The Annual General Meeting of the Scotland Group of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) will be held on Tuesday 24th March 2015 starting at 6.30pm. it will take place at The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian on Princes Street. All members are invited to attend and should RSVP by booking a ticket through our Eventbrite page. Rob Brown FCIPR – CIPR President Elect, founding chair of the Social Media Panel and managing partner of communications agency Rule 5 – will be our guest speaker for the evening. Rob will discuss the impact of digital and social channels on the profession. The AGM will consider the following agenda:
- To receive apologies for absence
- To approve the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 10 March 2014 (Scotland AGM 2014 Minutes – Draft)
- To consider and adopt the Annual Accounts (to be tabled)
- To receive the report from the Chair of CIPR Scotland Group followed by questions
- Election of Office Bearers. Applications are invited for the position of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer via the cipr-scotland-agm-2015-committee-nominations-form (Word doc) before noon on Monday 16 March 2015
- Election of new Committee Members (nominations invited as above)
- Chair priorities for 2015/16
- To consider any other business
Doors open at 6pm. The meeting will start promptly at 6.30pm. Following the AGM drinks and refreshments will be served. A full agenda and copy of the annual report will be made available here ahead of the meeting. Any apologies should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you work in-house, freelance or in an agency, here are my ten principles of effective stakeholder relations which I believe make for better practice and greater success. Some state the blinding obvious, others are more challenging.
Establish your mandate – be clear from the outset what it is you are being asked to engage stakeholders about and scope your engagement process accordingly
Engage appropriately – there are different levels of engagement with differing expectations from stakeholders based on what is the purpose of engagement. Whether it is to inform, involve or collaborate, each requires an approach that will achieve the desired outcome.
Give the right information – material information provides the basis for stakeholders and your organisation to make sound judgements about the things that matter to them, and take actions that influence the organisation’s performance. Duff information out, leads to duff intelligence back.
Keep your message consistent – informing stakeholders with a consistent message and the right information needs to be systematic and defensible. The minute one stakeholder hears from another, a different message or more material information than they were originally informed by you, could lead to conflict, distrust and a breakdown in relations.
Be open and balanced – providing balance in an organisation’s views is a challenge for many communicators moulded in the cast of only portraying their organisation in a ‘positive light’. One-sided sunny views doesn’t foster trust. Organisations need to respond to stakeholder issues that affect its performance and communicate their responses in a manner that meets the needs and expectations of its stakeholders so they can take informed decisions. If you disagree or dislike a response you have received, then articulate your views to mitigate or answer the issue.
Get your C-suite onboard – stakeholder engagement is a valuable tool for risk/opportunities management that can lead to the avoidance or minimisation of costs and the creation and optimisation of value. So why don’t chief executives and the senior management team always get it? Maybe because we fail to explain the value and effectiveness of stakeholder engagement. You are the voice of the organisation, an ambassador for your organisational leader who really needs not just to understand the value of your work but to back it 110%.
Better together – Organisations and their stakeholders recognise that today’s complex issues cannot be solved by any single actor. They require a coordinated effort with multiple stakeholders contributing to innovative and sustainable solutions. That’s the raison d’etre for stakeholder relations. The language of collaboration has to be meaningful as there are too many examples from politics of faux unity in the vain hope of success.
Project management is core – for many public relations practitioners, the focus of stakeholder relations is about what is said to whom, etc. However, a fundamental skill in managing multiple relationships within limited resources is your ability to project manage.
Mind your ethics – you are a professional, i.e. a member of a professional body with appropriate standards of conduct. Ensure you keep your ethical practice up to date and remind everyone you talk to just how much you regard professional standards (start with a line on your email signature about professional membership and your commitment to professional development).
Evaluate your stakeholder relations – at least annually, have you considered ways of evaluating your relationships with stakeholders? Whether quantitatively by survey or qualitatively by interview, use an independent researcher to provide you with assurance that you are doing your best or at least find out where you can improve. Of course, you feel that you do that all the time but not every stakeholder will express their views to the same standard as you.
At the end of the day, why is effective stakeholder relations important? Because it can offer awin-win goal for all.
If you are interested finding out about how to be more effective stakeholder relations, CIPR Scotland has a Freshly Brewed workshop which is an introduction to managing stakeholder relations and provides best practice advice on how to manage engagement with stakeholders in order to achieve organisational goals.
This event is being held in Aberdeen but if you would like to see it delivered nearer to you, contact the Organiser to register your interest and preferred location.
Freshly Brewed is a series of half-day training sessions that address a different PR theme each session. Each has been designed in response to feedback from the membership survey to reflect what our members want. Each session counts as 5 CPD points.