Stakeholder Relationship Management Tools

What is stakeholder relationship management?

Stakeholder relationship management – or SRM – refers to the process organizations use to manage their relationships with stakeholders. Effective stakeholder management goes beyond simply influencing stakeholder attitudes, decisions, and actions to score short-term wins. Instead, it advocates a win-win mindset in order to strike a balance between a company’s interests and those of its stakeholders.
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Why manage stakeholder relations?

Not all of your key stakeholders will have the same motivations. Some may be in favor of your project; others against. Still others may be on the fence. Good SRM creates a framework for identifying stakeholders and assessing their sentiments, influence and interests, but also for tracking how these may evolve over time. These insights can be used to strategically manage the opportunities and risks stakeholders represent in order to improve the outcome of your project.

Successful stakeholder relationships are born when businesses take the time to identify their stakeholders, understand their interests and concerns, and then work with them to find solutions everyone can live with.

How to manage relationships with stakeholders

Stakeholder relationships can be managed in a number of ways, from pen on paper to emails and spreadsheets to fit-for-purpose stakeholder relationship management software. The chosen approach typically depends on the number of internal and external stakeholders the organization has to manage, the lifespan of the project, and the organization’s stakeholder data management maturity level. Need help analyzing your needs?
Training Customer Success

Software solutions to manage
stakeholder relationships

The vast majority of organizations with large numbers of stakeholders and/or complex, long-term projects rely on specialized SRM software to centralize and manage all stakeholder data and engagement activities with greater efficiency.

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Community Engagement

Used by organizations, governments and associations that need to consult, engage and secure the buy-in of communities to advance their project, policy or initiative.

  • Identify and manage social risks
  • Automatically assess stakeholders for influence and interest
  • Generate stakeholder maps to monitor changes in sentiment over time
  • Plan engagement strategies; set KPIs, tasks and workflows
  • Plan, budget and monitor all community engagement activities
  • Link issues, commitments and grievances to avoid oversights
  • Resolve issues, disputes and grievances
  • Visualize the impacts of the engagement strategy in process and make adjustments in real-time
  • Easily create reports for compliance purposes
  • Create and maintain a single, up-to-date stakeholder database to ensure corporate memory
  • Access the database from any location or device

Public Affairs and Government Relations

Manage public affairs and advocacy campaigns, shape lobbying agendas, and influence the regulations and policies that matter most to your organization.

  • Record all stakeholder information, documents & in-person/online interactions
  • Avoid being blind-sided – always know who talked to whom about what and when
  • Avoid stakeholder fatigue – avoid multiple team members approaching stakeholders for the same issue, or with misaligned messages
  • Use the relationship network chart to view & understand the influencer landscape
  • Generate reports for all levels of the organization
  • Create a lasting corporate memory to empower strategy, decision making and problem solving as stakeholders, and staff, come and go
  • Manage public affairs, shape lobbying agendas, influence regulations & policies
    Access & record information on the go with the mobile app
  • Link advocacy campaigns with tasks & workflows to coordinate activities
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Asset and Land Management Software

Infrastructure projects can span years. The solution we provide with our software addresses the challenge of retaining complete stakeholder data as stakeholders come and go – sometimes many times over – and as data gets passed from one team to the next.

  • Map all stakeholders & assets to visualize affected individuals, at-risk zones and more
  • Develop fair & transparent acquisition processes
  • Link all stakeholders & activities to assets for complete traceability
  • Record all stakeholders, engagement activities & payments for institutional memory
  • Prepare compliance and regulatory reports
  • Protect confidential information by limiting access on a need-to-know basis
  • Document and manage heritage sites with transparency and accountability to facilitate agreements with affected communities

Environmental & Social Performance Software

Makes it easier for organizations to track, report and demonstrate the impacts of their ESG strategy. Demand for this solution has skyrocketed as companies face mounting pressure from regulatory bodies, investors and consumers to adopt more sustainable practices.

  • Track sustainability metrics and report results consistently
  • Measure the success of your sustainability strategy to boost your ESG score
  • Prove how social investments are supporting corporate sustainable development goals
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes and impact on your brand value
  • Grow triple bottom line over the long term by integrating sustainability KPIs into business model
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How to choose a stakeholder
relationship management solution?

SRM systems can vary widely in terms of features, functionality and user-friendliness. The below list is by no means exhaustive, but it will help you narrow down your options.

SUPPORT to maximize user adoption & ongoing system usage:

  • Initial needs assessment
  • System configuration
  • Data import
  • User onboarding and training
  • Ongoing customer care & support
  • Online learning center
  • Online phone/helpdesk
  • Support available in English, Spanish and French

COMPLIANCE with industry standards for enterprise security to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data:

  • 24/7 system monitoring by dedicated tech support team
  • Infrastructure, network, and application protection
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Architecture, identity and access management

COMMITMENT to keeping the solution up-to-date and relevant for your team:

  • Regular updates and new features
  • Global community of practice sharing feedback on best practices
  • In-house development team open to integrating customer requests for new functionalities

FEATURES to make your day-to-day work easier and more productive:

  • Mobile app for entering and retrieving information on the go
  • API to connect your other business applications
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  • Grievance and feedback portal
  • Integrated GIS & mapping
  • Stakeholder mapping functionnality
  • SMS sent and received right in the plateform
  • Multilingual interface

What are the benefits of good stakeholder relationship management?

Organizations often start to take stakeholder relationships seriously when the success of a key project, product or policy is on the line. Making SRM an integral part of operations can lead to the type of long-term stakeholder trust that protects a company’s reputation and bottom line through good times and bad.

How stakeholder relationship management can be beneficial for specific industry sectors

Mining

The development and exploitation phases of mining projects often entail the use of resources such as water, energy, and land. They may also require the creation or use of infrastructure such as roads and rail lines leading to and from the site. When these activities occur in close proximity to communities, they can impact quality of life – to the point that resettlement may be necessary. To manage the many social risks that can jeopardize local support for a mining project, companies need to start building trusted relationships with nearby communities and other affected stakeholders right from the onset of the project.

See how SMFG structures and centralizes pre-feasibility data in Borealis to manage compliance, simplify reporting, understand stakeholder influence, and create a well-documented institutional memory.

Utilities

Electricity companies are bracing themselves for the dual challenge they will need to face in the decades to come. On one hand, unprecedented growth in the global demand for power. On the other, climate change. When it comes to utilities projects, consumers and other stakeholders now expect to have a say in when, where and how investments are made. Companies will need to rely heavily on SRM best practices to navigate these sometimes conflicting interests and reach an acceptable level of mutual understanding.
See how ENEL GREEN POWER Mexico simplified information sharing and broke down silos with Borealis stakeholder engagement software.

Transportation

Public transit authorities and transportation infrastructure projects must manage endless moving parts, including vast numbers of stakeholders. The uncertainties, labor shortages and lockdowns caused by COVID have wreaked havoc on this industry. In the US, initiatives to replace crumbling infrastructure will lead to public works at a scale rarely seen in the last half century. With the stakes so high and the scale so large – and with climate change looming over it all – consistent and transparent consultation with key stakeholders will become more important than ever to minimize social risk.
See how CN Rail builds long-term stakeholder relationships in the rail industry

Food industry

The food industry is not immune to society’s waning trust in government and corporations. In an industry with so many influential stakeholders up and down the entire supply chain, those in the food industry will need to take stakeholder concerns into account to increase societal trust in their risk management practices and safety of their products. Taking the time to understand stakeholder concerns may also reveal useful insights about shifting values and policy demands, giving food and beverage companies a head’s up of what’s to come.

See how one vertically integrating food corporation is staying on top of its endless stakeholder relationships.

 

Consumer goods

Consumer good brands are in a position to enjoy a level of customer loyalty other industry sectors can only dream of. However, social media and climate change also put them under a very bright and constant spotlight. Consumers increasingly want to feel good about where they’re spending their disposable income – and have no qualms about publicly criticizing a brand for failing to live up to expectations. Meanwhile, all other stakeholders – from investors to retailers are watching closely, and their expectations are rising as well. Building a positive brand experience has always been the key to success for consumer goods. But these days, it takes more than just sleek marketing to secure and maintain stakeholder buy-in.
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Public administration

Public participation has always been crucial for good policy making. Just as essential is societal trust in public institutions when it comes to enforcing new policies. The drastic policies society has been subjected to during the COVID pandemic may only be a taste of what’s to come, if climate change experts and epidemiologists have their forecasts right. This is just one example of the growing role SRM will play in public administration in the years to come. Multi-stakeholder decision making, with the direct involvement of citizens, could be the solution to a more participative and secure democracy.

Oil and gas

The oil and gas sector is slowly making progress in the area of environmental, social and governance. However, industry players still face an uphill battle in demonstrating to stakeholders that they have shifted their ESG strategy from good intentions to full integration with other business priorities. Moving forward, companies will be forced to address often-conflicting viewpoints of key stakeholder groups: investors who look at how a company manages its environmental and social risks in order to evaluate the potential impacts on financial performance; governments, which are applying increasingly strict regulatory compliance and reporting requirements; local communities, whose needs are ever changing; and employees, who want to feel like their work is making a difference in the world and are willing to vote with their feet if their employer isn’t meeting expectations. Navigating this quagmire will require a highly refined SRM strategy.
See how the SRM team of a coal seam gas extraction project in Australia improved the negotiation of land agreements and follow-up on payments and commitments.
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