Consulting Internal Consulting Partnership Stakeholder Engagement Stakeholder Management Value Adding

Stop stakeholder-bashing. First get your act together, internal communicators!

For all the articles out there bashing #stakeholders (annoying, ungrateful, irrational etc) for their lack of empathy or acknowledgment of what #internalcommunicators can do and deliver, there are lots of internal communication teams that aren’t doing justice to the role or the organization they are embedded in.

Just overseeing #channels, sending out communications and pretending that close proximity to the leadership team will further their case makes stakeholders resent them more than ever. Many survive because of their ‘relationships’ within or because leadership doesn’t know any better. Others ‘play’ along and say the ‘right stuff at the right time’ to keep their seats in the system. Or, stay under the radar and ‘do as they are told’.

Hiding behind templates and processes and making stakeholders believe that you are busy on a ton of projects isn’t helpful either.

Instead of complaining how stakeholders ask for stuff last minute or don’t provide sufficient information or aren’t clued in how internal communication works, it might be better to step back and reflect on how the function is presented and perceived.


·       Is the function approachable? Do stakeholders even know who leads and supports internal communication and how they can be contacted?

·       Even if you are a one-person team, do they know what you bring to the table? Are the list of services and KRAs documented and available to look up?

·       Do you have the credentials and background to have a conversation that adds value to stakeholders?

·       Is the only ‘value-add’ the ability to throw policy and processes at stakeholders?

·       Have you personally demonstrated solid and credible work in the company or outside that indicates you are the #authority in the domain?

·       Have you consistently shared the #value and #impact of your work with stakeholders for them to appreciate how you make a meaningful contribution to the company’s goals?

·       When was the last time the function came up with #creativesolutions to pressing problems that the stakeholder had?

·       How often do you sit with the business and appreciate the daily grid they go through?

Rather than see stakeholders as adversaries who are out to make your life miserable, try to understand where they are coming from. They also have responsibilities to deliver results and communicate with their audiences and they are also pressed for time, like how internal communicators are.

Finding common ground is the best way to engage rather than trying to circumvent the situation and complain that stakeholders are making your life hell!

Spend them to educate on how internal communications functions – the ‘why’ and the art and science of engaging audiences, gaining buy-in, building momentum, creating value and measuring results.

That’s one step closer to getting less tactical work come down your stream so that you can focus on about the business and the outcomes.

#IC #internalcomms #stakeholder #stakeholdermanagement #engagement #clientsatisfaction #results #leadership #strategy #audiences #valueadd

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