Stakeholder Engagement

Once the stakeholders are identified and their positions analyzed, a strategy can be developed to engage them. Below are principles for engaging stakeholders.

Communicate thoroughly. Stakeholders will want a lot of information to reduce the uncertainty that surrounds any recovery process and to satisfy themselves that they can form their own views about how their interests are being impacted.

Articulate a vision. Stakeholders will find a solid recovery plan and vision reassuring.

Balance transparency with discretion. Be open with information, but don’t make rash disclosures that could harm your bargaining position.

Engage people. In many cases, a stakeholder will be another organization. However, organizations are made up of people. Understand the people’s interests and how to engage them.

Manage perceptions and reality. Understand where stakeholders’ perceptions differ from reality. Then try to shape their expectations accordingly.

Develop a special approach for elected officials. Elected officials are a distinct stakeholder group. Use special approaches to work together.

Engage the media. Hold media briefings before public meetings to answer their questions and help get your story out to the public. Be responsive to media inquiries. Also use “new media” technologies, like blogs, to reach the public more directly.

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