For years, when working on a real estate or transportation project, the developer or public entity leading the project was often seen front-and-center. This is still the case in many developments, but increasingly the architect, engineering firm, or construction company is finding itself in the public spotlight. Those types of firms have not traditionally invested in community relations programs. As players behind the scenes, they weren’t called on for significant interaction with the public and key other constituencies. All of that has changed in the wake of the Great Recession and the return of large-scale public projects, especially in the transportation sector. As A/C/E firms become more central players — and often pointed at as the scapegoat when a projects takes a bad turn — community relations and external communications should take greater priority.