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Engaging Stakeholders through Inspiration

By Erik Martens, Director Public Affairs, MSLGROUP Netherlands

BP in the Netherlands continually connects with its clients and broader stakeholder base in a variety of ways. In 2015 it decided to significantly expand these efforts. Instead of a yearly relationship-building event, BP wanted to organise a number of themed ‘inspiration sessions’. MSLGROUP in the Netherlands developed a blueprint for the programme and organisation of these events and for the communications before, during and after the sessions. MSLGROUP and BP have now successfully carried out four such events.

The inspiration sessions focus on content and themes that are top of the agenda for BP’s clients and partners, such as fraud prevention and urban distribution. BP plays a facilitating role as organiser of these sessions, sharing knowledge, insights and best practice. This role ensures that the sessions flow naturally and remain informative, without becoming sales-orientated.

board-room-on-energy-report-sept-2016Often a keynote speaker, for example sustainable energy entrepreneur and innovator Professor Dr Ad van Wijk – also professor of future energy systems at the Delft University of Technology – introduces the sessions and sheds light on the theme from a macro level perspective. Subsequently, the attendees discuss specific developments, opportunities and challenges within the theme, under the guidance of an experienced moderator. The debates have a constructive character, covering even the most difficult and contentious topics, and sharing knowledge and experiences is considered an enormous benefit by the attendees.

The communications before, during and after the sessions enables sales employees to engage their partners and sales prospects in a compelling and credible way. Each session is also followed up with summary materials, such as fact sheets. The inspiration sessions have been deemed such as success that they will be continued in 2016.

This article is a part of the September 2016 edition of MSLGROUP’s ON Energy Report – Navigating a Changing Energy Landscape. If you want to find out more about the work we do, or enquire as to how we might be able to help, don’t hesitate to contact Nick Bastin

Erik Martens
Erik is a specialist in public affairs and strategic and corporate communication, providing both strategic advice and ‘hands-on’ tactical support across a broad range of corporate reputation, stakeholder engagement, issues and media management, and crisis communications. @martens_erik | erik.martens@mslgroup.com

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