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How To: Improve Stakeholder Communication for Your Project

by Missy Mandell Tucker, Digital Operations Manager

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

Communication is crucial for any project, be it a website redesign, rebranding, or digital marketing campaign. Good communication ensures clarity, facilitates collaboration, builds trust among team members and with clients, and improves efficiency.

When you are preparing for a website redesign project, the who, what, where, when and how of your communication plan will determine how easily information flows between important parties.

In order to improve communication amongst stakeholders, focus on:

  • Who: Identify key stakeholders
  • What: State goals and expectations
  • Where: Establish and standardize communication channels
  • When: Schedule regular meetings and updates
  • How did it go: Keep detailed records
  • Continuous improvement: Create opportunities for feedback

Let’s dive into each of these to see how they can make a tangible difference on any project.

1. Identify Key Stakeholders

Stakeholders are any individuals who have an impact on the project. This can include internal team members working on the project, as well as external stakeholders, like customers who will want (or not want!) to buy the product you are creating.

Figuring out whose opinions matter on a project is important, but it is just as important to not have too many cooks in the kitchen, or too many stakeholders on your project slowing down your decision making.

Identifying and engaging stakeholders is a process that should happen early and often. An easy way to think about this is in the context of an email subscription list. A missed opportunity would be to create an email list and never revisit it. Identifying stakeholders early and often would look like creating an email list, removing people whose emails bounce or express disinterest, and continuing to add emails for newly interested customers.

2. State Goals and Expectations

Goals and expectations provide direction and clarity on any project.

For communication purposes, clear goals and expectations reduce duplicated efforts and enhance accountability, collaboration and shared commitment.

3. Establish and Standardize Communication Channels

It is important that all stakeholders know where and how to access important information as well as who to contact with questions or issues.

When creating communication standards and ways of work, consider appointing a main contact person and guidelines for where to input and receive project information.

Some tools we use and love that drive our communications and operations are Slack, Basecamp, and Mailchimp.

4. Schedule Regular Meetings and Updates

In addition to informal information, scheduling meetings and giving regular updates keeps stakeholders on track and aware of changes, needs, and goals.

An added bonus to consistent meetings – even when there isn’t much to report – is that they convey that work is in progress and moving in the right direction.

5. Keep Detailed Records

Detailed records are helpful for accountability, transparency, and decision making.

One of the tools we use to record important details is Basecamp, but there are a number of project management software options, including Trello, Basecamp, and Google Workspace.

Many of these have similar features; check them out to see which works best for you.

6. Create Opportunities for Feedback

Creating opportunities for feedback allows stakeholders to voice opinions, concerns, and questions and foster a culture of communication, ownership, and engagement.

Effective communication drives effective projects. Understanding stakeholders, translating for individual stakeholder’s needs, and adapting communication techniques are all important factors in effective project communication.

Having set schedules and methods for communicating regularly, stating expectations and goals to keep your stakeholders focused, and making two-way communication and feedback part of your project culture can keep your stakeholders engaged.

We use a variety of these communications practices to listen to our clients, understand their needs and create a final product that they are happy with. If you are looking for a website design, creation, or a revamp, reach out to us and let’s talk.

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About Missy Mandell Tucker

Missy Mandell Tucker is Digital Operations at Digital Ink. Beyond her work, Missy enjoys crossword puzzles, running in nature, dance and music, and bringing people together to play board games. Digital Ink tells stories for forward-thinking businesses, mission-driven organizations, and marketing and technology agencies in need of a creative and digital partner.

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