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Cultivating Relationships:

Above, you sorted your agency’s stakeholders by the current level of relationship you have with them. A “1” was assigned to those stakeholders where you can merely pick up the phone and have a significant conversation. Relationship is “high” with those individuals. You assigned a “2” to those stakeholders whom you could appropriately call, but if you did, they would not know you personally. Relationship with these individuals needs to be cultivated. Finally, you assigned a “3” to those stakeholders where a direct relationship is inappropriate but nevertheless important enough to develop a means of indirect access. You need to cultivate relationships with the “2” stakeholders and develop indirect access to those with a “3,” while maintaining your relationships with the “1’s.”

What follows are technical approaches you can use to cultivate relationships with members of the media, elected and administrative officials, and the public with whom you do not have a “1” relationship. The suggested techniques may also be used with other stakeholder groups but are offered here in relation to these particular groups since they tend to be the most difficult groups to pro-actively engage.

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