Stakeholder engagement is bigger than citizen engagement. It's the act of weaving various internal and external actors into the decision-making process of an organization. A stakeholder is anyone who can be influenced by or influence the outcomes of an organization's operations.
At a local level, we hear a great deal about "citizen engagement," and yet we see these efforts often yielding disappointing results. This is in part because we've attempted to engage others before being totally clear ourselves about what we are seeking to accomplish and how success will be measured.
A stakeholder engagement strategy on the other hands takes you step by step through a process to get clear on your mission and vision to uncover who needs to be part of the conversation to get you what you need and what messaging will appeal to your different audiences.
Today I'll focus on Step 1: Identifying your stakeholders.
What are you trying to accomplish and what skill sets do you need?
This is the question you need to answer before you make any attempt to engage with outside audiences. How can you do this? By speaking with staff, management, and program coordinators and others inside the organization, a.k.a. your internal stakeholders.