Continue to content

Clear, connective communication in a challenging multi-stakeholder context

In a complex multi-stakeholder setting, we created support and impactful communication for the ‘Complex Project Oostelijke Verbinding’.


Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer (AWV) and Departement Omgeving

Multi-stakeholder management
Strategic positioning
Communication strategy
Marketing plan

Support and engagement

How do we untangle the traffic knot on the eastern side of Antwerp and improve both quality of life and climate friendliness in the area? That’s the challenge of the ‘Complex Project Oostelijke Verbinding’, a tricky collaboration on the Antwerp Haventracé traffic plan between residents, some 20 local authorities, experts, citizens’ movements, interest groups, businesses and civil society. Because of its experience with and knowledge of urban participatory initiatives, Shaved Monkey was brought on board to create support and engagement for this large-scale project, both internally and to the outside world.

Challenging partnerships

With this kind of complex multi-stakeholder partnership, it is particularly important to have a clear view of the project’s desired identity from the outset. The starting point for our work was therefore an intensive session with the principals, Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer (Agency for Roads and Traffic) and Departement Omgeving (Department of the Environment), to scrutinise and question the intention, target groups, desired impact and communication methods. In addition, we carried out 15 in-depth interviews with stakeholders so we could take into account their expectations and concerns from the start.

“Shaved Monkey managed to translate the complexity of the Nieuwe Rand project into various communication tools in a clear way. The numerous ideas we received regarding naming and communication style really helped us tell a clear story. As project leaders, we can streamline participation with all the stakeholders thanks to user-friendly tools.”

David Stevens and Annelies De Ridder
Projectmanager, (Departement Omgeving) and projectmanager (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer)

Unifying narrative

Because of our thorough work in this first phase, we were then able to move forward quickly. Building on this solid foundation, we developed the building blocks for the further communication of the Complex Project Oostelijke Verbinding. During multiple sessions with the core team, we arrived at a unifying narrative, a new name (De Nieuwe Rand), a fresh corporate identity and accessible tone of voice. On this basis, we then developed communication tools such as an appealing website, press communication, templates, newsletters and information panels for participative events. In addition, we provided local authorities with a toolbox of letters, social media posts, articles for their websites, info sheets, panels and press releases to inform residents about the issue.

From complex to clear

Despite the unusual context, Shaved Monkey succeeded in both creating support for the new brand and clearly translating the complex subject matter within a tight timeframe. We developed an explanatory and connecting platform on which a large group of diverse stakeholders can be permanently involved in the study of the Antwerp Haventracé and the future of the region. Just three weeks after the launch, there were 5,000+ website visitors, 600+ visitors to the info market and 400+ newsletter subscribers. Tomorrow’s Antwerp Oostrand is being built together.

Want to talk?

Find out if we can move your organisation, network or project forward with a no-obligation initial meeting.