Stakeholder success stories
A PROACTIVE STAKEHOLDER STRATEGY
The Situation: A manufacturing group experienced some difficult years at one of their facilities due to safety and environmental issues. They had several events over time that resulted in media scrutiny, regulatory negotiations and increased public awareness. As their management group worked to address operational issues, they also realized the importance of improving their community and media outreach efforts to rebuild trust and plan for the future. They initially brought in Benchmark’s team to help them with media / crisis plans and communications, and that expanded into stakeholder and community engagement campaigns.
The Results: We helped the organization with stakeholder engagement programs that included stakeholder assessments, public opinion polls, presentations at local schools, participation in community groups and meetings, media advertising to showcase employee volunteer work, media outreach efforts, philanthropic initiatives and much more. The company’s proactive strategies greatly strengthened its community relationships, boosted employee morale and helped the company position itself to better achieve its community and business goals.
EARNING STAKEHOLDER TRUST
The Situation: An energy group asked us to help them improve their stakeholder engagement efforts in many states. They did not have a formal stakeholder outreach program and some of their stakeholders were filing lawsuits over environmental issues and concerns. The lawsuits resulted in widespread media coverage, further straining community and business relationships. It was clear that the company’s frontline employees were in a position to greatly influence stakeholder perceptions, as they had daily contact with community members and leaders. Investing in the frontline is worthwhile; studies conducted by Edelman reveal the public believes employees are more trustworthy than CEOs, Founders or PR departments.
The Results: We helped the organization implement a comprehensive and custom stakeholder outreach program that was delivered to frontline associates in multiple states. Employees went through special training designed to help them realize the personal, community and economic benefits of stakeholder engagement, and they were equipped with skills, strategies and opportunities to be effective ambassadors for the organization. With time, stakeholder trust levels greatly improved, employee morale went up and litigation costs dropped. The company’s reputation was transformed, the company culture became more stakeholder-centric and they became a valued partner in the communities where they operate.
CONNECTING WITH STAKEHOLDERS
The Situation: An organization asked Benchmark to help them improve relationships and communications with key stakeholders crucial to their financial success. The stakeholders have special needs that require the assistance of employees from many departments across the organization. The level of frustration was increasing for the stakeholders and the employees assigned to work with them. Their relationships were suffering, employee stress levels were high and morale was sinking. In short, they knew they were failing in how they were connecting with the very stakeholders that drive their financial success! The company asked us to help them identify and implement stakeholder strategies that would result in clearer communications, stronger stakeholder trust, solid long-term relationships – and lower employee stress levels.
The Results: Benchmark interviewed key people in various departments to clearly understand the issues they faced and to identify the solutions needed to turn things around. We worked with content experts in many departments and created a custom game plan and training curriculum to solve the issues. We also developed custom booklets for each department to help associates improve their communications approach and accuracy in dealing with stakeholder issues. The training was well received and within a short time we began to receive news of stakeholder success stories. Their stakeholders immediately noticed a difference and complimented employees for helping them understand difficult issues. Employee morale started to rise and the stakeholder experience greatly improved!