Public affairs isn’t limited to the halls of Congress, state capitals, or city halls. Communicating and engaging with stakeholders—whether they are employees, grantees, or donors to your organization—is critical, as they can amplify your message and build your brand within the communities they live and work in.
Here are three examples of effective stakeholder engagement strategy:
While your staff holds relationships with lawmakers through formal lobbying and advocacy, your stakeholders likely have existing personal relationships with legislators that you may not be aware of. Perhaps they went to college together, were neighbors growing up, or their kids play on the same soccer team. By surveying stakeholders, you can learn what relationships exist in your network and use them to amplify the issues you care about.
Along with identifying existing relationships, use your survey to learn new things about your advocates—ask what issues are most important to them or if they would be interested in participating in a lobby day.
Learn three reasons for surveying your stakeholders as part of your stakeholder engagement strategy.
If your organization has a large number of stakeholders, it is an important part of your stakeholder engagement strategy to prioritize your stakeholders by their interest in being involved with your organization and their level of influence on particular issues. This can help segment your engagement. For example, if a stakeholder is less interested in being involved, you may want to be more limited in how often you communicate with them. Or, if a particular stakeholder has a lot of influence, you may want to be more personal with your outreach so that they are more excited about working with you.
Using a matrix template can be helpful to organize your stakeholders by interest and influence. Download your own editable stakeholder engagement matrix template.
A key strategy for stakeholder engagement is consistently communicating company activity. For Coca-Cola, this means communicating with the launch of a new product, the promotion of a new community initiative, or the release of a Super Bowl ad—messages it calls “News from The Coca-Cola Company”.
With a digital tool to organize and communicate with stakeholders, Coca-Cola is able to track who is opening and engaging with the emails, prompting opportunities for further engagement.
Read Coca-Cola’s full case study to see how it communicates with stakeholders in Quorum.
A bonus tip: Log your meetings with stakeholders to track who you’re engaging with the most. See why your team should log meetings.