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Three Simple Steps Toward Better Stakeholder Engagement

engagementEngagement is the name of the game in 2014. According to a recent GovDelivery survey of local, federal, and UK government agencies, forty percent of respondents named increasing stakeholder engagement as their number one communications objective this year. Better communication strategies lead to better stakedholder engagement, and more importantly, better engagement leads to more mission impact for your organization. The higher the number of stakeholders that are actively connecting with your messages, the more likely that those stakeholders will take important actions like preparing for a storm, attending an event, or signing up for a fostering program.

You know that increasing your organization’s level of stakeholder engagement is important, so what do you do about it? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Set some goals 

And by this we mean specific goals—just saying that you want to increase engagement isn’t enough to get you there. Setting clear goals and evaluating how they connect to your mission is essential to creating a good communications plan. If you don’t know where you’re headed, you’ll never know when you get there. The same thing applies with stakeholder engagement. If you don’t know what you want your messages to do, what actions your stakeholders should take, and how those help your organization drive mission impact, then there’s no way you can strategically plan for and achieve success.

2. Don’t just hope for attention, command it

 In the age of digital overload, we know the idea of getting your stakeholders to open your one email amidst the hundreds they get each day can seem daunting. But don’t let that make you believe it’s all up to chance! A few simple tweaks to your messages can make a world of difference. Composing short, snappy subject lines, checking your from-address, and taking full advantage of pre-header text can help enormously in making the most out of each and every message. You’re not powerless, so be proactive!

3. Edit, edit, edit

 Though Shakespeare would likely balk at just how short our attention spans have become, he was the one that wrote those all-important and ageless words, “brevity is the soul of wit.” Turns out, brevity is the soul of just about any kind of digital communications these days. When it comes to messaging your stakeholders, the proverbial red pen is your best friend. This is especially true for mobile and SMS. More and more people are checking their email on their phones, so it’s essential that your messages are short and user-friendly. Embrace white space, enlarge button and link sizes, and most importantly, edit, edit, edit.

Want more ideas like this? Then check out “Seven Steps to Better Stakeholder Engagement” for the full list.