Talking to customers, employees, activists and other stakeholders is good for business. It acts as an ear to the ground - giving companies a better understanding of sustainability risks and opportunities.
We help clients facilitate this kind of dialogue, through meetings, opinion research and advisory panels. Our wide experience of engagement combined with our knowledge of sustainability means that our clients and their stakeholders get the most from these sessions.
We don’t forget the hugely important, but often forgotten, aspect of measuring performance. We help companies assess how effectively their messages are getting through, using surveys and focus groups.
We help clients identify and prioritise stakeholders and plan how to engage with them. This includes identifying stakeholder needs, developing appropriate messages, and specifying communications tactics and channels.
Opinion leader research
Focus groups provide a neutral forum for discussion, giving clients vital feedback. We identify potential participants, and organise sessions over lunch, which we moderate. Telephone surveys are an alternative that work well, providing larger numbers of respondents and wider geographical spread.
Global CS Who’s Who
Our Who's Who is a hand-picked list of over 1,300 sustainability leaders in academia, government, media, pressure groups and companies from more than 60 countries. We use this database to recruit panels for stakeholder engagement and to distribute sustainability publications. See our Global CR Who’s Who brochure.
Stakeholder advisory panels provide scrutiny and in-depth feedback on a company’s sustainability performance and communications. The eminent panel members offer crucial insights and act as a sounding board for new ideas. We organise panels on behalf of clients, including identifying potential members as well as facilitating meetings and communicating the outcome of discussions.
For defence and aerospace company BAE Systems, understanding and communicating openly with stakeholders is an important part of its approach to corporate responsibility.
We have worked with the company since 2001, helping to launch its CR programme and accompanying report on performance. Since then, BAE Systems’ sector-leading CR reports have been frequently quoted. In 2010, we helped the company make the transition to integrated reporting, combining information on its ethical, social and environmental performance with its annual financial reporting. Context also helps develop the content for the accompanying website which provides further insight on how CR policies are put into practice at BAE Systems.
To gain feedback on the company’s CR strategy and reporting, Context organised and facilitated an external advisory panel, as well as engagement sessions with a wider group of stakeholders. Our other work with BAE Systems includes bespoke training and other communications.
Vodafone seeks to stimulate
Extensive dialogue with stakeholders has been instrumental to the strategy and award-winning reporting that established Vodafone as a leader in corporate sustainability.
Around the Context lunch table, stakeholders
have offered valuable insights on Vodafone’s
strategy since 2004. Opinion formers and
experts have been invited to discuss key issues
for the mobile telecommunications industry. Most recently: climate change, supply chain, and mobiles, masts and health (radio frequencies).
Vodafone seeks to stimulate and contribute to debate through this issue-specific approach, and to use that dialogue to inform its sustainability strategy.
How do you get stakeholders in Argentina,
Australia, China, Germany, India, the U.K. and
the U.S.A. in the same room without costing
the earth? Ask Cisco. The networking company
used its Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing
technology to host a series of sessions with 25 stakeholders from 12 countries.
The sessions, organized and facilitated by Context, gave Cisco valuable feedback on its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and reporting, helping the company refine its key performance indicators in time for its next reporting cycle. Context also helped write Cisco's most recent CSR Report.
The stakeholder feedback
sessions showcased Cisco TelePresence,
high-definition, streamlined videoconferencing
technology that strives to provide the most life-like and “in-person” experience possible.
Effectively and efficiently getting worldwide feedback is a challenge that even globetrotting companies have yet to master. Cisco is showing the way.