Best practice stakeholder engagement process

Best practice stakeholder engagement process

Before you jump into what engagement methods you wish to use, it’s critical to take a step back to check that you have everything in place to proceed. For best practice stakeholder engagement, follow this process for each consultation:  

1. Business Case Evaluation  

  • Has the business case been solidified?  
  • What are the pros and cons? Do specific stakeholder groups benefit whilst others are impacted?  
  • Can you mitigate or address perceived issues and constraints before consultation?  
  • Are there any gaps or loose ends? For example, is there enough supporting documentation, e.g., Review of Environmental Factors, already endorsed plans and strategies to support the business case?  
  • Are there legislative or regulatory links to the proposal?  

 2. Objectives and Limitations  

  • What elements are open for discussion or refinement?  
  • How much influence do stakeholders have?  
  • What are the key feedback metrics to be collected?  
  • Can you articulate the likely feedback themes, e.g., if it was a foreshore development, you may anticipate feedback areas such as View Loss, Amenities, Parking, Active Transport etc.?  
  • Start thinking about reporting and how a digital stakeholder engagement platform with deep insight reporting will support the whole process and truly demonstrate best practice in stakeholder engagement

3. Stakeholder Identification and Analysis  

Undertaking a thorough desktop review of your stakeholders enables you to identify:  

  • Who needs to be encouraged to participate? (For example, so you do not just have input from the vocal minority)  
  • What do you perceive as their interests, benefits, and concerns?  
  • How are you going to reach them and encourage them to participate?  
  • What methods of engagement should you use?  
  • What segments/groups can you identify within your stakeholders? Engagement Hub enables you to capture demographic information and segment your stakeholders, informing rich, consolidated reporting. 

For best practice stakeholder engagement, stop and validate the first three steps to ensure you have plugged any gaps, modified your reporting metrics if necessary, and everything is cohesive.  

4. Consultation Design Process  

  • What communication channels will you utilise to reach a broad range of hard-to-reach stakeholders? Are there other organisations you can leverage?  
  • Develop the content and supporting materials such as draft strategies, fact sheets, and FAQs.  
  • Develop a communications strategy to support the promotion of your consultation to your stakeholders. It’s paramount to the success of your engagement that you reach your stakeholders so for best practice stakeholder engagement – a communications plan is key.  
  • Support the consultation with a range of multimedia and marketing materials (if applicable) like videos, maps, posters, signage, social media campaigns etc 
  • Determine the best offline and online feedback tools to utilise and prepare the parameters for collecting and structuring feedback e.g. public meetings, briefings, interactive documents/media, mapping tools, budget simulators, surveys, polls, forums etc 
  • Allow time for your communications plan, materials and consultation to be approved by your organisation. Engagement Hub includes workflow task management to support internal approval and information referral processes.  

5. Analyse and Report  

Collating all your data from your consultation and reporting on your findings doesn’t have to be onerous and it also doesn’t have to wait until your consultation has concluded.  

For best practice stakeholder engagement, you need to analyse the data as it’s coming in so you can respond to it and make any necessary amendments to your process.  

Leading-edge, innovative software such as Engagement Hub enables you to analyse feedback online throughout your consultation and extract one-click reports, charts and detailed text analysis making reporting a simple and quick process.  

6. Close the loop  

Acknowledge stakeholders for investing their time to provide considered feedback and report on the proposal’s outcomes and what it means. 


Engagement Hub is the leading online stakeholder engagement platform enabling you to collaborate, consult, report and manage all your stakeholders in one secure place. View our demo site to see all our consultation tools in action in example projects or book a no-obligation virtual demonstration of the software here.  

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