Following on from last month’s PR blog on identifying your stakeholders, this month takes you to the next step: developing communication strategies to reach and engage with them.
A quick recap: Stakeholders refers to any group or individual who can affect or can be affected by you.
The stakeholders who are likely to have the most impact would be employees, customers, potential customers, suppliers, the media, JV or strategic partners and industry associations.
The first step is to list the key messages you wish to communicate to each stakeholder group. Following this it’s time to decide which is the best way to reach them and create a two-way dialogue.
There are numerous ways you can achieve this including:
* Face-to-face meetings
* Holding a workshop, seminar or other event
* Open days
* Guest speaker at an event
* Direct mail pieces
* Engaging on social media
* Writing letters and sending emails
* Meeting for lunch or coffee
In most cases, engaging with your stakeholders will involve more than one of these methods. But crucially, you need to provide the opportunity for them to respond.
Once these are defined, you need to decide on the PR and communication strategies. These are the methods by which you will achieve your PR objectives. For more on PR vs Company objectives, click here:
The best way to explain this process is to provide an example:
Find the best people to fill the graduate positions in your company.
Demonstrate that your company is a great place to work.
Some suggested communication strategies:
* Enter awards for ‘best workplace’ or ‘best employer’.
* Promote the success of graduates in the company.
* Show potential graduate employees first hand what the company has to offer.
Once you have developed the PR strategies, you can then decide on the best activities that can be undertaken to achieve them.
Activities to reach the objectives:
* Use publicity to promote any successes gained in award entries (even being nominated is an achievement).
* Arrange for past graduate employees to speak at university open days.
* Highlight successful graduates on the company website and in newsletters.
* Host an open day or be part of an open day event. For example:
* Produce a video that encapsulates your key messages and add to website and share with other online sites.
* Write case studies on former graduates for their Alma Mater publication.
This process can be applied to any objective you have. And please be sure to provide some mechanism for feedback.
I hope this has been useful. If you have any comments, please use the comments box below.
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