Promoting to and recruiting stakeholders
Demonstrating the principles of engagement:
Without sufficient promotion you are not likely to get the level of participation you need. Match the methods of stakeholder recruitment to meet your engagement objectives.
When promotion to and recruiting stakeholders you will need to:
- Determine the best ways to recruit your stakeholders
- Use stakeholder databases to recruit participants
- Use online engagement to recruit participants
- Use offline engagement to recruit online participants
Determine the best ways to recruit your stakeholders
Online engagement can be used to support recruitment for offline engagement and vice versa. The World Bank refers to three ways to recruit participants in engagement:
- Broadcast – promoting open engagement to the population through online and offline advertising, communication and marketing methods.
- Network – using stakeholder and network analysis to identify stakeholders and recruit participants through social networks online and offline. This may be done to increase representation or to target engagement to specific stakeholders because they are most likely to be affected by proposed changes.
- Random selection – profiling the community and inviting a demographically representative sample to participate.
Your approach to recruitment should match your type of engagement.
Consider the different ways you might need to promote your engagement during different phases of the project. After the initial launch you will need to use varied methods to boost participation, including reminding people before it closes.
Use stakeholder databases to recruit participants
Your organisation may have a database of stakeholders who have registered their interests and given consent for future communications and engagement. Where appropriate these stakeholders should be informed of opportunities to engage early, especially when broadcasting engagements or targeting networks.
Use online engagement to recruit participants
Social media is one way to broadcast engagement opportunities. Social media monitoring can be used to identify networks that have an interest in your topic and how and where they discuss it online. Tailoring content to your stakeholders demonstrates you are listening and can help you get ‘earned media’ through peer-to-peer sharing. Monitoring social media and analysing big data can help you identify, map and recruit.
Use offline engagement to recruit online participants
Engaging stakeholders offline is an excellent way to recruit stakeholder types and build relationships with participants. You could do this by:
- a phone call
- dropping into stakeholders at their place of work
- displaying posters, including information in community newsletters
- talking at public displays and events or onsite surveys.
When engaging offline, take a tablet (such as an iPad) with you to:
- collect data and information online
- help you demonstrate and promote opportunities to engage online
- recruit participants onsite.
Doing this will make the collation, analysis and reporting much easier.
Another way to recruit participants and gather input online at offline engagements is to encourage the use of social media and hashtags. Adding a social media icon, hashtag to posters around your community, newsletters distributed and slides at events can encourage online participation.
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