Stakeholder Engagement: understand external perspectives – strengthen public acceptance
Simply waving things through was yesterday. These days,citizens, employees, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), politicians and officials are increasingly sceptical about corporate decisions and their impact on the workforce and society. Protest is now often seen as a civic duty. Whether change comes in the form of infrastructure developments, new technologies or job relocations, companies face increasing challenges in approving and implementing projects. Merely complying with legal requirements is no longer enough to bring projects to life. In addition to the regulated participation process, it is essential to informally address a wide range of stakeholders, understand their perspective, and respond to their concerns. Early stakeholder engagement is time consuming, but reduces resistance and increases the chances of a successful outcome.
Companies that succeed through early stakeholder engagement must:
- have a sincere interest in the views of third parties
- be able to productively handle disagreements
- avoid promotional statements in favour of genuine information
- show a willingness to change plans and compromise
In addition to boosting acceptance and reducing risk, this approach also broadens horizons, allowing for new insights and creating an understanding of change processes.
Even more than the market, it’s the entire social environment that determines a company’s room to manoeuvre. But how well do you know the playing field? Or the players? How well do you know the positions of your stakeholders? And the risks and opportunities that arise from them?
SKM Consultants has developed strategy recommendations and action models for a wide variety of corporate challenges in order to analyse internal and external stakeholders and integrate them into the running of a project. We offer tried and tested analysis tools, dialogue formats and participation models.
Communicating the introduction of new technologies and products
- analysis of the stakeholder environment (stakeholder mapping)
- conception of an engagement strategy
- development of a change and engagement narrative
- channels of communication and event formats
- platforms for the positioning of and with stakeholders
Early stakeholder involvement in industrial projects
- analysis of the project environment
- stakeholder mapping
- societal SWOT analysis
- stakeholder interviews and evaluation
- engagement strategy and processes
- exchange with technical, legal, regulatory and project functions
- development of an engagement timeline
- alignment of regulatory and other stakeholder contacts
- operational Stakeholder Engagement
- development of project websites, text, presentations, videos, podcasts, etc.
- support with regards to stakeholder contacts
- media relations and social media communication
- event planning and support
- coaching and training of project representatives
Implementing restructuring and operational changes
- stakeholder mapping – internally and externally
- communication strategy review of the business case
- development of a core narrative
- communication planning: milestones, measures and timeline
- development of text, video, podcasts, etc.
- preparation of internal approach to participative management committees and staff
- addressing external stakeholders in politics and authorities
- support at internal and external events (company meetings, addresses to the media, etc.)
- coaching and training of management