An exercise every communication professional swears by – Stakeholder Mapping. Stakeholder mapping involves creating a system wherein different groups of people based on a set of characteristics can be allotted groups. Based on these groups communication plans can be assessed or created. (Source: Wikipedia)
This mapping method is useful when multiple groups of people are covered under the same program/initiative. The above image is a representation of one of the most common patterns of stakeholder mapping.
The map is divided into two parts- namely The Level of Interest and The Level of Influence. The Level of Influence measures the effect the stakeholder can have over the business and the Level of Interest is how intensely will the stakeholder be impacted by the decisions made in the business.
The quadrant on the top right of the matrix is a combination of high influence and high interest. These stakeholders are a high priority and must be managed closely. The Bottom right ones are the ones with high interest, but low influence- lenders or creditors may fall into this category. Although they have very little to do with the project’s success, their influence is considerable.
The bottom left quadrant is low influence and low interest. These stakeholders must be regularly monitored for changes. Although they don’t care about or influence the business much, their significance cannot be ignored. Example-Government. The top left quadrant is of high interest but a low influence group that must be kept informed. (Source: YouTube)
This exercise helps to prioritise stakeholders while making decisions related to business, creating a project plan, and most importantly making a communication plan. Customization is a powerful tool to hold the attention of your stakeholder groups.
A message prepared for a government-like stakeholder may not resonate with your customer/lender. Therefore, using this power-interest matrix one can make sure that the business pays equal attention to the needs of each stakeholder without prioritising one over the other.