Managing stakeholders

If you’re part of a large group of stakeholders, remember the good old adage, “too many cooks will spoil the broth”. The only way forward might be to nominate a copywriter to spearhead your marketing project. That can get you a homogeneous text that follows one clear line of thinking. However, the risk of death by committee will remain; all stakeholders still have to sign off on the finished draft.

As a copywriter, I have to be sensitive to many different perspectives when I put pen to paper. I also have to have a solid rationale for the chosen information structure and wording. With that on hand, I can walk stakeholders through the draft and address any objections immediately.

Greening The West (GTW) comes to mind. This is a large urban greening project in Melbourne. It is run by a committee of no less than 20 different stakeholders: utility providers, a number of local councils, several state government departments and authorities, a national industry association and a local grassroots group. A lot of people with a lot of individual opinions.

Back in 2013, the GTW committee were in the throes of producing their first strategic plan. They had been working with a subject matter expert for months. But subject matter experts are not necessarily expert communicators. So when the project eventually was handed to me, I changed the information structure around completely and rewrote the plan from top to bottom. And, most importantly, I had a solid rationale as to why I built their case in exactly this way.

Approved by all stakeholders.

Link to PDF on the right.



  • Client Greening The West
  • Industry Government
  • Media Strategic plan
  • PDF