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Why is Stakeholder Management Important?

To achieve any goal in public affairs, it is crucial to foster and maintain good relationships. As anyone with an ounce of public affairs experience will tell you, the support and influence of key stakeholders is vital to getting things done. On the flip side, detractors can present major roadblocks if they’re not managed effectively. In highly regulated industries, it is critical to have a clearly defined stakeholder management plan so you can proactively influence policy. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be slow to react, which can lead to devastating consequences. By understanding stakeholder needs and expectations, you can effectively manage the overall project or initiative – and ultimately achieve your desired outcomes.

The Stakeholder Management Process

Now that we’ve established what stakeholder management is and why it’s important, let’s get our hands dirty. Here are the basic steps to creating a successful stakeholder management strategy.

1. Identify Your Stakeholders

In project management, identifying stakeholders is straightforward: who are the clients, who are the users, and who will manage the project internally? But with public affairs, identifying stakeholders is a little more nuanced. Generally, stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your policy issue and can affect your ability to achieve your goals. In public affairs and advocacy, stakeholders can include elected officials, community leaders, ambassadors, policymakers, nonprofits, corporations, coalition members, community organizers, or other third-party contacts. Remember, stakeholders include both supporters AND detractors. To identify your stakeholders, ask these simple questions: [post_title] => What is Stakeholder Management? Strategies and Examples [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => stakeholder-management [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-02-14 17:04:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-02-14 17:04:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://marketing-staging.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=8418 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 8418 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'stakeholder-management' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8418 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2023-02-14 16:53:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-02-14 16:53:28 [post_content] => In the public affairs arena, effective stakeholder management is critical to success. But what exactly is stakeholder management? In its simplest form, stakeholder management is the process of identifying, mapping, and managing stakeholders to achieve a specific goal. In public affairs, goals of stakeholder management could be garnering legislative support, activating grasstops advocates, fostering relationships on Capitol Hill, coalition building, improving ESG efforts, and more. This article will cover the importance of stakeholder management, how to develop a stakeholder management plan, ways to increase stakeholder engagement, and examples of effective stakeholder management.

Why is Stakeholder Management Important?

To achieve any goal in public affairs, it is crucial to foster and maintain good relationships. As anyone with an ounce of public affairs experience will tell you, the support and influence of key stakeholders is vital to getting things done. On the flip side, detractors can present major roadblocks if they’re not managed effectively. In highly regulated industries, it is critical to have a clearly defined stakeholder management plan so you can proactively influence policy. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be slow to react, which can lead to devastating consequences. By understanding stakeholder needs and expectations, you can effectively manage the overall project or initiative – and ultimately achieve your desired outcomes.

The Stakeholder Management Process

Now that we’ve established what stakeholder management is and why it’s important, let’s get our hands dirty. Here are the basic steps to creating a successful stakeholder management strategy.

1. Identify Your Stakeholders

In project management, identifying stakeholders is straightforward: who are the clients, who are the users, and who will manage the project internally? But with public affairs, identifying stakeholders is a little more nuanced. Generally, stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your policy issue and can affect your ability to achieve your goals. In public affairs and advocacy, stakeholders can include elected officials, community leaders, ambassadors, policymakers, nonprofits, corporations, coalition members, community organizers, or other third-party contacts. Remember, stakeholders include both supporters AND detractors. To identify your stakeholders, ask these simple questions: [post_title] => What is Stakeholder Management? Strategies and Examples [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => stakeholder-management [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-02-14 17:04:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-02-14 17:04:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://marketing-staging.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=8418 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [before_loop] => 1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8418 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2023-02-14 16:53:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-02-14 16:53:28 [post_content] => In the public affairs arena, effective stakeholder management is critical to success. But what exactly is stakeholder management? In its simplest form, stakeholder management is the process of identifying, mapping, and managing stakeholders to achieve a specific goal. In public affairs, goals of stakeholder management could be garnering legislative support, activating grasstops advocates, fostering relationships on Capitol Hill, coalition building, improving ESG efforts, and more. This article will cover the importance of stakeholder management, how to develop a stakeholder management plan, ways to increase stakeholder engagement, and examples of effective stakeholder management.

Why is Stakeholder Management Important?

To achieve any goal in public affairs, it is crucial to foster and maintain good relationships. As anyone with an ounce of public affairs experience will tell you, the support and influence of key stakeholders is vital to getting things done. On the flip side, detractors can present major roadblocks if they’re not managed effectively. In highly regulated industries, it is critical to have a clearly defined stakeholder management plan so you can proactively influence policy. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be slow to react, which can lead to devastating consequences. By understanding stakeholder needs and expectations, you can effectively manage the overall project or initiative – and ultimately achieve your desired outcomes.

The Stakeholder Management Process

Now that we’ve established what stakeholder management is and why it’s important, let’s get our hands dirty. Here are the basic steps to creating a successful stakeholder management strategy.

1. Identify Your Stakeholders

In project management, identifying stakeholders is straightforward: who are the clients, who are the users, and who will manage the project internally? But with public affairs, identifying stakeholders is a little more nuanced. Generally, stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your policy issue and can affect your ability to achieve your goals. In public affairs and advocacy, stakeholders can include elected officials, community leaders, ambassadors, policymakers, nonprofits, corporations, coalition members, community organizers, or other third-party contacts. Remember, stakeholders include both supporters AND detractors. To identify your stakeholders, ask these simple questions: [post_title] => What is Stakeholder Management? Strategies and Examples [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => stakeholder-management [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-02-14 17:04:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-02-14 17:04:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://marketing-staging.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=8418 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => 1 [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => 1 [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 489c38318dbef295e4a1f9352cf11f55 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [allow_query_attachment_by_filename:protected] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
!!! 8418
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What is Stakeholder Management? Strategies and Examples

What is Stakeholder Management? Strategies and Examples

In the public affairs arena, effective stakeholder management is critical to success.

But what exactly is stakeholder management?

In its simplest form, stakeholder management is the process of identifying, mapping, and managing stakeholders to achieve a specific goal. In public affairs, goals of stakeholder management could be garnering legislative support, activating grasstops advocates, fostering relationships on Capitol Hill, coalition building, improving ESG efforts, and more.

This article will cover the importance of stakeholder management, how to develop a stakeholder management plan, ways to increase stakeholder engagement, and examples of effective stakeholder management.

Why is Stakeholder Management Important?

To achieve any goal in public affairs, it is crucial to foster and maintain good relationships. As anyone with an ounce of public affairs experience will tell you, the support and influence of key stakeholders is vital to getting things done. On the flip side, detractors can present major roadblocks if they’re not managed effectively.

In highly regulated industries, it is critical to have a clearly defined stakeholder management plan so you can proactively influence policy. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be slow to react, which can lead to devastating consequences.

By understanding stakeholder needs and expectations, you can effectively manage the overall project or initiative – and ultimately achieve your desired outcomes.

The Stakeholder Management Process

Now that we’ve established what stakeholder management is and why it’s important, let’s get our hands dirty. Here are the basic steps to creating a successful stakeholder management strategy.

1. Identify Your Stakeholders

In project management, identifying stakeholders is straightforward: who are the clients, who are the users, and who will manage the project internally? But with public affairs, identifying stakeholders is a little more nuanced.

Generally, stakeholders are individuals or organizations that have a stake in your policy issue and can affect your ability to achieve your goals.

In public affairs and advocacy, stakeholders can include elected officials, community leaders, ambassadors, policymakers, nonprofits, corporations, coalition members, community organizers, or other third-party contacts. Remember, stakeholders include both supporters AND detractors.

To identify your stakeholders, ask these simple questions:

2. Prioritize Stakeholders

The next step to managing your stakeholder relationships is to identify different types of stakeholders and prioritize them; this step is often called stakeholder mapping. At Quorum, organizations typically adhere to five techniques to map stakeholders:

By Issue

To map by issue, go through your list of stakeholders identified in Step #1 and tag them with all relevant issues.

This is especially helpful for multi-issue organizations because you can quickly filter your stakeholders to see who’s relevant when an issue pops up and who to activate to help promote your stance.

By Team Member Relationship

In the simplest terms, this technique means assigning a team member to each stakeholder. This allows organizations to quickly sort lists to see who is in charge of what relationship.

With an Interest-Influence Matrix

To build an interest-influence matrix, categorize each stakeholder by their level of interest and their level of influence on a single issue.

Next, plot them on a chart with people of high power and high interest in the top right and low interest and low power in the bottom left. Building a matrix like this makes it easy to see which stakeholders you should prioritize.

With a Tiered System

A tiered system involves assigning a number to stakeholders based on their level of engagement — for example, 1 for the most involved stakeholders and 3 for the least involved stakeholders.

Separating stakeholders with tiers can help you identify groups that need more attention so you can activate them and move them into the next tier.

As Champion, Neutral, Detractor

Using tags of champion, neutral, or detractor makes it easier to segment your audience so you can send targeted stakeholder communications as scale.

Most organizations use several (or all) of these techniques in conjunction. But what’s important for your organization and what works for your team will obviously vary.

To learn more about stakeholder mapping techniques, read our guide:

3. Get To Know Your Stakeholders

Now that your stakeholders are organized, it’s time for additional research to learn more about their interests. Learning more about your stakeholders is crucial for crafting effective communications (which we’ll discuss in the next section).

For example, if you know your stakeholder was personally affected by your issue, you’ll want to know that when speaking with them. On the flip side, if your stakeholder doesn’t even know about your subject, you’ll need to focus on additional education.

One approach to learning more about your contacts is to survey stakeholders. Surveys are great because they don’t make any assumptions and allow stakeholders to explain their positions in their own words.

Another key benefit of learning more about stakeholders is identifying who in your network has a pre-existing relationship. For example, you might learn that one of your most active advocates went to college with a key legislative stakeholder.

If your stakeholders are legislators, you can also look at their voting records. While this information is publicly available, it’s often easier to use a tool like Quorum to look up officials, look at their records, and quickly assign team members or plot them on your interest-influence matrix.

4. Set Your Communication Approach

Building a communication plan is essential to running a successful project. And remember, email isn’t the only communication channel out there. Your plan could also include in-person and virtual events, social media outreach, text messaging, etc.

Building rapport through timely updates and check-ins helps build trust and ensures that both parties have a stronger stake in each other’s success. Ultimately, by cultivating strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, organizations can more effectively identify growth opportunities, build consensus, sharpen operations, increase efficiency, avoid conflict, and achieve their desired objectives.

For this step, we recommend creating stakeholder groups based on the mapping exercise we discussed earlier.

Segmenting your audience allows you to customize your messages. The message you send to a detractor will be much different than the message you send to a high-influence champion.

For more information on building a communication plan, read Building a Strong Stakeholder Communication Strategy.

5. Start Stakeholder Engagement

Once you’ve mapped your stakeholders and built out your communications plan, it’s time to start actually engaging with your stakeholders. The most common channels for stakeholder engagement include email, phone calls, events, and social media.

Effective stakeholder engagement means juggling a lot of different relationships. To make engagement easier, use a purpose-built solution like Quorum.

Quorum’s stakeholder engagement platform streamlines your management process, making it easier to organize stakeholders, log interactions, and report on your success.

With Quorum, you can record every stakeholder interaction, from email opens to RSVPs and meetings. You can even follow the conversation online and understand common themes with social media monitoring.

Stakeholder Management Examples

Let’s look at real-world examples of organizations using stakeholder management to achieve their business goals.

The Uber team was actively engaging stakeholders, but they weren’t properly tracking those engagements and the takeaways from conversations they had with members of Congress, staffers, and other stakeholders. To get organized, they had to rethink their stakeholder management process. Learn how Uber used Quorum to unify their team.

Walmart needed a way to effectively communicate its efforts in districts across the country. But knowing who to communicate with in each particular district was a problem. To overcome this problem, Walmart used Quorum to identify stakeholders and build vital relationships.

Coca-Cola managed its stakeholders in one system and sent its stakeholder communications in another. While this worked, it was messy. The process involved a lot of copying and pasting between platforms and even walking around the office and asking a lot of questions. Coca-Cola brought the two processes under one roof, which instantly improved its stakeholder management process.

Additional Tips for Managing Stakeholder Relationships

Establishing and managing relationships with stakeholders can be daunting, but there are a few ways to make it easier.

One helpful tip is always to remember the why — the reason your project was initiated in the first place. Doing so will help you focus on the goal and create something that adds value for everyone involved.

Another important thing to do is be reflective — look back at what happened in each interaction and note areas for improvement.

Finally, two-way communication is key — make sure all stakeholders feel comfortable providing honest feedback. Remember, this is a relationship, meaning you need to listen just as much as you need to talk.

With these tips in mind, managing successful relationships with stakeholders can become less overwhelming and more rewarding.

The Importance of Reviewing Your Stakeholder Management Strategy Regularly

To ensure that you and your stakeholders are satisfied with outcomes, it is critical to monitor and review your stakeholder management strategy regularly. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when executing a stakeholder strategy, but setting time to review your process periodically allows you to make improvements along the way.

Additionally, it’s essential to take the feedback from stakeholders into consideration and adjust strategies accordingly – this helps maintain the overall trust levels between groups. Monitoring and reviewing stakeholder management strategies periodically strengthens stakeholder relationships, leading to better business performance and results.

Lastly, organizations need to regularly remap their stakeholders to assess if their positions have changed. Stakeholder’s positions can move from neutral to champion or neutral to detractor. They may also move up and down tiers.

Reviewing your stakeholder management strategy on a quarterly or annual basis ensures your organization is always prepared to engage with stakeholders at a moment’s notice.

Ready to learn more?

Five Examples of Stakeholder Engagement Strategy