Franklin Associates assisted the Houston-Galveston Area Council (a regional planning authority) by developing and delivering two rounds of community communications trainings in 2012. The first round created the Community Ambassador Team for the H-GAC’s Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, offering trainings for interested community representatives to learn about the regional planning process. The CAT trainings also provided these team members with basic public outreach, engagement and facilitation techniques. CAT trainings were delivered at five venues in and around Houston.
The aim of the second round of six trainings was build community capacity by creating and offering a more in-depth communications training to the 13-county area, detailing higher level communications efforts and methods that community, governmental, business and non-profit entities can use to further their own messaging within their direct target audiences. Among the specific topics covered at these trainings were message development and targeting, social media, dealing with difficult communications issues, using infographics and asset mapping in message dissemination, and data compilation and sharing.