Shortcomings of Traditional Stakeholder Management

Shortcomings of Traditional Stakeholder Management

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Traditional methods of stakeholder management relied on a mass media approach. The information intended to inform was not targeted to the individual but rather to the general interest of the group as a whole.

Channels like phone calls, printed newsletters, mass mailings, and print advertising/flyers formed the bulk of the methods used to reach stakeholders. Written surveys and personal interviews were used to gather data on reactions and preferences. These non-digital methods were expensive and often ill-timed. Also, as they were indirect forms of communications, they didn’t do enough to allow the development of personal and meaningful relationships.

The early days of email and internet services, such as search engines and websites, contributed more to the timeliness of information. But, as they still targeted the masses, they weren’t able to engage the stakeholders at an adequately personal level. Invariably, some of the stakeholders would either be dissatisfied with the information or seek more direct answers to their questions. Chaos ensued, time was consumed by responding to individual stakeholders and board rooms were disrupted by VIPs seeking satisfaction.

The outcomes were not pretty. Reputations were harmed, cost increases realised, schedules delayed and performance efficiencies impacted. As a result, projects either failed outright or were cancelled because the objective of the project had to change so significantly.

But now, modern stakeholder management has the digital tools and delivery models to change that paradigm at a reduced cost with a deeper level of personalised engagement. Coupled with an ever-expanding array of communication channels, even the most remote stakeholders can be reached with personalised messages. You now have the opportunity to develop a better relationship with the whole of their stakeholder constituency.

Let’s face it, stakeholder management these days is an exercise in cross-channel marketing in an integrated Internet of Things (IoT) environment. Mobile communications now work hand in hand with social media, email, digital advertising and a host of other methods available. The possibilities are endless if you treat your stakeholders as customers of your project. Put on your marketing hat and realise that now, you can do these kind of things to automate and personalise the stakeholder management process:

➢ Track your stakeholder’s activities online. Understand what social media channels they frequently use and when they are likely to be there interacting with people. These will be prime times to communicate with them.
➢ Gather vital intelligence on what your stakeholders are saying online. It will help you build an accurate profile on each stakeholder so that your communications with them will be personal and focused on what’s important to them.
➢ Automate and personalise your communications with each stakeholder. Use software to deliver your message at the right time and reach them when they’re receptive.

Stakeholder management is a process. Your objective is to inform, influence, and develop a positive relationship with each stakeholder. Modern marketing algorithms, software, and automated information systems keep your stakeholder profiles current in the customer relationship management (CRM) module and their behavioural characteristics up to date. Use them to your advantage.

Mark Rutter

Director at Tractivity
After graduating from Staffordshire University I joined Tractivity as a Junior Developer and can say I have never looked back since. From Developer to Director, my passion for Tractivity continues to grow as I uncover new ways to improve and grow our business.

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