Strategic Communications, Research, Planning, and Engagement

Tetra Tech offers strategic communications expertise to accelerate and improve community-based public outreach and stakeholder involvement for small-scale projects and large environmental programs.

We have supported thousands of strategic communications activities for government and commercial clients. Tetra Tech’s communications specialists develop action-oriented strategies for our clients to meet their program goals. We first identify the underlying drivers and client objectives before applying market-based research tools such as data analytics (Expert Q&A: Bonnie Brandreth Discusses Using Data Analytics to Strengthen the Modern Energy Sector) and surveys to determine target audience behavior. We then develop key messages that will resonate with those audiences.

Using our Leading with Science® approach, we broadcast those messages across relevant platforms that include feedback mechanisms such as our Volans 3D Airspace Visualization tool to quantify the effectiveness of communication campaigns. We leverage the combined knowledge and local experience of scientists, researchers, engineers, web developers, graphic designers, and media specialists to tailor products and messages that advance our clients’ projects.

A classroom of people watching a speaker presenting with a large poster as campaign materials

Strategic Communications Planning

Tetra Tech wrote the book on how to develop successful public outreach and stakeholder engagement programs through our support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) “Getting in Step” series. “Getting in Step” is used throughout the United States to educate and train state and local agency personnel on developing effective outreach programs in their communities. Our programs have been nationally recognized for their successful outreach and engagement. In 2013 the US EPA named our Birmingham, Alabama Community Involvement Plan the Community Involvement Plan of the Year. Tetra Tech uses these best practices globally to help clients develop strategic communications that increase engagement with target audiences and achieve project goals.

  • Research local barriers, perceptions, and target audience behaviors
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses of existing programs
  • Engage underrepresented and diverse stakeholders to provide equal access to information and decision-making processes
  • Address Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI), Environmental Justice (EJ) objectives
  • Develop key messaging, talking points, and frequently asked questions
  • Prepare outreach, community involvement, and stakeholder engagement plans
  • Cultivate and strengthen community and strategic partnerships to address local barriers and improve Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ)
Tetra Tech developed this original graphic for CBP depicting a healthy and unhealthy freshwater stream in the Chesapeake Bay
Original graphic developed by Tetra Tech that depicts a healthy and unhealthy freshwater stream in the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Communications and Outreach Materials

Tetra Tech creates easy-to-understand materials that effectively communicate information to engage targeted audiences. To tailor messages, materials, and events, Tetra Tech uses demographic GIS and U.S. Census data to help identify key target audience characters and hard-to-reach audiences. This approach identifies who, where, and why to focus our strategic communication efforts.

  • Design original artwork and infographics, such as signs, displays, posters, and promotional items
  • Develop ArcGIS StoryMaps, online tools, animations, and videos
  • Write and publish articles, press releases, media alerts, brochures, and fact sheets
  • Manage social media campaigns, websites, and applications
  • Prepare reports and briefing materials

We draw upon the experience and knowledge of our staff and TetrAbility Employee Resource Group to improve access and inclusiveness. We provide multilingual materials, 508-compliant materials, and tailored content for various audiences and education levels to improve the accessibility experience.

Xcel Energy, Colorado’s Power Pathway Siting and Routing Public Meeting in Limon, Colorado held in Summer 2022
Community meeting discussing routing, permitting, and planning of Colorado's Power Pathway for Xcel Energy

Meetings, Webcasts, Hearings, and Event Facilitation

Tetra Tech gathers specific characteristics for each target audience, then designs tailored methods to obtain feedback through activities such as in-person focus groups, online surveys, workshops, and community meetings. Depending on how the community best receives and shares information, we include additional strategic communication activities such as signage and additional community events. These outreach events increase knowledge and build community cohesiveness and support for our clients’ projects.

  • Tetra Tech conducts efficient and productive in-person and hybrid meetings and events, ranging from a few participants to thousands
  • Develop agendas, solicit speakers, and publicize events
  • Provide logistical support including online registration, payment collection, and meeting space reservations
  • Coordinate audiovisual (AV) support for livestreaming and recording
  • Prepare presentations, materials, proceedings, and evaluations
  • Conduct virtual events with simultaneous interpretation for global audiences
  • Create virtual conference rooms and displays
  • Facilitate productive meetings and maximize participation
  • Tetra Tech supports hundreds of international meetings for EPA’s Global Methane Initiative