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On Tuesday, July 21st, Committee for Melbourne and IABC Victoria partnered together for a community and stakeholder engagement webinar on the discussion: Breakthroughs in Stakeholder Engagement.

Julie Castle, Managing Director at Struber, Deb Ganderton, CEO of the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust and Kris Daff, Managing Director, Assemble joined the discussion each giving a valuable contribution and their respective breakthroughs moments for engagement. We also had our live graphic recording by Matt Magain from Sketch Group where he synthesised information and captured the discussion in real-time to create a beautiful visual, curated highlights reel – which is at the bottom of this article.

Deb kicked off the webinar with a punch stating that a rebalance was required on Boards and in executive teams ensuring that comms and people professionals were represented alongside the finance, risk and infrastructure people. She went on to explain the evolution of the communications into a portfolio position in modern organisations bringing together communications (the voice) customer service (the ears) and engagement (the heart) to build stakeholder trust. Deb explained that stakeholders could be categorised as business to business (B2B) business to consumer (B2C), and business to employees (B2E) as well as business to government (B2G).

Deb tells us “engagement needs to be part of an organisation’s DNA to build trust and respect from all stakeholders, and leaders need to model this in all that they do.”

Julie then launched into how Struber is now producing successful projects by gathering real-time, data-driven decisions. It was interesting to hear that the company is quickly adapting, testing and trying out new avenues for engagement; all the while, being able to capture knowledge and various stakeholder groups through the use of honed methodologies and digital technologies.

Julie states, “Open mind not open door…[sic] There’s no silver bullet with engagement and focusing on results and not spraying and praying will minimise what you do and maximise the impact of your output. People are drawn to digital engagement because you can adapt your strategy on the go.”

Kris Daff, managing director at Assemble, talked about building a more resilient community by creating a “down to earth community rather than an embellished lifestyle… and the data from the US suggests that if you can get a resident to form two meaningful relationships or connections with residents, they’re more likely to stay in the community as a result of feeling positively engaged.”

All of their discussion can be accessed online, and we encourage you to watch the presentation. It’s fabulous to bring three very diverse organisations together but see a common thread in that stakeholder engagement and communications can work hand-in-hand and that they are intrinsically linked.

Watch the event on-demand here.

Here are some happy snaps from the event: