Stakeholder communication is a key contributor to a major project’s success. In some ways, the implementation of the physical aspects of the project is easier than engaging with, and winning over, the key stakeholder groups required to make the project both a physical and PR success.

When it comes to stakeholder communication requirements, transparency, accuracy and communication are key. In addition, identifying and engaging with your stakeholder groups at an early stage will help to keep the project on track.

Stakeholder engagement refers to the communication between project leaders and individual stakeholders. While stakeholder management is the broader process you adopt to manage your stakeholders’ needs and expectations.

7 tips on effective stakeholder communications

1. Identify key stakeholders and plan communications

Use your stakeholder communications plan to identify stakeholders and plan communications. This is especially effective if you have a number of stakeholders with different requirements.

2. Email and e-newsletters

Email is one of the most popular tools for stakeholder communication. Its benefits include the immediate delivery of information, customisable content, and reporting on engagement and open rates. This makes it very effective in managing communications with each stakeholder. Try using a weekly digest to inform stakeholders of the top-level information from the week. This can include: budget updates, photos, news of the week, contact information, next steps, top-level project plans and more.

3. Communication automation

Regular (e.g. daily) automated email updates sent out to each stakeholder can also be effective. Automating your BAU information delivery reduces administrative load and increases consistency. Using email automation, you can customise your emails with dynamic content and send each stakeholder information specific to their needs. Visually appealing templates also make information easier to digest.

4. Presentations

These can be physical or online. Online has the distinct advantage of being able to span large geographic areas quickly and effectively. If online, you can opt to use video presentation software. Once you have completed your online presentation, save the slides and send them off to your stakeholders so they can refer to them in their own time.

5. Project Summary Reports

One of the more traditional methods that is still very effective is the Project Summary Report. Having performed your stakeholder identification research and discovered what information they require, you can tailor these reports to each stakeholder, making this report much more useful and unique.

6. Group video call or ‘screen to screen’ meetings

Schedule group video calls (e.g. weekly) to give a summary of the project. These are good to get quick responses to sudden obstacles that need to be addressed immediately.

7. Leverage informal stakeholder communications

When done right, informal stakeholder communication is often more effective than formal approaches.

Entertainment – lunches, dinners and events

Don’t discount old school corporate entertainment. Lunches and dinners are very useful for obtaining causal feedback and can serve a real purpose when it comes to relationships and building trust. These are often as effective as formal stakeholder communication so don’t rule them out.

Sporting events, team building etc. also help build on your relationship and improve communication and trust. Swift Digital works with public and private sector companies, including the utility and infrastructure sectors, and government organisations, to help improve their
communications and stakeholder management.

For more information contact them today on 1300 878 289 or email [email protected].

This Sponsored Editorial, is brought to you by Swift Digital. For more information, visit www.swiftdigital.com.au

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