Public Outreach and Engagement Team (POET)

POET is a multi-disciplinary group with expertise in planning, public policy, marketing, communication and public engagement techniques. POET offers a full range of outreach and engagement services, from concept and advisory to full implementation of outreach and engagement events. Our team specializes in innovative outreach methods tailored to the specific demographic and community profile of the target population.

Program Services

Group of women on bench

Public Engagement and Outreach

  • Public engagement plan development
  • Open house, workshop and conference execution
  • Mobile outreach development and deployment
  • Training and educational activities for children and teens
Smiling African American guy sitting in public transportation an

Marketing and Communications

  • Project-related marketing and recruitment strategy development
  • Public relations, earned media and social media marketing
  • Website, newsletter and electronic communication and material production
  • Multi-media production, including short videos, podcasts and web features
Group of engineers with blueprints standing on construction site.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Development, management and recruitment for working groups, task forces and
    advisory committees
  • Expert facilitation for meetings, workshops, or focus groups

POET Staff

Miriam Salerno

Miriam Salerno

Managing Director, Public Outreach and Engagement Team (POET)

Andrea Lubin

Andrea Lubin

Senior Researcher


Excellence Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

American Planning Association


Silver Award for Innovative Outreach

American Planning Association


John and Jane Q Public Award for Innovative Outreach

Transportation Research Board


Project Highlights

DESTINATION 2040: Middlesex County Master Plan Public and Stakeholder Engagement

POET is providing Middlesex County with overall public involvement and stakeholder engagement support for DESTINATION 2040, Master Plan update for the county.  POET developed a public involvement plan which includes deployment of a variety of engagement strategies such as face to face, meeting in a box, and online engagement.  Through this partnership, Middlesex County is committed to extensive outreach to obtain feedback from those who live and work in Middlesex County to inform priorities for the Master Plan. POET is also providing technical assistance and support by training county staff and facilitating and supporting stakeholder meetings.

NJTPA “On Air!” Pop-up Activity Booth

In order to engage children and teens around a Regional Transportation Plan developed by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), POET designed a simple and fun pop-up activity booth reimagined as a radio studio. Kids sat “inside” the booth and were “interviewed” about what they imagine transportation will be like in the future. POET brought the activity to kid-friendly locations including the Liberty Science Center and Boys and Girls Club after school programs.

Set the Table! Civic Dinner Parties

POET developed, coordinated, and managed this civic dinner party program to engage Millennials in NJTPA’s regional planning process. Volunteers hosted dinner parties with their friends where they discussed elements of the regional plan, such as technology, resiliency, and the economy. POET designed a “meeting-in-a-box” to assist each dinner host, including a card game with questions and facts to guide the conversation and forms to collect feedback. POET also created the program’s branding and successful social media campaign, attracting many applicants.

TNJ Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement

POET coordinated both stakeholder and public engagement for the Together North Jersey Regional Plan. Activities included management of Steering, Executive, and Standing Committees consisting of 300 members in total; planning and execution of 15 regional workshops; 20 pop-up kiosk events; online engagement via; 3 major conferences; and multiple working group meetings.

Public Engagement Research

POET conducted eight diverse focus groups throughout North Jersey to understand residents’ reactions to marketing messages, motivations for attending public meetings, and awareness of NJTPA’s outreach efforts. In addition, POET created a searchable database detailing over 250 unique public engagement techniques and best practices that other public agencies have used to reach a variety of audiences. Planning agencies can identify strategies that fit their projects by budget, scale, purpose, and additional factors.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact us at:

Phone: 848.932.2876 or 848.932.2376

Email: poet [at]