The importance of staying visible and connected to stakeholders


With impending economic challenges both domestically and abroad, now is the time to make sure you remain visible and connected with your stakeholders, customers and audiences.

While ABS data shows discretionary spending across the country increased 29.8 per cent during the year, research conducted by Roy Morgan indicates that 31 per cent of families expect to be ‘worse off’ financially this time next year.

The Federal Budget highlighted ongoing cost of living pressures with increasing food, fuel and electricity prices, along with further interest rate rises.

With inflation growing at its fastest pace in 20 years, it is safe to assume people will start tightening purse strings, which affect a raft of industries including but not limited to hospitality, travel, marketing, recruitment, construction and real estate.

Now is not the time to be complacent. Now is the time to build trust and rapport with your audiences so that when times do get tough, your brand, product or service remains front of mind.

Outlined below are four steps to apply.

Step One: Audience audit

Understanding when, where and how your audience is currently consuming content is critical to ensuring your messages are still being heard and are motivating stakeholders to participate. To conduct an audit of your audience, take note of changed behaviours and engagement metrics, such as:

  • Are your company social channels experiencing less traffic at peak commute times?
  • Are you noticing traffic peaks throughout the day as users scroll feeds while waiting for Teams meetings to load?
  • Do your employees now seem to be constantly connected?
  • Is your 5pm newsletter no longer getting opened as workers disconnect for the day and step into their kitchen to cook dinner?
  • Are your pop-up consultation sessions at shopping centres attracting reduced numbers?
  • Have stakeholder priorities changed?

No matter what your business, project or priority, COVID-19 has forever changed how internal and external stakeholders engage with content, which requires proactive and on-going review.

Step Two: Revisit business objectives and communication plan

Once you have determined the behaviours of your target audience and key stakeholders, revisit your business objectives, KPIs and communication plan to see whether they are still relevant and achievable.

Adjust your strategy and implementation plan as required to reflect changed audience behaviours and to achieve business objectives.

Step Three: Keep all communication lines open

Traditional ways of communicating such as face-to-face town hall assemblies, pop up stands and door knocking are being supplemented by new technologies and communication channels including:

  • virtual meetings (including Zoom and Teams)
  • virtual town hall meetings (including Restream, Teams Live and Facebook Live events)
  • access to live chats
  • QR code questionnaires
  • social media channels (using visual content, such as video, to capture your audience’s attention)

Enabling stakeholder participation via multiple channels at suitable times, is essential to encourage collaboration and engagement while maximising participation.

Step Four: Go back to basics

While yes, digital channels are important, so too are the hard-to-reach communities that have either disengaged from online activity or haven’t downloaded the latest version of app XYZ.

Traditional media and letterbox drops have stood the test of time, proving that no matter your preferred medium for consuming information, news and mail are still a trusted and important service.

Try sending stakeholders a fact sheet in the mail about your project or promoting your latest product through editorial story telling in your local newspaper. These methods will quite literally put your message in the hands of stakeholders and can then drive traffic online or be amplified on social media.

Need help taking the first step?

We know that change and adjusting to new ways of communicating can feel overwhelming. Please contact Managing Director, Stephanie Paul to help you take the first step.