Stakeholder relations affect the independence of the agency and include the use of advisory boards, communication strategies, grievance procedures, and relationships with the government, consumers, operators, and investors. Some regulators use advisory boards to facilitate stakeholder input, especially on issues of long-term planning and on issues that require ongoing surveillance, such as service quality regulation. Care must be taken when using advisory boards to ensure that the stakeholders represented do not obtain privileged positions for influencing the regulator. Regulators generally receive complaints from consumers related to prices and service quality, and often regulators have special staff designated to handle these complaints.
Some of the regulator’s interactions with stakeholders can take the form of negotiations. Such circumstances make it important for regulators to develop strategic negotiation skills, such as identifying parties’ interests and win-win solutions.
Lastly, regulators generally dedicate trained staff to dealing with the press because the public receives most of its information about regulation through newspapers and other media. This reliance upon journalists makes it important for regulators to develop good press relations, provide effective press releases, and learn how to provide timely and accurate information to the press.