Communicating to Diverse Stakeholders

Just as every project you manage in your business is unique, so are its stakeholders.

Whether your business offers a ‘one-size fits all’ or a ‘made-to-order’ strategy, is its imperative to employ differing communication tactics with your directors, suppliers, customers and even community members, as each require different levels of attention, management and interaction.

As stakeholders both impact and are impacted by your business, how you approach their attitudes, behaviours and expectations can impact your organisation.

Here are 3 steps to guide you to effective stakeholder communication management.

1. Identify all your stakeholders

The first step to ensuring you can effectively communicate with diverse stakeholders is identifying all the individuals, groups, unions and bodies that will require either immediate or ongoing attention. Assess and rank the stakeholders based on time, financial or legal commitments or even the power they can leverage on your business.

2. Set objectives

Now that you have identified your stakeholders and categorised them in an efficient manner, the next step encourages you to clarify and develop the messages and attention they will need, essentially, what and why are you communicating? Is it to inform, involve or engage them? Is it proactive or reactive? Your approach to how you communicate with the varying stakeholders will be based on whether it is to raise awareness, spread knowledge or change behaviour.

3. Choose a channel

When you’ve clarified intentions and developed a message, you’ll need to finalise what format or medium you’ll utilise to communicate with the stakeholders. Some stakeholders will respond effectively to a phone call or face-to-face meeting, while others will require paper trails, and some may just need to receive an email here an