A Stakeholders Analysis: Don’t Network Without One

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Everyone’s heard that old chestnut dozens of times. And networking is still a concept that can be used to great effect; it’s one of the cornerstones of public relations. A stakeholder analysis can help you to identify those groups or individuals you should include in any networking strategy, people who can mean the most to the furthering of your business or organization. Here’s what you need to know about conducting a stakeholder analysis to determine which of your contacts truly mean the most to your company.

A stakeholder is a person, organization, or company. A company that interacts with a variety of groups and other companies in order to operate and survive must be keenly aware of its stakeholders. To varying degrees a company will be dependent on stakeholders for its success; if there is a serious breakdown with any one stakeholder, it will lead to problems. Each stakeholder has their own special needs and each may possess some clout to change your company, either positively or negatively. When conducting any stakeholder analysis, you need to:

Assess each stakeholder’s relative power to affect your company.

Determine what expectations each stakeholder has for your company.

Examine those expectations for potential conflicts.

Determine what approaches are necessary by the organization to meet those expectations and standards.

Stakeholders can be divided into various types. Below are some of the classifications that you could use during your stakeholders analysis:

Internal Stakeholders
External stakeholders
Latent stakeholders
Aware stakeholders
Active stakeholders
Media stakeholders
Investor stakeholders
Community stakeholders
Government stakeholders
Consumer stakeholders

After determining who your stakeholders are and how they could potentially affect your company (for good or ill), there are a number of avenues that you can follow. Try adopting the following strategy:

Recognize the existence of these stakeholders and their influence even if it’s minimal.

Make a point to try and reach out to them, even if it is only to create awareness of your organization.

Never ignore them; it may be to your peril. Today a person can set up an identical web site like yours except that it is designed to be a hate site, spreading wrong messages about your company.

This article, written by Deon Binneman, originally appeared in PR Fuel (, a free weekly newsletter from eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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