You have just completed a campaign. You are feeling proud, somewhat accomplished, satisfied with how it went.

You look around and see your stakeholder. Full of energy, you walk over to share the results.

The stakeholder goes “mmm…” in a somewhat evasive manner. Starts to look around the room/venue/space. 

You bring up how the team put in effort to secure this win. The long hours, the negotiations and the compromises.

The stakeholder nods, and says: “Include those in the report. I will find some time to read through.”, and leaves you standing by yourself.

You wonder what just happened, why isn’t the stakeholder excited about the outcome, and whether you just did something wrong.

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out often. Leadership is not engaged, management is distracted, stakeholders and clients are wondering at the wrong parts of the campaign.

Presenting your campaign results should not have to be difficult. You are working to provide value to your brand and organisation. This process should not be intimidating.

In fact, this scenario can be changed into a positive interaction. And importantly, it’s not about doubling down on effort or deliverables.

Instead, it’s about treating our stakeholders as another category of ‘customer’ because they are. In fact, they are probably our most important ‘customer’, even ahead of our organisation’s customers.

The first step takes place long before the campaign is conceived.

Even before the campaign and outcomes are required, we must start thinking about stakeholders and the tonality and quality of the relationship we have with them.

Is it good? Do they view the communications function as an asset to the organisation? Why yes, why not? How can we change their impression of what we do for the better?

It’s important to start a relationship, both cross-function and cross-discipline, for a few good reasons.

The most critical reason is because we really should know and understand what our organisation does, and how it earns revenue and the various levers that the business uses to do so. This improves our messaging and can help us discover more stories and angles to add to our repertoire.

Coming close on the heels of the first reason is that all organisations are really a stage for relationships. Unless you are dealing with a one-man company, and even then, stakeholders, colleagues, clients are human. Humans are social. To get anything done, decisions made, we need to appeal to our counterparts socially.

This means that the nature of the relationship between the communicator and the stakeholder is important.

Investing time in getting to know the various stakeholders, their triggers, pain-points, requirements and contributions to the business can mean the difference when it comes to approval, budgeting, resourcing and impression management of your campaign/projects.  


The next step requires collaboration.

Another important step is collaboration. As functions and teams, we do not exist in isolation of one another.

And if we are working in siloes, it’s time to stop and look around, and figure out to work our flow into those of others, otherwise we might discover too late we are working on things that the organisation does not deem important.

By collaborating with stakeholders, other functions, or teams, we have to focus on what is a win for them, that does not conflict or cannabilise on a win for us. This might mean agreeing to more outputs/outcomes, and inserting more objectives into our campaign plans, or even creating a complementary campaign for the stakeholder.

When we focus on win-win for stakeholders, we might find them unlocking things we need for a more successful campaign outcome for ourselves.

If there is a relationship and collaboration, our win becomes their win too.

And yes, there is always more than enough credit to go around.

Sidebar: How do you build a position of trust with a stakeholder from a human psychology perspective?

Building deep relationships with stakeholders can be crucial for a communicator. This helps us to effectively understand their needs, gain their trust, and work collaboratively towards common goals.

Here are some strategies to try to use to build deep relationships with stakeholders:

Here’s a formula on presenting your campaign outcomes

It is important to recognise that apart from your own efforts in driving successful outcomes, the presentation of success relies on other variables.

Some of these variables might even be out of your control. However, they might not necessarily be out of our influence.

A formula that we have come to use over our campaign experiences has been:

Right time + correct environment + key focus on and easy to understand information/data = A good campaign presentation.

This is in addition to already understanding the stakeholder as an individual, having built a positive relationship and working with them to incorporate/insert mutually beneficial outcomes into the campaign.


3 ways to optimise sharing your campaign outputs and outcomes

Time: Selecting the right timing or moment to share outputs and outcomes is important.

Pay attention to your stakeholder’s calendar, current attitude (tone, language used, speed of talking, etc), body language (happy, nervous, distracted, etc), and determine if the timing is appropriate.

Environment: Picking the right place to share outputs and outcomes can make the difference in the receiving of the information.

Seek to understand your stakeholder’s preferences, routines and decision-making style.

Work with a ‘wing-man’ or an internal champion: Tag-team with a colleague, team member or internal champion when sharing or presenting outputs and outcomes.

A stakeholder might receive information more positively when there is a team dynamic happening in front of them. Humans are social, and we want to present our best impression most times.

I provide communications and PR solutions for organisations and practitioners through counsel, consultancy and training. With over 20+ years in the industry, we have created frameworks, methods and content that enable you and your team to launch, grow, level up and earn revenue effectively and efficiently.

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