In most parts of the world, gaining and maintaining a Social License has become the prime limiting factor for mining projects. While there is a general consciousness of the importance of first impressions and the need to make them ‘count’, there remains a lack of awareness of how the next steps can affect the potential for relationship building. The presentation will describe the why and how of early community relationship building for mining and mineral exploration projects using practical examples to illustrate the principles involved. Equally important is knowing what not to do, a parallel process that will also be discussed. Starting right has never been more important – there are rarely second chances to make those critical early initiatives that can be the difference between success and failure.