Community Engagement That Connects
When we talk about community and stakeholder engagement as a function of public relations, the “public” that we refer to is any individual with any kind of interest in your organization and its activities. For most clients, this is a large and diverse group of people!
Stakeholders can be broadly divided into three categories:
- Internal stakeholders–individuals who are directly associated with your organization, such as employees or investors
- External stakeholders–individuals who are not directly associated with your organization but are affected by your actions due to pre-existing or ongoing relationships, such as customers or suppliers
- Community stakeholders–individuals in the local (or even global) community where you operate who have some interest in your actions, such as community media, residents, public officials, legal or regulatory bodies and others
In our interconnected world, there is a growing understanding of the importance of good corporate citizenship. After all, not only do the actions of your organization impact your stakeholders…their actions impact your ability to operate, grow and thrive. That is why effective communication and stakeholder engagement are absolutely vital to your organization’s long-term success.
Community engagement can be a complex process, involving multiple target audiences with competing needs and goals. It requires clear, compelling and consistent messaging in line with your organization’s vision and values. It means sharing information across multiple channels and maintaining open lines of communication for feedback and conversation. And it entails evaluating, reflecting on and responding to stakeholder input in a meaningful way.
That is why the services of a stakeholder engagement agency like Foundry are so valuable. Our experienced team marshals all the resources at our disposal to connect you with your stakeholders, build relationships and credibility and meet your organization’s objectives.
What to Expect When Working With Us
At Foundry, we excel at building relationships and collaborating around shared purpose. This probably explains why we particularly love our work as a community engagement agency!
Our Community and Stakeholder Engagement Services
As a community engagement agency, Foundry offers a full suite of services built on the principles of inclusion, accessibility, transparency and respect.
- Research & Analysis
It is impossible to engage if you don’t first know with whom you should be talking. We identify all internal, external and community stakeholder groups who have an interest in your organization. We analyze their needs, concerns and the resources available to reach them. We also use this time to understand your organization’s mission, goals and the climate in which you operate. This allows us to establish clear objectives for communication and stakeholder engagement.
- Stakeholder Engagement Strategy
Researching your audience and defining objectives is key to developing a strong strategy that will guide stakeholder messaging and media. We generate messaging that is accurate, informative and aligned with the vision and values of your company. We then tailor this communication so that it is appropriate in tone and relevant to the priorities of each stakeholder group. We also determine the most effective methods and channels for engaging with stakeholders, including traditional media, digital media, public meetings, workshops, events and more.
Once we have received your feedback and approval on stakeholder engagement strategy, the implementation process can begin. Our in-house team of experts handles this process from start to finish and customizes our services to each client. We create compelling, user-friendly content targeted to each stakeholder group. We work with traditional media outlets, post to digital channels or distribute directly to key stakeholders. And we organize community outreach activities and secure stakeholder attendance.
- Relationship Maintenance
Keeping a pulse on what your community and stakeholders are experiencing, thinking and feeling is vital. We acknowledge the important role that they play in this process and encourage their participation in the conversation. We take advantage of multiple methods to request and receive feedback. This can include monitoring and responding to conversations via traditional, digital and social media, providing in-person platforms for input and evaluation, and building coalitions around areas of common understanding and mutual purpose.
Every action can benefit from some form of evaluation. This is particularly true when it comes to community and stakeholder engagement. Because engagement is an ongoing process, we are constantly gathering and examining feedback. We respond to suggestions and apply what we have learned. We measure outcomes against objectives. And when needed, we make adjustments to our targeted stakeholder groups, strategy or messaging in order to meet the goals of your organization.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Foundry for over a decade now. In that time, their contract has been extended several times, never once going out to bid, for one simple reason – Foundry is more than just our agency of record. They are a true partner with Inn of the Mountain Gods, supporting us with digital, social, media, branding, public relations and more.”