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Contact Database

The success of a communication effort depends on the ability to communicate with the right people as much as on the quality of documentation and presentations.

This should be based on comprehensive stakeholder analysis and recording of their interests and influences. This requires development of well-managed lists and databases of all accumulated information. As also explained in the discussion on stakeholder analysis, it can be convenient to group people under simple headings:

Areas of interest                                                  Stakeholders
Political and economic Government Local community Funding bodies
Environmental Environmental regulators Local community NGOs
Social Business groups Local community Community groups
Technical Nuclear regulator R&D institutions Universities

Gathering information about stakeholder groups helps focus messages and activities in the most efficient way. A well-maintained contact database helps identify areas that need more attention than others, thereby increasing the efficiency of outreach activities.

The database should include not only contact details for these stakeholder groups and related individuals, but also record all interactions with them, whether through personal conversations, telephone, email exchanges or during meetings. This information can help in the evaluation of the communication plan, as it allows for analysis on how stakeholders interact with the programme over time.

In addition, the database should contain minutes of meetings and discussions, together with details of the issues raised and any promises the communication team members may make for responding later. This can be one of the most important demonstrations of active listening.

Example of Contact Database

A contact database should be prepared including all the major institutions/media and individuals considered important for the project. It should be regularly updated. It is recommended to use a tool which allows queries, production of datasets and similar management of data.

A possible format for a database could be as follows:

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