The importance of customer engagement as a central part of customer advocacy is well understood. It may not always be executed to the fullest, but like with any type of relationship you value, care and feeding is necessary and assumed.

Do you apply the same principle to your stakeholder relationships, those stakeholders you turn to for advocate nominations, those who could really use your help if they knew about you? Engagement includes regular reminders about what your program does, how it is leveraged, what it’s done for those who use it, and how it’s continuously adapting to stakeholder needs.

It’s not okay to launch a program then go radio silent until you need something. We’ve all had “friends” like that. How did that once-in-a-blue-moon “ask” feel? Kind of selfish, right?

Here are some examples of how program managers who’ve mastered engagement stay in front of their stakeholders:

Team Meeting Visibility

Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Product Marketing. They all have team meetings, and CMA leaders should be visible, if not have a recurring spot on the agenda. The point is to stay in touch with their challenges and strategize ways to infuse advocates for the best outcomes. Nothing builds business relationships like comradery, commitment and consistent follow through. That results in trust.

All Hands Meeting Presence

Customer Advocacy is a [team sport]. The entire company owns it. These meetings are an opportunity to give examples of how every employee’s interaction with a customer contributes to their experience, both good and bad. The customer advocacy program is the hero for placing customers on the podium, their stories in campaigns and PR, or on the company website. Or, it’s the scapegoat for upstream company “sins,” unable to coral the appropriate number and type of advocates when they’re requested. Another benefit of being visible to the entire company is when someone brings up a need for customer advocates, there’s a good chance someone nearby remembers you and the program and acts: “Remember at the last All Hands…?”

Written Communications

In between all the facetime opportunities, there should be a steady flow of useful information to stakeholders, especially examples of how they can gain from what the program has to offer. Like product marketing, they should be kept informed of changes and improvements to the “product,” and given tips for maximizing the value they gain from the program. Slack and Teams are great for short bits, newsletters for more detailed information.

Video Communications

Some program managers create 30-second video updates that are both informative and entertaining. When stakeholders look forward to these videos, you know you’re on to something. Like the written communications, this is a great way to share recently completed customer videos, advertisements featuring customers, and excerpts from event presentations.

Onboarding

First impressions. New hires are so thirsty for anything that will help them become productive faster. They are impressionable, and somewhat malleable. So if they don’t meet a member of the advocacy team (live, web or video) in their first week, that’s a real missed opportunity that can’t be replayed.

Cultivating Enduring Stakeholder Relationships

Effective customer advocacy hinges not only on engaging customers, but also on maintaining robust, active connections with internal stakeholders. Regular engagement—through meetings, communications, and visible presence—keeps the program relevant and responsive. Building trust through consistent interaction and follow through on commitments helps embed customer advocacy deeply into the organizational culture, making it a shared responsibility. Such sustained engagement prevents the program from being a forgotten resource and ensures it remains a vital, recognized force within the organization.