You want to be top-of-mind with your stakeholders, so how and when should you be writing them? The key is to be organized—lay out in advance when you will be sending communications, and be sure each communication has a clear purpose and a targeted set of stakeholders so that readers find your content useful rather than just flooding their inbox.
We recommend building an internal policy reputation calendar of communications your stakeholders will receive, providing your organization with a visual representation of its stakeholder communication strategy. Here are six examples of messages that should be a part of your stakeholder communication strategy:
Major company announcements are a critical component of a stakeholder communication strategy, and likely will be sent out to your widest audience. Examples of company announcements that stakeholders should receive can range from the launch of a new product to the opening of a new facility.
Keeping your stakeholders up-to-date on policy issues your organization cares about can help them better engage with your public affairs efforts and prepare them to participate in a grassroots campaign if need be.
A key to success is to keep robust target lists that map stakeholders by categories, such as issue interest, priority, frequency of communication, or geographic region. There may be a multitude of policy areas that affect your organization, but if you bombard stakeholders with content they aren’t interested in, they may be less likely to read and engage with your messages. Tagging contacts by issue area in Quorum help organizations build lists for each policy area so they can target communication efforts to those stakeholders that have a vested interest.
Data is a powerful way to get a message across to stakeholders, and sending economic impact reports on a quarterly or annual basis offers quantitative insights into the role your organization plays in your industry. Policymakers note they are more likely to engage with organizations that are able to directly demonstrate how their work impacts the lawmaker’s state or district, so be sure to communicate your organization’s footprint regularly. Consider including how many constituents you employ in the district, the number of facilities you have there, or the number of advocates that are active on your issues.
See how Engine uses Quorum to show the number of advocates in a given legislative district with lawmakers.
Along with sharing company updates with stakeholders via email, you may be hosting an event to celebrate your new product, facility, or initiative. Inviting stakeholders to events can give you opportunities to see them in person and spend time in a more relaxed setting, rather than a meeting when you may be making an ask. Events are some of your biggest opportunities to engage with stakeholders in person, so you want to make sure invitations are well-timed with other stakeholder communications. You want to ensure that when the invite hits their inbox they are enticed to open the email. Attempt to strike the balance of enough emails to get your invite out and acknowledged, but not, too many that recipients feel overwhelmed. Send targeted reminder emails based on RSVP lists to ping those who have yet to respond with different messages than those who have stated their intention to attend.
See how Walmart invites legislators and community stakeholders to facility openings with Quorum’s Outbox tool.
Consumers are placing more value on a company’s social involvement when making purchasing decisions, and thus more organizations are spending time on corporate social responsibility (CSR). From increasing sustainability efforts to aiding communities in need following natural disasters to providing supplies to schools in need of resources, organizations want to ensure stakeholders are aware of the work they are doing in their communities. Share with your stakeholders an update on when you hit a goal to reduce greenhouse emissions at your facilities, or when you’ve hit your goal for hours of community service by employees.
With a monthly or quarterly newsletter, you can give stakeholders a combination of each of the previously discussed types of communication. A newsletter should highlight recent announcements, give a digest of policy activity, and share a handful of data points about the impact of your organization. A variety of content will give recipients a chance to engage with the topics they are most interested in while getting a taste of all the work your organization is engaged in.
See how Destinations International takes an integrated approach to Public Affairs with Quorum.