Keeping in touch with stakeholders can be tough, especially when there could be hundreds if not thousands for a major infrastructure project. Here are our top 5 picks for software solutions that can help.
We use Insightly here at 52M. It's easy to use, comes with all sorts of tricks right out of the box and isn't too pricey. It allows us to manage both our own sales cycle and projects, but also project stakeholders and communications with them. With Insightly, you can: link stakeholders to a client or client project; categorise stakeholders with tags (for instance to distinguish between people that are openly supportive and those that have asked for more information); and use workflows to help keep on top of repetitive tasks. You can send bulk emails directly from inside Insightly or it can synchronise with MailChimp, and it integrates with Microsoft's Office 365 and Google's G-Suite. There's also a web-to-lead function that allows stakeholder information to be collected from a form on your website and dropped right into your CRM.
With Simplycast, you can create landing pages that you direct stakeholders to via print and online advertising, encouraging them to register with you for more information about your project. Then, once you've captured their details, you can build communications campaigns that can be deployed across email and social media where it's possible to track actions and responses...which then trigger further automated routines to ensure that communication is consistent and continuous. It shares a lot of the functionality you get with Insightly but is better when it comes to 'drip' campaigns aimed at educating stakeholders on a particular detail of your project plans over a longer period.
Nationbuilder is a very powerful all-in-one solution that combines a stakeholder-facing project website and back-office CRM and communications platform. The big advantage offered by Nationbuilder is that it integrates these three core functions all in one place. It's relatively easy to build websites but getting to grips with the use of stakeholder 'paths' and process automation in the CRM and communications module takes more effort. The hosting is very reliable and the support is excellent. The downside is that it doesn't allow you to put together automated drip campaigns - like a series of 'welcome' emails when someone registers for more information.
People spend such a lot of time on social media these days that it's impossible to imagine a stakeholder engagement campaign that doesn't involve a sizeable social component to it. Hootsuite enables you to manage your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook social profiles all in one place and also provides some decent analytics. The best feature is the bulk uploader - you can spend your time creating your content and messaging so it's consistent, upload weeks and even months worth in a spreadsheet, then let Hootsuite broadcast it to your schedule without you giving it any further thought.
It's one of the 'go to' e-marketing solutions for a reason: simple to use, full of features (on the paid plans) and supplies lots of valuable analytics so you can see how your audience is interacting with your content. Plus, it integrates with many other software platforms (like Insightly, for instance) and you can also develop automated drip campaigns and responses.
Used together in combination or for standalone tasks, these 5 communication tools can make stakeholder engagement and community relations easier and more successful.
Interested in a demo of how we make these tools work for us? Just email theteam [at] 52Mconsulting.com and we'll organise that for you.