By Brooke Bushart, Senior Account Executive, FSB Public Affairs
Clients in any given situation will most likely always need to activate their supporters, this could be in a crisis management situation, an educational push, or general advocacy. Stakeholder engagement lets the public within your circle and those outside know the importance of whatever message you are trying to convey; they are also key in helping emphasize a point to decision makers.
Below are the top tips on stakeholder engagement:
Who is your stakeholder?
- This is key! Who is going to care about what you have to say? You need to identify those directly impacted by your situation first. These are your tier one advocates; they are your main source of influence.
- These stakeholders can be decision makers (city council, county supervisors, other elected officials, or regulators), those impacted by the service you provide, or those in your same industry.
- After identifying your top stakeholders or tier one, continue to build out the surrounding circles to create a larger and more organic reach.
How to engage?
- After identifying who your targets are, it is time to activate and engage. This is where you need to decide what you will be asking these stakeholders to do.
- Ideally, you know your top stakeholders at some level and can make the easy ask. If not, educating the individual on what you are asking and why it is important to them is imperative. Proper education of stakeholders will also naturally lead to organic community engagement.
- You can engage your stakeholders by email, phone calls, meetings, and marketing campaigns as a few examples.
Why is this important?
- Having support in your corner builds trust and creates credibility in your message.
- A larger cultivated voice is a whole lot stronger than a singular voice saying the same thing. This will also create a cohesive message across each of the stakeholders.
Stakeholder engagement is not only important but necessary. It may be what sets you apart from your opposition or what makes your side be the strongest voice.
Our team is skilled in building and activating stakeholders of 5 to 5,000. To hear more about our firm’s capabilities, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.