4. Communicating and connecting with stakeholders

Once you have identified the stakeholders you wish to advocate to and have drafted the messages you want to put across, you need to think of ways to communicate and connect with them.


  • What channels already exist to connect with them? (e.g. meetings, reporting structures)
  • Do you need to create anything in writing? (e.g. report, business case)
  • What informal methods can you use?
  • What opportunities can you take advantage of?
  • Who else can deliver your message (e.g. allies)?
  • Do you have a plan outlining how you will deliver the above?

Guidance and resources

‘Advocacy and awareness for archivists’ by Kathleen Roe, Society of American Archivists (2019). Chapter 6 focuses on putting advocacy into practice and delivering your messages including creating written materials, talking to people, and using social media.

‘Many happy returns: advocacy and the development of archives’ by L. J. Hackman, Society of American Archivists (2011). Pages 48 to 60 of the book touch on some practical techniques and tactics in advocacy including communicating with stakeholders.

Toolkit on holding an elevator pitch workshop by the International Council on Archives’ Section of Professional Associations (2018). This toolkit includes some useful tips on effective communication.

Our Reviewing and engaging your stakeholders resource – the final page provides a template for a stakeholder engagement plan.

Case studies

All the case studies in this toolkit feature practical ways of connecting with stakeholders, from formal presentations to more informal methods.

Case study 1 – getting buy in from management
Case study 2 – creating an impact report
Case study 3 – forming an advisory board
Case study 4 – seizing the moment
Case study 5 – cultivating alliances
Case study 6 – raising awareness at inductions

One key learning point from these case studies is about seizing the opportunity when it arrives. You can carefully plan how to communicate and connect with stakeholders, but sometimes advocacy is about taking advantage of something that arrives out of the blue. There is also a strong emphasis on prioritising advocacy efforts over other activities – even for small services that have less time and resource.