Knowing what your stakeholders think, and want, has never been more important. The reputation and value of your organisation depends on it.

In April, the Australian Institute of Company Directors released a new guide to help boards and directors identify and elevate stakeholder voices. But often companies have many stakeholders, all very different yet equally as important, and knowing whom to target and why can be difficult.

1. Investors

A company’s share price reflects investor perception, so, it’s fair to say understanding how your shareholders view your company can have an impact on your future.

Identifying the analysts and investors who are most likely to have an impact on your company’s share price can help target meaningful engagement and develop an understanding of overall investor sentiment. In particular, gauging areas of misunderstanding in the market and where more disclosure is needed will help management understand what areas of the business to focus on.

Targeted investor engagement also allows you to more effectively integrate and act on shareholder’s feedback and ensure shareholders feel listened to, especially during less active periods.

2. Political decision makers

Understanding how key political decision makers perceive your organisation and the sector in which you operate can help determine how their policies are likely to impact your business.

Engaging with Ministers, MPs, senior advisors, and senior public servants also allows you to assess the nature and strength of your relationships with governments at both Federal and State levels, and ensure your voice is heard among policymakers.

3. Media

Media can make or break your reputation – and your organisation. But engaging with media when things go wrong can be a challenge for boards and senior executives, so, you need to be prepared.

Engaging with editors, reporters and commentators across mainstream and specialist platforms will make it easier for you to manage the news flow during times of crisis. It’s also a good way to determine if there are any misperceptions of your organisation and correct them before they have time to take root.

How can Cannings help?

Using our extensive networks and over 20 years of experience, we talk to your stakeholders directly, to get their frank and unfiltered views on how they perceive your company, your strategic priorities, and your senior team.

We conduct interviews with investors, policy makers and the media. We then deliver bespoke reports that summarise stakeholder views and provide recommendations on next steps.

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