Stakeholders are the people and organizations that are invested in your business and whose attitudes and actions have an impact on the success of your company, project, or campaign. Effective communication and authentic stakeholder relationships are a crucial aspect to your business’ success. Developing and nurturing these relationships can be the make-it or break-it for any organization.

It is important to understand who your stakeholders are and how those audiences can help with accomplishing your goals. They may include your Board and key players within your organization, external partners, and community leaders, among others. From traditional PR to digital marketing, identifying stakeholders and cultivating relationships is essential. Here are a few ways that close stakeholder relationships can benefit you:

Grassroots support

Soliciting the viewpoints and opinions of your stakeholders while introducing them to the substance of your project early on can be a great benefit. This allows for them to feel invested from the start, support you and your initiative, and also improve the quality and success of your project. Stakeholders may provide an insight or perspective that previously may not have been considered. Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help you to generate more resources. This makes it more likely that your projects will be successful.

Expansive network for outreach

Communicating with stakeholders early and often, allows for stakeholders to fully appreciate the scope of your initiative and understand its impacts and benefits. This gives them the foundational information to provide active support when necessary. The flow of communication doesn’t stop at your stakeholders, however, as the relationships and bonds these individuals have outside your network can be the positive boost you need to make your project even more successful. Whether it’s an educational campaign aimed at the general public, or there’s a call to action and you need consumer behavior to change, an expansive network is beneficial to any organization.

Receiving and acting upon real-time feedback

Understanding the “lay of the land” is important for any project. Stakeholders offer initial reconnaissance of key audience feedback to allow for adjustments in strategy where applicable. Now more than ever – speed matters in the world of marketing. Receiving real-time feedback helps to assess your strategy; and either validate that your strategy is effective and on point; or needs to be revisited and shift direction. Receiving real-time feedback is helpful for growing and learning how to improve.

When planning your next project or campaign, keep in mind who your stakeholders are and how you can involve them in the process. Having their support, access to their network and strong stakeholder relationships can be the key to your success.