Reflections on building a new stakeholder forum.
There’s value in the individual stakeholder relationships a comms & engagement team hold. The one on one conversations where you can be frank, build trust and influence.
But sometimes there is value in bringing your stakeholders together, leading a conversation, creating dialogue, consensus and a sense of sharing in the future direction of your organisation.
Over the last few months we’ve been pulling together a new stakeholder forum to do some of this, here are some of the things that come to mind when doing this work.
- Having a clear purpose for the forum. What do you need it to deliver.
- Who do we need in the room. Is our stakeholder mapping up to date. And making sure to match attendance with purpose.
- Pitch at the right level. Working group? strategic advice? critical friends?
- Keep selling why this forum is worth your stakeholders time. They’re not there to serve you, this needs to be worth their time.
- Demonstrate how your stakeholders involvement has had an impact. ‘You said, we did’ but also something more tangible.
- Have a clear idea of what success looks like for you, is it sentiment, is it support, is it insight. And then make sure you can measure it.
We’re getting some of these right at the moment, but need to continue to work to make sure we get them all right, all of the time.