Building Community Trust

By Nalani Choy

Senior Vice President of Communications Pacific

One of the most important services that Communications Pacific (Comm-Pac) offers is what we call “community building.” Many years ago, CommPac recognized that Hawaii’s unique interplay of place, people and culture influenced conduct on business. We understood that community involvement and empowerment are vital to the success of any project or business, and so we dedicated an entire team to building bridges between clients and the communities and groups their activities might affect.

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Communications Pacific's community-building team (from left) David Lato, Nalani Choy and Lloyd Yonenaka. PHOTOS COURTESY COMMUNICATIONS PACIFIC

Community building is the art of bringing together people and ideas, minimizing conflict and building relationships that engender goodwill and trust. At its basic level, it is all about respect, listening and generating dialogue. It is through this process that common ground often can be found or worked toward.

In order for business to succeed, local communities and stakeholders must be comfortable with both the project and the process by which a project is introduced and developed.

CommPac has worked with some of the country’s largest corporations and some well-known local businesses seeking to pursue business goals in our Islands.

Through CommPac’s community building process, we have helped numerous businesses large and small communicate intentions or plans, respond to community concerns, establish partnerships and build a “community trust bank.”

With more than 45 years in business, CommPac has refined its community-building processes through the years to reflect our evolving community. The basic foundation of community building has remained the same, however, and begins with first “talking story,” listening and asking questions. These critical first steps can be time-consuming, but they are truly worth it in the long run.

Authentic engagement with community can turn difficult situations into defining opportunities when the client and the community find common ground and collaborative solutions.