Stakeholder and Audience Engagement
Knowing your audience is key for change-makers. Who do you serve? Who are you accountable to? Who knows about you, and who needs to know about you? What is your story, and how do you tell it?
Effective communication starts with understanding your audience. And that means being very clear who your audience is (and isn't!), and who else you need to include. I am adept at helping you identify your audience, both who you are currently reaching, and who you should be reaching. We can then find strategic ways to speak to your current and future audiences, making sure your messages get across authentically and in ways that drive action.
Using my communications and message framing skills developed through almost two decades of activist work, I excel at building interest and collaboration. Say what you will about activists, but we know how to shout, and how to get attention. We're persistent, but we're also strategic, and we know how to craft a compelling narrative that spurs all sorts of different stakeholders into taking action. And taking action means a lot of different things, including making sure we are fully listening to the elders who have been doing this forever, and finding and connecting with the young people who want to get involved like their survival depends on it (and it often does - shout out to the new generation kicking ass in hard times, you're saving us all!).
For potential funders, taking action means giving you the resources and practical support you need to keep up the fight. Fundraising, at its core, is about relationships, which are in turned nurtured by effective communications. And sometimes taking action means forcing people in power to concede to our demands, which is also related to communication and audience engagement, among many others things. Engaging those in power so that they have no choice but to concede is another kind of storytelling, but its a form of stakeholder engagement that activists excel at, individually and collectively.
Effective change-makers understand the power of collaboration and building common ground, which is often achieved through effective engagement, message framing and story telling. In previous projects, I have built and maintained diverse stakeholder advisory boards, and ensured collaboration by people with seemingly competing goals and divergent experiences. I am skilled at finding points of connection and creating workable solutions that are responsive to multiple priorities, and I will work with you to develop a comprehensive and feasible stakeholder engagement plan. I'm especially experienced in building trusting relationships with "hard to reach" communities. From inviting stakeholders to the table to facilitating meetings, I am attentive, flexible and focused on achieving common goals, and I get results.
Much of my own work has been in disability justice spaces, and so I have become highly skilled at facilitating the inclusion of people with various access needs. I can easily work within multiple formats, and I am attentive to issues of inclusion and accessibility. I can provide alternative formats as needed, and I work hard to ensure meaningful participation and inclusion of all stakeholders.
I especially love non-traditional means of engaging your audience, which includes potential funders, and I'm also at home with the effective classics - newsletters, op eds, social media, community meetings, press releases and more. I'm not married to the medium; instead, I find the right way to get the right message to the right audience.
Helping you craft and deliver messages that spur action is my wheelhouse. My training in medical anthropology and my extensive cross-cultural work are assets here, but honestly, engaging your audience in order to drive change is very much an outgrowth of my activist work.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will" - Frederick Douglass