Communicating to External Stakeholders
Tasks, tools and elements of communication
In many ways, communicating with external stakeholders can be simpler and less complicated than communicating internally. As outside stakeholders generally have simpler relationships with the organization than employees do. It is easier to focus on that one relationship and develop communication strategies that can deal with one, or a few, issues without having to go into any of the other considerations that develop when communicating internally.
Creating the organizational Voice and Image A organization needs a consistent voice and image because they play a major role in how the outside world, especially the media, both looks at and treats it and its employees. In the same way that you are composed of many different parts, so is your organization. There is the physical plant itselfyour organizational headquarters as well as all the offices, property, and equipment. There is also what you actually do; the products, or services, that you provide.
Developing Communication Strategy A communication strategy must be consistent and stable, able to handle all of the different messages that have to be sent without confusing the recipients. There must also be enough flexibility built into it the system, however, to allow it to be adapted to whatever messages or conditions have to be dealt with.
Managing Information Flow Systems must be in place to manage, control, and coordinate all the information that is available, decide which information should not be released, and which could or should be released. Once it has been determined that information is to be released, the next question is: To whom should it be released? This is followed by: How should it be released?
Written Messages to External Stakeholders
Crisis Communication Crisis communication is a specialized form of communication, and many of the standard rules that organizations play by are tossed aside, at least until the crisis is over. One of the first requirements of any crisis communication plan is to know exactly what the priorities are, and what will have to be done in order to achieve them.
Government and Regulatory Agencies Governments can demand and expect information, access, and a level of cooperation that others cannot and they will demand it on their terms.
Partners and Vendors There is no one way to deal with partners or vendors. Each strategy has to be based on a number of different criteria, ranging from how much project/programme purpose you do together to how well your people and their people get along. Personalities are quite often an issue when dealing at this level, as are how you decide to treat them.
Associations and Networks (including competitors) In most cases, organizations speak for themselves. However, in a time of crisis, uncertainty, or change, a need may arise to speak for the entire sector of activity. As a result, organizations have to learn how to maintain a effective spirit that does not get in the way of any necessary cooperation that will benefit everyone involved.
Media By anticipating what the media will want at any specific time, it is often possible to have it ready for them in advance, and prepared in such a way as to get as much of your organizational message across as possible. Even when you do not know what they will want, it is possible to establish systems which will let you react quickly and properly to media requests.
Planning and executing a communication action for promoting awareness
Communication for Participatory Approach and Transparency to Development Actions and Policies