Affiliate societies have a responsibility to advocate for their profession and for patients' welfare. Advocacy and networking are the keys to being successful. 

A stakeholder is any individual or group with an interest in an affiliate's advocacy journey. It is critical that your stakeholders agree with and accept what you are suggesting and that the affiliate leadership is aware of any possible opposition that may be mitigated before action takes place. 

Identify groups and individuals that would have interest and involvement in the affiliate's issues and note whether this group is already an ally or if the affiliate leadership needs to reach out to win their support. Then start building a coalition according to need; use advocacy allies to grow momentum and ease the affiliate's own workload or formulate a strategy to deal with opponents.

After affiliate leadership has established who the primary stakeholders are and the individuals who should work with those stakeholders, it will be important for affiliate leaders to get involved with the stakeholder groups. Often, the only role the individual plays is to be the link between the affiliate society and the stakeholder. It is especially beneficial to have a member of the affiliate society sit on the R.T. licensing board in your state. Learn about how positions are appointed in our 39-minute presentation on Filling Open Positions on Your State Licensure Bodies.

Sometimes it’s hard knowing how to approach stakeholders and what questions to ask as your affiliate seeks their support and action. Brainstorming with colleagues to come up with all possible scenarios is very helpful, and the ASRT has started a list of potential questions and answers for consideration.

Stakeholders will play a significant role in the success or failure of the affiliate's advocacy mission, so be sure to manage them properly. Continually practice the following concepts so your affiliate society can stay on the right track:

  • Take stakeholder management very seriously. Understand the power and influence of stakeholders.
  • Involve others to help identify stakeholders.
  • Develop individual management plans for each key stakeholder that represents any type of risk or opportunity.
  • Have regular communications about stakeholders.
  • Treat stakeholders with respect and understand their issues.