The Egyptian Refinery Company (ERC) was building one of the largest project finance deals in Africa and a state-of-the-art billion-dollar oil refinery in the Greater Cairo Area, and needed to communicate effectively with local stakeholders and the neighbouring community of the Mostorod district in Qalioubiya.
While this scope initially was thought of as a reputation management scope focusing on communication tactics, CID realized that community engagement should be a cornerstone of how ERC presented itself to local stakeholders – particularly the neighbouring community. This was an integral part of building ERC’s role as a contributor to local socioeconomic development and establish deep-rooted ties in the community it was operating in. Using community engagement as our starting point, we developed an institutionalized approach beginning with the formation of a community consultation committee to spearhead the process. The CID team, in collaboration with the committee, then set out to implement a community needs assessment using a participatory approach to define the needs of the local community. We identified local partners that would be able to implement socioeconomic interventions to meet these needs, and assessed their capacity for implementation. Finally, we selected organizations to be recipients of ERC grants that would enable them to implement local initiatives for the betterment of the community. These included employment generation schemes, non-profit capacity building for the community’s youth, as well as identifying potential suppliers for integration into ERC’s supply chain.
To ensure ERC was able to sustainably implement this model, we established and trained a community outreach unit within ERC, setting clear KPIs and processes for the unit and continuously monitoring their performance. Our proactive work was underpinned by a comprehensive reputation management program with detailed procedures, tactics, crisis communication planning and messaging.
We built brand allies and fostered positivity and support amongst the Mostorod community, forging new relationships with key local community figures and stakeholders including the Egyptian and international media. ERC was equipped with a comprehensive project performance document and video production to show the project’s progress, including key milestones and substantial content. This was supplied in addition to the crisis communication framework and media training of the company’s senior leadership.
The ERC team praised our experience, knowledge and guidance for effectively equipping them with the internal communication materials required to handle any engagement or enquiry. The senior management team has able been able to meet its corporate social responsibility objectives and provide positive impact for the local community, whilst renewed positioning has provided robust unified messaging and internal capacity to handle diverse communication needs and develop strong content for stakeholder engagement.