Businesses that understand what’s important to their stakeholders and communicate those points effectively are more likely to achieve their objectives.
Whether you’re seeking to secure more market share, to gain support of politicians and councillors, or build relationships with local residents, establishing trust is crucial.
Identifying which factors beyond product and price influence opinion about you is the first step.
For example, do local residents and commuters want minimal disruption while your construction project takes place?
Ensure frequent and advance updates are provided regarding any road closures or traffic management.
Make the information easily accessible via as many touchpoints as possible including a dedicated page on your website, a Facebook group for the scheme, print newsletters and media relations.
Also consider direct communication channels including SMS, email and a broadcast WhatsApp group, which allow only one person to send messages.
Another example is your support in the community. Corporate social responsibility is an important part of the mix for ensuring people have a positive opinion about you.
A popular output is sponsoring a children’s sports team, but what other causes and organisations require support?
Careers talks at schools and donating time and expertise to a local project such as helping to renovate a hospice are good options that can leave a lasting impression and make a true difference.
Create a page on your website to talk about your activities and share your stories across your social media and with news outlets.
A third example is if the Welsh language is a key priority, make this obvious through your actions.
Is your website and communication bilingual? Can your employees liaise with stakeholders in Welsh? Has your CSR included Welsh language and culture?
If translation is required, commission a professional and avoid Google translate, even for individual words and small phrases. Mistakes can start relationships off on the wrong foot.
A final example is investment in the local economy. Have you held meet the buyer events to source products and services close to you? Do you aim to engage companies in the region?
How many jobs have you created for local people, including apprenticeships and trainee positions?
Calculate your impact such as £1m invested in suppliers within a 15-mile radius of your operations.
Tell the story in a journalistic style to grab the attention of media outlets and to make sure the content is attracting views on social media and your website.