The importance of stakeholder mapping in a crisis
Stakeholder mapping is a crucial element to any crisis communications plan. Unity and collaboration is central to recovery, so understanding your stakeholder universe cannot be underestimated. This stakeholder map will likely include employees, customers, suppliers, other tourism organizations, community partners, the media, government, and the general public. Atour operator’s stakeholders, for instance, could include: travel agents, past consumers, potential consumers, travel agents, OTAs and a local DMO. You should also add all necessary contact information for each of these groups in your map.
Stakeholder mapping steps
- Identify all audience groups in your value chain that are affected by or have a stake in the crisis.
- Categorize audiences in at least three groups: allies, neutral, and opposition.
- Define each audience’s issue profile around the situation – is this group is likely to take action? Can your organization influence this group? In general, focus on audiences that are open to influence.
- Define your desired outcome and your communications strategy for reaching it. Remember, this is a continuous process that you need to review as the situation develops and the stakeholder landscape shifts.
- Advise, but also empathize with your strategic partners. You have an opportunity to engage with them and work together toward recovery. For example, many DMOs are staying connected with local partners, such as restaurants, via social media, promoting take-out options and supporting businesses in their communities. This is an opportunity to help your partners stay versatile and resilient.