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Targeted Communication:
The key to effective stakeholder engagement

If you can't convince them, confuse them.
Harry Truman

Keywords: Communication, Engagement, Stakeholders, Senior stakeholder engagement. 

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Targeted communication - the key to effective stakeholder engagement   [P191]

Just as each project is unique, so are its stakeholders! Whether as individuals, groups or organizations, every stakeholder, and every stakeholder community has a unique and evolving set of cultures, expectations and perceptions. To engage with, and influence, these diverse communities, the traditional approach to project communications of regular reports and other ‘one size fits all’ strategies needs to be replaced. Effective communication takes into account the complexity of the people who work with, or benefit from, the outcomes of the project; and works to engage the constantly changing group of people whose support and involvement are essential to project success – this requires communication competence.

This conceptual paper is based on the widely used Stakeholder Circle methodology, and defines a structured but flexible approach to identifying and engaging a project’s stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of the project. The methodology describes ways to identify and prioritise stakeholders, understand their needs and expectations, develop targeted communication strategies to influence attitudes and behaviour, and then to measure the effectiveness of the overall strategy in maintaining the support of key positive stakeholders and reducing opposition from negative stakeholders.

Author: Lynda Bourne

Presented at:

Panama City
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