I’ll cut to the chase. Your stakeholders are not only important to your brand. They are your brand.
Let’s first identify your stakeholders. They are: Board Members, employees, volunteers, patients, donors, your community, and members of the media. In a sense, they are your tribe. They make up the fabric of your brand. And if they don’t fully believe in your brand, then your organization is in jeopardy.
The best way to benefit from your stakeholders is to integrate them into your brand. Bring them in a little closer and empower them to take up a torch on your behalf. And how do you get anyone to stand behind you? You convince them to. And the only way you can successfully motivate someone to action is by getting inside their head, figuring our how they think, and speak their language. Each one of your stakeholder subgroups is going to have different needs and speak a different language. They’re all invested in your organization (or not) for a number of reasons. Think of them as different audience segments.
One thing I’ve discovered that works for reaching various audiences is a Message Matrix. This is a grid of your stakeholders, what they think, what you want them to think, and how you’re going to change the conversation. It’s a simple chart that breaks everything down into simple, easy-to-understand verbiage with action items. The Message Matrix is designed to help you better educate your stakeholders. Figure out what they know and teach them what they need to know.
If you’re a hospital and you’re concerned about HCAHPS scores, it’s your responsibility to educate your stakeholders about how scoring works. If you’re an organization, your stakeholders need to understand the people you represent — having a multi-dimensional understanding of your mission and your outcomes.
Planning out your Message Matrix should be a quarterly or annual task. The point is to thoughtfully address all of your stakeholders on a continuous basis.
Think of your stakeholders as politicians for your brand. The more your stakeholders know, the better.
Download our Educating Your Supporters eBook and learn more about how to get people more invested in your NPHO.