Creating a stakeholder communication plan

people talking free to use 1As leaders, we know that once we’ve created our strategies and goals it’s important to share them broadly. We need our key stakeholders to be engaged in order to move forward with a change and sustain it over time. However, it can be hard to figure out how to actually accomplish this. Who needs to hear our story, and what kind of story do we need to tell?

An education technology group in the UK has created a toolkit with many good resources for creating and sustaining innovative change.  They’re available under a Creative Commons license and may be useful in your work with shareholders.  Check it out at

The guide includes some helpful recommendations for communicating with stakeholders as well as a strategy model for five key steps:

  1. Situation analysis
  2. Communication strategy
  3. Communications plan
  4. Evaluation
  5. Sustaining the project

The guide reminds us that communications should be simple, and based on the principles of why/what/when/who/how. For example:

  • WHY should academic/teaching staff change their teaching and learning practices?
  • WHAT should academic/teaching staff change in their teaching and learning practices? 
  • WHEN is the best time to make changes, e.g. at curriculum review time?
  • WHO needs to be involved in the change?
  • HOW will we make the changes, e.g. is it a DIY approach and what support is available?

By following the five steps and creating consistent messages, a strategic communication plan can help leaders create strategies to engage stakeholders and contribute to project success.

–Dee Anne Bonebright



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