Monday, 28 February 2011

New media and Stakeholder prioritisation

Power – interest matrix

The power – interest matrix is a tool which helps PR professionals classify and prioritize the stakeholders according to their interest in a project and their power to influence the organisation.

The A quadrant represents the stakeholders who have minimal power to influence the project and show little or no interest in the organisation’s activity. Thus they require minimum effort to be monitored.
Although the stakeholders in group B don’t have power to influence the project, they should be informed because they are regarded as peers of the organisation’s goals.
The stakeholders in group C are generally passive, but a change in the environment may trigger their interest. The organisation should strive to keep them satisfied because of their power to influence the project.
The high level of power and interest makes group D a key player which should be managed closely.

How do new media influence the stakeholder prioritisation?
1. Activity
As the features of new media encourage people to be more active the boundaries between active and inactive public are blurred. PR practitioners should be more proactive in their approach to the stakeholders.
2. Flexibility
With the emergence of social media the intensity of change in interest has increased which resulted in greater flexibility of the groups to move from one quadrant of the matrix to another. The power to build groups which are more likely to have influence on the organisation’s activities has risen.
3. Tribe building
New media allows people to build online communities which have different characteristics from the communities they are part of in their everyday life. Online groups emerge suddenly and could move from one quadrant to another very quickly.
4. Public characteristics
There are more factors which should be taken in consideration while creating the power – interest matrix. The importance of the interaction between the demographic and cultural characteristics of the community and the technographic profile of the individuals and groups has increased.
5. Shift of power
New media gave people the opportunity to become active creators of online content which affected the public ability to exert their power. Stakeholders are generally regarded as groups of people but nowadays the individuals’ impact on the organisation’s goals shouldn’t be underestimated.

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