When talking about stakeholder engagement with our clients, it all comes down to the same simple bottom line: you all want to build successful and constructive relationships with your stakeholders. Am I right? You want to know which communities and individuals of interest think, talk, root for or against your projects, and you also want to open two-way dialogue with them regarding your activities and plans. And that’s exactly why you’re using the Boréalis Stakeholder Engagement application, to keep track and analyze a range of activities and interactions.
We all remember planning an activity (whether it’s in our personal lives or for work) and somehow, no matter how well we planned it, it did not work according to plans. I know you’re thinking of some specific project right now. Well, reason why we remember is simply because failed events always tend to hurt us more, they leave a greater print in our memories. Also, when it comes to stakeholder engagement specifically, failures can be harmful on the stakeholder side as well, like when the message did not come across effectively for example.
Planning and informing your stakeholders of events, initiatives and activities have never been easier than with campaigns in Boréalis. In this article I’ll show you how to use this section in the most efficient way, so you can set-up your next activity (and your team at the same time) for success.
Why should you build a campaign?
When we talk about it in technical terms, campaigns have been designed to group a series of communications (linked to individuals and organizations), which are related to a specific stakeholder communication initiative. You can organize all the information for the initiative, including the targeted stakeholders, planned communications, and any follow-ups that need to be managed. You can even add tasks and milestones!
Campaigns bring a new life to your communications and overall data in Boréalis: they allow you to plan ahead, launch your activities, then analyze the results and repeat.
Step 1: What are your initiative’s objectives and purpose?
To ensure your initiative will have the desired effect, it needs to be pretty clear for you what the effect is that you are expecting from it. Take the time to review your objectives:
- What is the achievement?
- What is the story that I want to tell?
- What is the message that should come across?
Save this information in Boréalis so you do not lose sight of the campaign’s purpose.
Step 2: Who are your strategic stakeholders?
To make sure your activity reaches out the desired audience, evaluate which stakeholders you want to contact and which members of your team play what role:
- Who in your team should be involved and what is each one’s role?
- Which individuals / organizations should be involved in this initiative?
- Which stakeholders might have an influence on the result?
Step 3: What are the potential setbacks?
We already established that you do not want your activity to fail. So while planning ahead, it’s a good practice to identify what could potentially be at risk, and by doing so, you will identify what you need for this campaign to be successful.
Make sure you contact the important stakeholders in a timely manner. Maybe you need an agenda or a presentation to be prepared? Will you do a press release? Who will ensure the right content is being presented? When should a specific presentation take place?
Step 4: Launch your engagement activities
In the Boréalis Application it’s possible to create tasks and assign them to yourself and your team members. To follow up with step 3, once you have identified what you need to do, the next step is to create various tasks in the app. This allows you to monitor how things are going, if you are falling behind schedule or if everything is going according to plan.
A key functionality that will save you so much time: each campaign has its own email address (or what we call in the Boréalis lingo the mail handler feature). Why one might ask? Because this makes it super easy to record your communications (whether internal or external) related to the engagement activity.
How does it work? Simply add this email address in the BCC of any email you’re writing that is linked to your engagement initiative. The Boréalis software will then automatically link all the right stakeholders and communications to your campaign. You’ll be able to quickly identify if the correct stakeholders have been contacted, if there is some issue that needs solving, etc.
Step 5: Analyze results
Your initiative, activity, communication campaign is now over. Time has come to see how things went, what needs improving and what worked great. All of the information is regrouped in a single record. In a glimpse, you’ll be able to see:
- The list of completed tasks and the work done for each
- The list of communications and feedback you might have received
- Issues that occurred during each phase, like during planning
- Every future commitment you made to stakeholders
You can then compare all of this to the objectives you identified in step 1, and ask yourself: Did I achieve want I wanted to do with this initiative? Did my initiative have the expected results?
By using campaigns in Boréalis you’re allowing yourself to become better, more organized, aware of what your team is doing, and familiar with stakeholder reactions. So get ready to start another one, because this first one was just practice! Should you need more information or help on how to use campaigns, here’s an interesting article in our online help center. You can also drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org