This paper by R. Max Wideman was first published as part of Chapter 17, in A Field Guide to Project Management, 2nd Edition, edited by David I. Cleland, and published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New Jersey, 2004.
The original paper has received minor updates and is published here March 2015.

Introduction | Beware of Negative Attitudes | Establishing a Positive Attitude
Target Audiences for a PPRP Campaign | The PPRP Work Breakdown Structure

Target Audiences for a PPRP Campaign

On most major projects the primary target audiences for a PPRP will likely include:

  • The project workforce
  • The eventual users
  • The local community
  • The community at large
  • Special interest groups
  • Elected representatives and government administrators
  • The news media

Secondary target audiences may include:

  • Business and professional groups
  • Business media
  • Labor groups
  • Educators and school groups
  • Taxpayers
  • The industrial sector of the project

Those responsible for the PPRP on a high-profile project must be prepared for some typical issues and concerns that will inevitably be raised by the various target groups. These will depend on a variety of factors:

  • The critical project assumptions
  • Real and imagined situations
  • Trends based on various public indicators
  • Experience with similar projects
  • The latest fashionable issues currently being pursued by the media
  • Irresponsible news reports
  • Fallout from any disputes or litigation on the project

Project managers should develop responses that are in tune with the current political climate. A sampling of typical issues encountered in the past include:

  • Will the project cause safety risks?
  • What happens in an emergency?
  • How many jobs will be lost through automation?
  • How reliable is this latest technology?
  • Will there be dislocation because of land expropriated for the project?
  • How much congestion and noise will there be in local neighborhoods during construction?
  • What is the real cost to the taxpayer, including subsidies and the costs of budget and schedule overruns?
  • Will the project become an issue in an election campaign and, if so, will the winning party terminate it?

Careful and constructive attention to these kinds of details is of enormous value in enabling the project to proceed in a smooth and orderly way. However, the PPRP should not become an end in itself, and therefore itself a target for public outcry.

Establishing a Positive Attitude  Establishing a Positive Attitude

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