing information sharing, bridgebuilding, and external communications strategies are pivotal in the project’s long-term success. It is also an opportunity to prove environmental justice, equity, and sustainability are not mere buzzwords but guiding principles that shape the future of the project and the surrounding community.

    Your public relations and public affairs partners can maximize the below project benefits through earned media efforts, curated public events, and new partnerships.

    Economic Impacts

    A public push around any project-related job opportunities or training programs for construction jobs, sustainable building management, or green energy jobs can directly benefit the local community. Targeted outreach to marginalized communities or partners can increase the economic benefits of a project. Job fairs and information sessions can expand your reach.

      Sustainability Integration

      Green roofs, groundwater and rainwater management, passive housing design, and rooftop solar—sustainability-focused designs benefit not only tenants but also the surrounding community. Educational sessions on how these systems work and thought leadership on their intended use help explain impacts.

      Conservation Efforts

      Site tours (done safely!) are a terrific way to show firsthand how housing or new infrastructure can work with conservation efforts. Whether it’s creating new open or green space, going beyond requirements for beautification, or proactive protection of vulnerable wetlands or conservation areas, seeing is believing. Public affairs consultants can organize tours for public stakeholders and community members to see how these two efforts can work in harmony.


      If you’re going to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Public affairs professionals can build strategies to establish authentic relationships with local stakeholders, and advocates focused on environmental justice and sustainability efforts. Introductions, strategic partnerships, and long-term support can deliver significant local impact and achieve corporate priorities.

      Construction public relations strategies tailored to environmental justice, equity, and sustainability are essential for navigating the complexities of modern development projects. Real estate and construction firms can build structures and lasting relationships with the communities they serve by prioritizing community engagement, transparency, environmental stewardship, and inclusive decision-making, ensuring a more sustainable and equitable future for all.

      Considering these external factors and integrating them into project planning and decision-making processes, energy and construction projects can achieve greater success, sustainability, and resilience in today’s complex and dynamic operating environment.

      Looking for PR or Public Affairs support for an upcoming project or public review process?

      The Castle team is here to help. Check out our public affairs services for more information.

      Profile Picture for Author Taylor Connolly at The Castle Group
      Written By: Taylor Connolly


      Outdoors of the Castle Group office