Abraham Lincoln once said “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”

Rifeline’s founder, Lynda Rife, believes that people support what they help create. Understanding the importance of public sentiment before you begin a new project can have a huge impact on the project’s success. Involving the community and providing meaningful opportunities for public input and feedback from the onset of a new project enables a more comprehensive development process, balancing technical analyses and project goals with community needs and desires. For Rifeline, truly understanding public sentiment means going into the community to hear and understand people’s values, concerns, and ideas. Rifeline then shares that input with the project team to ensure the project reflects community values while still accomplishing the agency's mission. The ultimate goal is to keep projects moving forward into the next development phase (whether that’s environmental study, design or construction). From roadway expansion projects to improving school facilities, understanding public sentiment to make projects better is at the core of what Rifeline does.

Central Texas’ ever-increasing population has spurred growth and development to keep up with demands including housing, improved transportation options, and infrastructure improvements. Community members want to be heard, understood and validated in decisions and projects that will impact them, their families and businesses. As a project partner and advisor, Rifeline incorporates proven strategies to bring people into the process so their perspectives and ideas can be captured. Strategies are customized to meet the unique needs and goals of every project, ranging from large-scale public meetings to community workshops, focus groups, stakeholder meetings and surveys. Rifeline also ensures project goals and the problems being addressed are incorporated into messaging, informational materials and tools such as fact sheets, websites, diagrams, drone photography, videos and renderings.

Understanding that public projects can sometimes be controversial, Rifeline works to provide multiple avenues for engagement and safe spaces for conversation, all the while using active listening and facilitation skills to elicit feedback. Sometimes this means bringing conflicting values and viewpoints to the forefront to help the project team and stakeholders come together for the betterment of the community.

Public sentiment is an abstract and often vast collection of ideas, feelings, beliefs, and perceptions that help drive the overall feelings and culture of an area. If organizations disregard public sentiment, their projects are sure to encounter roadblocks, opposition, and frustration, oftentimes leading to anger, distrust, and possible project termination. If your project needs public support to be successful, Rifeline can help communicate your goals, connect you with the community, and design meaningful engagement that translates public sentiment into a better project.

Visit Rifeline.com to learn more.

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