Attending a barcamp means that you should do your best to share an idea, projects you are working on, or knowledge that may be useful to others. That alone is good enough reason to attend, another one would be the opportunity to discuss these ideas with people with different backgrounds.

The Spring Barcamp was June 5th at Hub Porto and I opted to present a few examples of stakeholder mapping. It made sense to me given the fact that there were a few startups attending and that we would be talking about an important part of environmental scanning.

As usual, the interesting bit came after the slides.

One of the questions from the audience had to do with communication channels that stakeholders used. To explain, I believe that in some communication plans we may be able to clearly measure communication with a single stakeholder or public.

This has both to do with how we structure communication and the profile of a stakeholder group or public.

When we look into the profile of different publics we will find that they have different routines and different ways to find the information and content they need. While some journalists who cover IT may appreciate access to an RSS Feed of Press Releases, others may still prefer email and all of them may want the possibility to talk with someone directly.

Faced with this or other scenarios, an organization may choose to create separate channels for media and consumers. In doing so it will be creating the means to measure their effectiveness with a key Public and to better understand the nature of the relationship that is formed.

But it is important to keep in mind that Publics are not passive, and most of the time they opt to conduct their dialogue in channels that we either do not control or where we must first build an online presence. Wikis, forums, and email newsgroups are a clear example of having to adapt our communication routines to a public.

As João Duarte made me realize, one of the issues that leads to a poor communication plan is that organizations seldom take the time to identify stakeholders and publics, much less to gather information and profile each one.

I will post a bit more on the Spring Barcamp as soon as I have the time, in the meantime please feel free to leave your remarks and comments.