The AO approach to strategic communications


Transformation is the very essence of economic development. AO extends and intensifies the transformative outcomes of the economic development programs we design through our innovative approach to strategic communications.


We begin this process by mapping stakeholder interests and concerns and analyzing how they influence decision makers and public opinion. Our communication strategies facilitate improved information sharing that strengthens stakeholder engagement, raises public awareness, and catalyzes social and public policy transformation. By developing stakeholder capacity to design, adopt, and implement strategic communication strategies through the most effective media, AO empowers stakeholders beyond the life of the projects we design.


Principal elements of AO’s strategic communications approach include:

a.outreach efforts to inform the public

b.advocacy and promotion with decision makers

c.stakeholder engagement


Informing the public


At the broadest level, our strategic communications activities target the general public in order to inform and engage the widest possible selection of potential stakeholders in a given initiative.


CASE STUDY - Coffee in Chiapas: Between November 2013 and January 2014, AO staff provided technical support to Heifer International, the Howard G. Buffet Foundation (HGBF) and the Coca-Cola Company to develop the coffee value chain in the Soconusco region of Chiapas, Mexico.


As part of this effort, AO designed strategies to empower coffee producers through dissemination of best practices that improve the productivity and quality of local coffee. AO also developed the video above as an outreach  tool to inform and engage  the coffee industry and the general public about the region’s opportunities and challenges. For the full video go to: