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1 October 2021 7 min read

The 4 Letters You Need When Planning Your Public Consultation

Planning a public consultation? There are just 4 words you need to consider that can save you a lot of time and effort.


RACI - the acronym that stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed can be a great basis to start your stakeholder communication strategy – whether you are a stakeholder manager, project manager or communications lead.

Why? Simply, it’s all about getting your internal teams in order before you even think about communicating to stakeholders.

The RACI model is great because it serves as a straightforward tool that clearly lays out roles and responsibilities, avoiding confusion during any project.

If your public consultation will see you working with multiple stakeholder groups, sending thousands of emails, attending town halls and meetings and working with independent bodies, getting your internal processes sharp can’t be underestimated.

The RACI Matrix

The RACI matrix as shown here depicts owners in a project. Your owners may be completely different, but the RACI ownership should be assigned across your team.

Combined with a powerful stakeholder engagement and management system, working with a RACI matrix before you start your public consultation can make your life easy.

It helps you define and document project roles and responsibilities while ensuring that all processes in your project go smoothly.

How To Use The RACI Matrix


This refers to the class of people that are responsible for the work - the action or implementation - in a particular aspect of the project process.

Just like any business, there are people that will need to take up roles, and there will be a range of people in charge of different processes. 

By charting on a matrix the various responsibilities, you can be sure that nothing ever slips the net.

Many people will work on the actual communication to stakeholders. However, with RACI, you would have one person that hits send on a communication or one person who is responsible for updating data in line with GDPR.

Working with a RACI model can help ensure there is never any task duplication.


Accountability does what it says on the tin.

When it comes to a project, a consultation or general stakeholder engagement, there will be someone who has to be accountable at the end of the day.

This can be from task-related "did you send that survey?" through to a wider company sense of accountability – "have you met legislation around consultation?" "Have all stakeholders been engaged in the relevant time period?"

Those accountable in the RACI matrix world also have to make sure that those responsible deliver optimum quality. 

That means that even if certain activities are done automatically, a person must be accountable for the task, which makes this a mandatory role.

On some tasks, the Responsible party may also serve as the Accountable one. However, you would only have one Accountable person assigned to each task or deliverable.

When it comes to engagement or consultation, an SRM system can help you make your teams accountable.

With login data showing who was in the system, when, and what they did, you are not only aware of the team’s work on your project, but you can also pull in-depth reports that will help ensure that you are doing what you have set out to do.

Moreover, it is time-saving: with a proper system, reports can be created in minutes instead of weeks. 


Naturally, being consulted is the key part of a consultation process!

However, when you are making a RACI matrix, this isn’t about the end-user being consulted.

It refers to the day to day or one-off problems with the work process, which may require internal consultation and preparation. 

So, when these issues occur in the process, there is a person that handles them.

Documenting this is a great way to get ahead of any roadblocks, and also helps you inform your strategy for communications because you are planning against likely objections before you even start.


When you start a consultation, you need to be considering who it is that needs to be informed.

Again, there are the actual people in the consultation, the stakeholder groups, that you might need help to engage with.

However, these are also the individuals who are involved in managing the work process and other internal stakeholders who need to be made aware if there are any issues or changes, and have to be up-to-date on any affair of the project.

When you map out a RACI matrix, consider all the people who are going to help you. Managers, PR departments – and then build on this to create your external consultation map of who you need to engage.

Planning A Public Consultation With RACI

You can create your own stakeholder RACI matrix template following these simple steps:

  • Identify the processes involved in delivering the project and list them out in order of completion;

  • Map the stakeholders involved and also list them;

  • Assign those that will be responsible and accountable for tasks.

As you know from external consultations, consultation is a two-way process.

They say “teamwork makes the dream work”, and the RACI matrix makes the team work!

Without a proper structure that allows you to plan adequately, the work going into your public consultation will be tough.

But, with RACI, that burden is drastically reduced because you have the people in place to deal with a range of situations and the capability to reduce duplication of efforts.

It’s worth saying that without a platform or tool that will make it organized so that you can work properly, public consultations can become an administrative nightmare!

Enhancing Your Public Consultation With A Stakeholder Management Tool

Tractivity has experience working with clients such as the NHS and many local councils, helping them when they are ready to engage and manage stakeholders.

To find out how we can help with stakeholder management, contact us through the form below and book a free 1-on-1 demo of Tractivity, delivered by a member of our expert team.