A microphone is poised in front of an empty auditorium.

Effective communication with county or city officials and the public is essential for building and maintaining support for a program and preventing problems caused by miscommunication. Although roadside managers are busy and handle many responsibilities as part of their job, regularly investing time in communication can pay dividends in helping a program succeed.

Some roadside managers have been surprised at how they have been able to successfully convert individuals such as truck drivers, engineers, and board of supervisors members who were initially disinterested in prairies into supporters of their roadside programs. Good communication can be effective in garnering support.

No matter who you are interacting with, best practices include:

  • Being available and approachable to anyone seeking information or assistance.
  • Fostering trust by actively listening to understand and consistently following through to accommodate stakeholders’ needs;
  • Promptly addressing complaints, concerns, and questions.
  • Understanding the products and techniques used and effectively explaining them to individuals unfamiliar with natural resource work.

Specific strategies for communicating well with different stakeholders are presented below. The amount of publicity used to promote a roadside program can vary by county or city. A low-key approach might yield better results depending on local dynamics.