Communicate with your stakeholders. It is now or never!

Year 2020 will be etched in history as a year of turmoil. Never before were the challenges so acute and the consequences as complicated. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown most economic sectors out of gear and it continues to change the modus operandi of the world as companies across the world are being unanimously burdened with grave uncertainties. 

A ‘new normal’ has taken centre stage, influencing any and every corporate communication endeavour. If you believe the world should notice your corporate narrative, it is time to speak up!

Placing the Onus on Stakeholders’ Communication

Businesses – small and large – have implemented continuity plans and strategically formulated designs to minimise disruptions. Organisations that now stand on a global pedestal with a larger audience comprising investors, employees, customers, vendors – need to voice their opinion. Silence or ineffective communication could pose a severe threat to business sustainability. A weak economy, deteriorating investor sentiment and gradual lack of faith can automatically translate into negative repercussions.

Effective corporate communication, targeting stakeholders at every level of business, is crucial for delivering the message. But, whom should you communicate with? It is time to raise the stakes for stakeholder communication. Multiple stakeholder communication collaterals like an Annual Report, Corporate presentation, corporate websites, internal communications, social media campaigns, investor presentation and more, are some of the many ways that reinforces faith and narrates the importance of upholding your corporate story with ease, efficiency, honesty and integrity. 

Impacting Investing Decisions 

While a majority of companies have understood the advantages of transparent stakeholder communication, how important is it for influencing investment decisions? Can a mere newsletter serve your purpose? Obviously, not. Financial stakeholders need targeted communication channels that address their queries and concerns. While every company employs its Investor Relations team to liaise with stakeholders and its Public Relations function to manage its reputation in a competitive environment, nothing says the story better than an Annual Report.

If you are looking for a comprehensive means to share insight, allay stakeholder concern, build credibility and trust, Annual Reports can perfectly complement internal communications. With the growing propensity for digital and interactive tools of communication, stakeholders need to be aware of every detail pertaining to their investment and what better way to present it than a personalised Annual Report!  

A measured and conscientious approach to stakeholder engagement is essential for businesses to flourish. Timely action and robust communication makes a difference to your story.  

Start Building a Dialogue with your stakeholders’

The key to effective stakeholder communication lies in building a dialogue. One-way communication fails to serve the purpose. The tone is set when stakeholder interest and appetite is continuously whetted with measured steps that are attuned to their needs. With new-age communications being heralded as the next big thing, communication specialists are keen to hear what stakeholders want.

From gathering insights about stakeholder interest from social media to doing in-depth analysis, effective stakeholder communication and relationship needs nurturing. The focus should not rest solely on shareholders, it must revolve around every key group contributing to the success of an organisation. Relationships with customers, suppliers, vendors, the financial community, governments and regulators are vital for keeping a firm’s reputation and performance intact.  

Businesses around the world are learning to adapt and adopt. As they continue to evolve and become better than before, healthy stakeholders’ communication holds the key to business sustainability. 

It’s time to look ahead, strengthen your stakeholders’ communication and build tools that propagate the message – far and wide. 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Hussain Kalolwala
Hussain Kalolwala is the Founder & CEO of Kalolwala & Associates Pvt Ltd (K&A), an independent, corporate communications consultant company with offices in Mumbai & Kolkata. A qualified Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary, Hussain has used his number crunching skill to create a specific stakeholder communication consultancy. Since its humble beginning in the year 2015, it has today grown into a multi-location entity with an innovative work portfolio, a burgeoning team and an ever growing client list, featuring some of the most prominent corporate entities of the India corporate Inc.

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