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What is Stakeholder Engagement?

Stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your success, can affect your ability to achieve your goals, and are influential to growth. Stakeholders can range from elected officials, to key influencers, ambassadors, policymakers or other third-party contacts.

Stakeholder engagement is the process of developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.

Stakeholders may come from different walks of life, but by surveying their backgrounds, an organization can learn their stakeholders’ interests and identify relationships that may exist among their network. An organization should engage their stakeholders by first identifying them, monitoring their activity, and communicating with them in a thoughtful way.

How Does Stakeholder Engagement Relate to Public Affairs?

Your public affairs strategy should not stop with elected officials—it is important to engage other stakeholders in your network, such as grantees, employees, community partners, and more. To assess each group of stakeholders’ potential to help you achieve your objectives, start by mapping their positions by interest and influence. To get started with stakeholder mapping, download our Stakeholder Engagement Matrix.

Effective communication is essential to an organization’s relationship with its stakeholders. To achieve successful stakeholder engagement, It is key to use tools that make communicating with stakeholders as easy as possible.

How to Measure Stakeholder Engagement

A critical component of public affairs is relationship building with stakeholders through events, one-on-one meetings, emails, phone calls, and more. So how do you measure if the stakeholder engagement work you’re doing is successful?

Measuring your stakeholder engagement efforts helps identify what strategies move the needle on your issues. What activities are best at pushing stakeholders from detractors to allies, or allies to champions? With this knowledge, your organization can adjust the allocation of time, money, and resources to better focus on the parts of your stakeholder engagement strategy that drive results.

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What is Stakeholder Engagement?

Stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your success, can affect your ability to achieve your goals, and are influential to growth. Stakeholders can range from elected officials, to key influencers, ambassadors, policymakers or other third-party contacts.

Stakeholder engagement is the process of developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.

Stakeholders may come from different walks of life, but by surveying their backgrounds, an organization can learn their stakeholders’ interests and identify relationships that may exist among their network. An organization should engage their stakeholders by first identifying them, monitoring their activity, and communicating with them in a thoughtful way.

How Does Stakeholder Engagement Relate to Public Affairs?

Your public affairs strategy should not stop with elected officials—it is important to engage other stakeholders in your network, such as grantees, employees, community partners, and more. To assess each group of stakeholders’ potential to help you achieve your objectives, start by mapping their positions by interest and influence. To get started with stakeholder mapping, download our Stakeholder Engagement Matrix.

Effective communication is essential to an organization’s relationship with its stakeholders. To achieve successful stakeholder engagement, It is key to use tools that make communicating with stakeholders as easy as possible.

How to Measure Stakeholder Engagement

A critical component of public affairs is relationship building with stakeholders through events, one-on-one meetings, emails, phone calls, and more. So how do you measure if the stakeholder engagement work you’re doing is successful?

Measuring your stakeholder engagement efforts helps identify what strategies move the needle on your issues. What activities are best at pushing stakeholders from detractors to allies, or allies to champions? With this knowledge, your organization can adjust the allocation of time, money, and resources to better focus on the parts of your stakeholder engagement strategy that drive results.

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What is Stakeholder Engagement?

Stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your success, can affect your ability to achieve your goals, and are influential to growth. Stakeholders can range from elected officials, to key influencers, ambassadors, policymakers or other third-party contacts.

Stakeholder engagement is the process of developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.

Stakeholders may come from different walks of life, but by surveying their backgrounds, an organization can learn their stakeholders’ interests and identify relationships that may exist among their network. An organization should engage their stakeholders by first identifying them, monitoring their activity, and communicating with them in a thoughtful way.

How Does Stakeholder Engagement Relate to Public Affairs?

Your public affairs strategy should not stop with elected officials—it is important to engage other stakeholders in your network, such as grantees, employees, community partners, and more. To assess each group of stakeholders’ potential to help you achieve your objectives, start by mapping their positions by interest and influence. To get started with stakeholder mapping, download our Stakeholder Engagement Matrix.

Effective communication is essential to an organization’s relationship with its stakeholders. To achieve successful stakeholder engagement, It is key to use tools that make communicating with stakeholders as easy as possible.

How to Measure Stakeholder Engagement

A critical component of public affairs is relationship building with stakeholders through events, one-on-one meetings, emails, phone calls, and more. So how do you measure if the stakeholder engagement work you’re doing is successful?

Measuring your stakeholder engagement efforts helps identify what strategies move the needle on your issues. What activities are best at pushing stakeholders from detractors to allies, or allies to champions? With this knowledge, your organization can adjust the allocation of time, money, and resources to better focus on the parts of your stakeholder engagement strategy that drive results.

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Blog

Stakeholder Engagement: What, Why & How

Stakeholder Engagement: What, Why & How

What is Stakeholder Engagement?

Stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your success, can affect your ability to achieve your goals, and are influential to growth. Stakeholders can range from elected officials, to key influencers, ambassadors, policymakers or other third-party contacts.

Stakeholder engagement is the process of developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.

Stakeholders may come from different walks of life, but by surveying their backgrounds, an organization can learn their stakeholders’ interests and identify relationships that may exist among their network. An organization should engage their stakeholders by first identifying them, monitoring their activity, and communicating with them in a thoughtful way.

How Does Stakeholder Engagement Relate to Public Affairs?

Your public affairs strategy should not stop with elected officials—it is important to engage other stakeholders in your network, such as grantees, employees, community partners, and more. To assess each group of stakeholders’ potential to help you achieve your objectives, start by mapping their positions by interest and influence. To get started with stakeholder mapping, download our Stakeholder Engagement Matrix.

Effective communication is essential to an organization’s relationship with its stakeholders. To achieve successful stakeholder engagement, It is key to use tools that make communicating with stakeholders as easy as possible.

How to Measure Stakeholder Engagement

A critical component of public affairs is relationship building with stakeholders through events, one-on-one meetings, emails, phone calls, and more. So how do you measure if the stakeholder engagement work you’re doing is successful?

Measuring your stakeholder engagement efforts helps identify what strategies move the needle on your issues. What activities are best at pushing stakeholders from detractors to allies, or allies to champions? With this knowledge, your organization can adjust the allocation of time, money, and resources to better focus on the parts of your stakeholder engagement strategy that drive results.

Five Examples of Stakeholder Engagement Strategy

Why Measure Stakeholder Engagement?

Building valuable relationships with stakeholders can help your organization gather feedback from different perspectives and guide your strategy. Because stakeholder engagement is so valuable, making sure you have a plan in place to measure this engagement will help your organization know when to intervene.

Without stakeholder engagement measurement, there is no way to know how effective your stakeholder engagement is. You may be spending hours of your week sending emails, planning events, or engaging stakeholders in meetings with no down-funnel impact on the strength of your relationships. The other main benefit of measuring stakeholder engagement, besides knowing whether or not the strategy is working, is knowing which tactics in the larger strategy are working best.

As your organization becomes more aware of the techniques that work and don’t work, you can adjust engagement tactics to increase buy-in over time. As a whole, the data collected while measuring stakeholder engagement can also provide insight to reflect on for future strategy and reporting.

Here are the main benefits of measuring stakeholder engagement:

  • Understand how your stakeholder network is changing
  • Provides a larger guide to engagement strategy
  • Increases leadership buy-in with defined success metrics
  • Evaluate performance of engagement techniques
  • Access to past performance data

Build an Internal Stakeholder Tier System

One way to measure stakeholder engagement is to map your stakeholders across an internal system. For example, some organizations use numbered tiers. A “Tier 1” stakeholder is your biggest champion, while a “Tier 3” stakeholder is someone who has just entered your organization’s network and is loosely connected. What comprises each tier may be quantitative or qualitative. A Tier 3 stakeholder could be measured by the number of times they’ve engaged in activity with or on behalf of your organization, such as the number of events attended or emails responded to. Or, a Tier 3 stakeholder may be measured in a qualitative way, looking at the strength of the personal relationship with an employee of the organization or their level of expertise in a given subject area. This system will look different depending on what outputs you want to measure in your organization.

Track Changes of Tiers

Once stakeholders are mapped to their respective tiers, look at your effectiveness in moving them to a higher tier over the course of a year. Set a goal for how many you wish to have in each tier by the end of the year, or other given time period. As you host events, hold meetings, and communicate with stakeholders throughout the year, track those engagements and update individuals’ tiers as those they change in tier status. Assigning team members in your organization as the primary relationship holder can assist with the identification of tier assignments and denote ownership over the tier movement of a given set of stakeholders.

Evaluate the Engagements that Drove Stakeholders to New Tiers

At the end of the year, take a look at what changed, and what factors were unique to the stakeholders that moved to a higher or lower tier. For example, maybe at the beginning of the year you had 50 Tier 2 stakeholders on energy issues, and at the end of the year, 30 of those Tier 2 stakeholders moved up to Tier 3. Ask yourself, what interactions were most common among those 30? Did they attend more events, or open more emails? Did those relationships belong to particular team members who were most successful at building stronger champions?

With this system, you can better measure and evaluate 1) how successful your organization is at pushing stakeholders to be more engaged and 2) what specific activities or characteristics make an individual more likely to move to a higher tier of engagement.

How to Improve Stakeholder Engagement with Digital Tools

Your stakeholders are a critical part of your business. Whether there is a legislative issue your organization cares about or a brand message you want to share widely, your stakeholders have the interest and influence to make an impact on your bottom line. Given the impact of stakeholders on an organization’s ability to move the needle on issues you care about, public affairs professionals are always looking for ways to improve and modernize their stakeholder engagement work.

So, how can your organization improve its approach to stakeholder engagement? Digital tools.

With a digital stakeholder engagement tool like Quorum, you can improve a number of aspects of stakeholder engagement.

Strategies to Implement  Digital Stakeholder Engagement

Digital tools can aid in improving your stakeholder engagement strategy by helping you:

  • Identify Your Champions
  • Map Stakeholders by Interest and Influence
  • Survey Your Stakeholders
  • Log Meetings with Stakeholders
  • Communicate Your Message to Stakeholders
  • Measure Success of Stakeholder Engagement

Identify Your Champions

While you likely have an existing list of your organization’s stakeholders, it is worthwhile to continue to research potential stakeholders and champions of your issue or organization. A digital tool with social media monitoring can help identify new champions. For example, there may be a member of Congress, member of the European Parliament, or state legislator who your office hasn’t met with before, but mentions your issue frequently on Twitter and Facebook. With a tool that includes social media monitoring, you’ll never miss a mention of issues your organization cares about and can identify new champions (or detractors) on your issue.

Map Stakeholders by Interest and Influence

Stakeholder mapping is a critical step in your stakeholder engagement strategy so that you can identify and track your most important stakeholders. With a digital tool, you can identify an individual’s level of interest in a given issue using tools like social media monitoring. Or, you could map interest based on the frequency that a stakeholder has attended your organization’s events or responded to email communications. Then, use tags on a stakeholder profile to track the level of influence your team believes a particular stakeholder has.

With Quorum, users can then build a spreadsheet with columns of influence and interest, and map these onto a graph showing where stakeholders land—high interest and influence, high interest and low influence, low interest and high influence, or low interest and influence.

Survey Your Stakeholders

Your stakeholders have valuable information that can help your organization move your issue forward, and surveying them can help uncover that knowledge. For example, by surveying stakeholders, you can find which stakeholders have personal relationships with particular legislators and use that knowledge to build new legislative champions. You can also use the survey opportunity to learn a stakeholder’s desired level of engagement with your organization, like their willingness to participate in a fly-in.

Log Meetings with Stakeholders

Is your team concerned with maintaining institutional knowledge? Getting new employees up to speed with your team’s relationships? Logging meetings with stakeholders in a digital database is an effective way to improve stakeholder engagement as it provides a searchable resource so that any member of your team can be up-to-speed on conversations with each stakeholder. A best practice—set a standard for how your team will organize the content of meeting notes so that it’s easy to quickly find the information you’re looking for within each logged meeting. Logging meetings with stakeholders also helps measure the impact of your stakeholder engagement work. Did the stakeholders you met with most frequently become more invested in your issue? Were meetings with a particular member of your team especially effective at moving the needle? All of this data is easily accessible with a digital database of logged meetings.

Communicate Your Message to Stakeholders

A best practice to communicate your message to stakeholders is to plan out a policy reputation calendar for the year, with each month having a theme that you want to communicate to stakeholders. For example, November may focus on a theme of how your organization aids veterans, coinciding with Veteran’s Day.

To do this effectively, use a digital system that allows you to tag stakeholders by their interests, so you can make sure each stakeholder only receives the messages that are most relevant to them. This will keep stakeholders most engaged rather than being overwhelmed by too many messages.

Measure Success of Stakeholder Engagement

Measuring your stakeholder engagement efforts helps identify what strategies move the needle on your issues. What activities are best at pushing stakeholders from detractors to allies, or allies to champions? With this knowledge, your organization can adjust the allocation of time, money, and resources to better focus on the parts of your stakeholder engagement strategy that drive results.

To effectively measure your stakeholder engagement work, map each stakeholder to a numbered tier based on their current level of interest and influence in the issues your organization cares about. Then, track your engagements with those stakeholders, and move them to a new tier of interest or influence as necessary. At the end of the year, evaluate the factors in your stakeholder engagement strategy that were most effective at moving stakeholders to a new tier.

Manage Stakeholder Engagement with Quorum

By using Quorum to manage stakeholder engagement, you can connect your efforts all in one platform. With Quorum, you can organize your contacts, track their activity, and communicate with your stakeholders to increase stakeholder engagement.

Learn how Quorum helps with stakeholder engagement

Schedule a Demo