Community Outreach • Issues Management
The economic drivers of the Laie area on Oahu are Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYU) and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Without reasonable expansion, those economic drivers and the area face serious challenges. Hawaii Reserves, Inc. (HRI), the land management company and owner of property affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and affiliates, needed to reach policymakers and the public with the messages defined by Envision La‘ie, a community-based movement supporting sustainable growth and retained local values. Those messages were developed through workshops, scientific surveys and interviews. Opponents advocate “keep the country country.”
Hastings and Pleadwell (H&P) helps HRI and Envision La‘ie clearly communicate facts that support careful development and to answer opponents, some of whom step over the line into criticism of the religious base of HRI and its affiliated organizations. The communication strategy is focused on communicating facts about the needs for the projects and stays out of the fray of attacks on values or religion.
The issues include the BYU-Hawai‘i campus expansion, housing in Malaekahana, the expansion of the Polynesian Cultural Center and a new hotel to replace the Lā‘ie Inn. H&P helps with issues management, community engagement, media relations, support for government affairs and architecting the brand.
The outreach focuses on housing, infrastructure, job growth, education, preservation of culture and environment. Envision Lā‘ie was first communicated to the region through grassroots and then local media with a series of strategic, briefings with stakeholders and opinion leaders. Media coverage has been extensive. The Honolulu Advertiser called the process for engaging the community “admirable.”
The positions identified by Envision La‘ie have been articulated in the mainstream and new media, allowing people the information to make balanced, informed opinions.
In addition to leading communication strategy and media relations, H&P has developed communication tools such as event displays, brochures, handbills, videos, Powerpoint presentations, web sites and web communication, signage, bumper stickers and other street marketing items that have supported and reinforced the basic messages.