A Stakeholder Communication Audit was conducted in December 2016 in an effort to understand, evaluate and improve current delivery channels, as well as to ensure that consistent, positive messages are being conveyed to teachers, principals, staff, parents, trustees and the community at large. The results will help identify and fill in any gaps to support the Ameresco energy retrofit project benefits and how the board is taking steps to reach greenhouse gas reduction targets.
Three phases of the audit were conducted:
- Channel Audit (media/PR)
- Message Audit (info communicated)
- Stakeholder Audit (online survey)
The survey is intended to identify current communications interests, wants, needs and habits through an online survey research with key stakeholders. It was sent to participants by e-mail, and was designed to measure upcoming communication effectiveness. A second Communication Audit will be completed at the end of 2018.
Key Findings from Survey #1:
- Awareness of the renewal project with partner Ameresco: The survey revealed that little information has been conveyed to date about the energy and infrastructure renewal project. The stakeholder audit provides the baseline to measure improvement in awareness, positive perceptions and appreciation of the benefits of the program over time. It also serves to assess appreciation of the Board’s leadership role in key non-academic areas: energy conservation/use, environmental stewardship, and financial management.
- Climate Change awareness/concern: The survey results determined that there is high level of interest and concern about climate change among all stakeholders.
- Limited awareness of energy measures: The results also indicated that there is limited awareness of school-renewal and energy-efficiency measures and their connection to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), with the exception of elementary school principals and trustees. For example, the installation of updated lighting and state-of-the-art technology will get much higher marks in future surveys, and specific ratings of the Board will improve accordingly, as the renewal/environmental relationship is further highlighted.
- Board image: The questions dealing with board image reveal mixed reviews across all segments, contrasted by higher favourable ratings by Trustees. These results will extend to more stakeholders with the roll-out of the communications program, and as stakeholders begin to see the results (and are informed) of the energy- and cost-saving initiatives being implemented in schools.
- Key channels for communications: Based on stakeholder preferences, these channels are: school and Board websites, London Free Press, Board e-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter.