With Muckle Media, Managing Director Nathalie Agnew and guest speaker, The Scotsman & Scotland on Sunday, Consumer Affairs Correspondent Jane Bradley.
Once you’ve grasped the insights, found ‘golden egg’ opportunity and created a strategy you are now ready to explore your stakeholders in-depth. In this webinar series we focussed on how to effectively identify, communicate and manage your stakeholders as well as finding out Jane’s do’s and dont’s for pitching to a journalist.
Identifying your stakeholders
Mapping your key stakeholders isn’t something you do once and file away, they’re constantly evolving and changing. There are many key times that your stakeholders might change quickly, for example during an election your local MSPs could switch overnight, so it’s important to treat a stakeholder map as a live document.
To get you started, we’ve identified some different stakeholder groups you might have in your organisation. This won’t apply to everyone, but it gives you some core ‘buckets’ to help file your stakeholders into;
Nathalie explains the sometimes suppliers can be the forgotten partners, but having great stakeholder management is incredibly important and having good supplier relationships can often help you achieve bigger goals e.g. maybe you could create a joint venture to reach an exciting new market. Depending on your industry you may also have regulators, just now almost every organisation has this after being regulated by COVID restrictions and government guidelines.
Communities is a fantastic word which is all encompassing, increasingly within the digital world and the way in which news and stories are being delivered. Communities can really come into their own and are usually built with a group of people passionate about a cause. These would also include the local communities in which you operate, be that geographically or by topic – e.g. mummy bloggers.
One of your favourite stakeholders is of course media. Although we’ve been covering media relations in almost every element of #CommsCamp Nathalie also believes that communications and PR is about so much more than just media. Influencers for example are becoming increasingly important and in demand for many brands. We’re not just talking about Love Island winners! There’s been some interesting but controversial activity coming out from the government throughout the communication of COVID that you can read more about here.
Power & Interest
You can’t talk stakeholders without discussing power & interest. There are four key areas which are commonly used in the industry and it goes without saying that this document should be kept highly confidential once populated within your organisation;
Monitor – Not interested or particularly powerful. Monitor this group if they approach you, you don’t see them as being key to moving forward.
Keep Informed – Interested in your organisation/cause but not hugely powerful. You might not want to directly consult with them, but you need to keep them informed.
Keep Satisfied – Powerful but not very interested. Depending on the stage of your plan, sometimes you’ll find political or certain journalist stakeholders going in here.
Engage & Consult – Very powerful & interested. You might be tempted to put everyone here but you’ll soon realise some stakeholders are best suited elsewhere.
It’s important to ensure you have a dynamic stakeholder map, this can effectively change over time as you approach different milestones, opportunities or challenges.
Go with your gut feeling
We then move onto a really interesting discussion hosted by Muckle Director, Rosie Gallagher and Jane Bradley. Jane has been in lots of roles throughout her journalism career, but the biggest gamechanger for her is the shift to online. When she started 15 years ago she explained that there was an online presence but it wasn’t such a big thing “the paper went online and not the other way round”. In the last ten years, she’s had to take online writing much more into consideration.
Journalists are now finding a lot of their time being eaten up with admin tasks like uploading stories onto the site, captioning pictures, thinking of new headlines etc. When Jane first started out, her role was to ultimately find the story, write it up and pass it over.
Throughout the session Jane shared several nuggets of insight into a modern newsroom, here are some of her top tips.
Have an interesting story with a new hook
Provide stats if available
Exclusive stories are always welcome (Scotland on Sunday is all exclusive content)
If pitching for Scotland on Sunday, be early in the week to ensure a good spot
Don’t send embargoed releases four days in advance. The day before is preferred
Get in touch before 10am to get the story into the daily news planning conference
Best to e-mail as she has lots of stories coming through but if it’s something very specific feel free to call
Since the pandemic, Jane’s job hasn’t changed much apart from drastically reduced face-to-face interaction and nearly every story being pandemic related! She still believes it’s really important to meet with people to form a relationship but finds it difficult to get time away from her desk so if you can bring a concrete story to the table as part of a background coffee briefing, it makes it all worthwhile.
Jane signed off this series of #CommsCamp with words of wisdom “as a comms professional you know what is a good story, you know in your gut if we’re going to run it. So if something isn’t a story go to your client and let them know it’s wasting your time and the journalists!”.
#CommsCamp runs every Thursday 09:30 – 10:30 via Facebook Live & live updates on Twitter.
If you missed the stakeholder session you can view it back here: https://fb.watch/20IgxJTok-/
For more information regarding our media training courses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org