Undertaking Stakeholder Engagement: Setting Expectations and Standards

Undertaking Stakeholder Engagement - Setting Expectations and Standards | Kathryn Kolaczek | Alchemy Communications Inc.png

Stakeholder engagement strategy is a collaborative process to identify, define and analyze the people who will be affected or influenced by a project's defined goals. Organizations implement stakeholder engagement strategies as part of their commitment to shared social values in their communities. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) requires stakeholder engagement to build consensus on all standards. 

What is stakeholder engagement?

Stakeholder engagement determines who is influenced by a project, and how. It is the process an organization uses to identify key stakeholders and influence the information they receive and the actions they will take from the project. Stakeholders include internal and/or external individuals, community leaders, groups, investors, businesses and other organizations who will be impacted by a service or product, or who could influence how it is perceived. 

5 stakeholder engagement best practices

  1. Correctly identifying stakeholders 
  2. Define expectations and goals
  3. Build trust
  4. Maintain two-way communications
  5. Be transparent 

Why implement a stakeholder engagement strategy? 

Community organizations and businesses cannot assume they understand how stakeholders view a service or product prior to undertaking stakeholder engagement. The organization should initiate an assessment to evaluate the stakeholders current views and to ensure proposed services or products meet the needs of the targeted stakeholders. 

Stakeholder engagement can be used to assess various aspects of a proposed community service or product including: 

  • Testing knowledge of the need 
  • Defining outcomes 
  • Clarifying service requirements and parameters 
  • Defining service measures (e.g. Key Performance Indicators) 
  • Defining costs 
  • Assessing potential impact of the service or product 
  • Identifying possible challenges and solutions
  • Analyzing limitations of past, current or proposed services  
  • Opportunities for innovation 
  • Potential issues and risks  
  • Competitor identification and analysis 

Key Stakeholder Consultation and Engagement Process

  1. Define key terms 
  2. Develop key stakeholder list, including community members and organizations 
  3. Identify lead staff for planning and executing details of key stakeholder consultation and engagement process
  4. Create an agenda for key stakeholder engagement meetings
  5. Design stakeholder assessment tool 
  6. Develop collateral support material 
  7. Integrate feedback opportunities

Stakeholder engagement strategies strengthen Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and community partnerships. Organizations that don't engage with stakeholders risk wasting money and resources on programs that fail due to a lack of community understanding and support. When compared to the benefits and opportunities of implementing a stakeholder engagement strategy, organizations have an opportunity to increase program value and success.

What is an Intranet? And why your company needs one!

Your intranet should be easy to access and use for your team, especially your non-technical staff. Alchemy Communications can help you improve internal communications, increase employee engagement and improve productivity by creating an intranet as part of your overall communications strategy. 

Driver Shortages: Can Trucking Regain a Positive Public Image?

A job in transportation should be a career choice, rather than a dead-end job. Elevating the public perception of truckers can impact the driver shortage by returning respectability and pride to the job of truck driver. 

Alchemy Communications Inc. CEO and communications expert Kathryn Kolaczek has expertise working with the trucking industry. 

A Tale of Two Ads: What can we learn from Pepsi and Heineken?

In the age of social media, it can sometimes feel like for every opinion you hold, there’s someone else who feels just as strongly in the opposite direction, and that casual dialogue is impossible. Two recent advertisements from Pepsi and Heineken tried to capitalize on this sentiment, with vastly different results. Today, we’re exploring why one of these ads was a massive success, and the other resulted in numerous public apologies.

Blogging v Brand Publishing: What's Right for Your Business?

What's right for your business? Blogging, content marketing and brand journalism are not mutually exclusive: in fact, they go hand-in-hand in a well-defined content strategy. Inbound marketing attracts your target audience to your website by sharing high-quality, useful information that they want to receive. 

Free Seminar: Media Training and Preparation

Free Calgary Media Training Seminar by PR and communications professional, media expert and serial entrepreneur Kathryn Kolaczek, CEO and founder of Alchemy Communications Inc

Speaker Kathryn Kolaczek For Your Next Event


Serial Entrepreneur, Author and CEO Kathryn Kolaczek is a dynamic communicator who engages and entertains audiences while they learn from her expertise launching and managing organizations. Through her agency Alchemy Communications Kathryn has guided small businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs to profitability and achieving their goals.

Learn more about Kathryn (Bechthold) Kolaczek on LinkedIn

Keynote Speaker • Trainings • Workshops • Moderator

  • Entrepreneurism: You've Got to Use What You've Got
  • Small Business: Marketing, PR, and Communications
  • Nonprofit: Building Through PR, Marketing and Fundraising
  • StartUps: Funding, Growth and Moving On
  • Mompreneur Life: You Can Run a Business While Running a Family
  • Public Relations: Promoting Your Business or Cause with Strategic PR 
  • Social Media: Managing Your Digital Profile for Business Growth

 Kathryn is available for
consulting, speaking and workshops


Optimize Your Branding to Increase Your Online Visibility


If your brand is unique, your message shouldn't blend in

~ Kathryn Bechthold, CEO Alchemy Communications

For marketers it can be tricky making sure your name is out there, but you aren't appearing too spammy or salesy by plastering your logo on every available surface. PR pros and marketing experts often overlook some very simple yet strategic ways to maximize your branding for increased online visibility.

3 Simple Tips for Visual Branding

1. Watermark your Visuals

Your visuals are shared across social media - that's your goal! Imagine that clever meme you created going viral... but no one knows its your creation. Your visuals can be:

  • repinned on Pinterest
  • retweeted on Twitter
  • regrammed on Instagram
  • reposted on Facebook

Many times the identity of the original poster of a visual is lost in all the social sharing. To avoid getting your visual hijacked, always brand your visuals: add your brand logo, name, social links, hashtag or website to your visual. Don't go crazy and add them all: just chose one strategy, and stick with it!

if your business is unique your message shouldn't blend in ~ Kathryn Bechthold
if your business is unique your message shouldn't blend in ~ Kathryn Bechthold

2. Create a Unique Brand Hashtag

Your event, brand, product or campaign can have a unique hashtag that you use across all social media channels, on your visuals, promotional materials, news releases: anywhere you want to promote your brand. And each time your social post is shared, the brand and your message grows!

TIP: Make your hashtag memorable. As CEO of Alchemy Communications I'm a #PurveyorOfPR  - check us out on Twitter!

3. In Images, Size Counts

You can design the very best infographic or image, and no one will ever see if it the visual isn't the sized for that social media channel. Unfortunately each social channel has evolved to have uniques size criteria for your profile photo, cover image and posts. When you write a blog post, to share it across social media channels might require 5 or 6 different images to meet the social criteria. Unfortunately when it comes to visual content marketing, it is not one size fits all.

This optimal image size cheatsheet from Social Media Today will help you design images that are the exact size you need

optimal image size for visual marketing
optimal image size for visual marketing
Kathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communications
Kathryn Bechthold CEO Alchemy Communications

author: Kathryn Bechthold, Communications expert in Calgary, AB. Owner/CEO of Alchemy Communications Inc.