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The Communication Strategy Handbook

Toolkit for Creating a Winning Strategy

by Betteke van Ruler (Author) Frank Körver (Author)
Textbook XII, 174 Pages
  • Library Access

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • List of Figures
  • Acknowledgements
  • Why a Communication Strategy Framework?
  • The Communication Strategy Framework: A practical method
  • Why a good communication strategy is vital
  • Rethink your approach
  • Strategy development as a continuous process
  • Agility versus linearity
  • How to make change a routine part
  • All too linear
  • Agile practitioners
  • Part I Strategy
  • Strategy is about making choices
  • Doing the right thing
  • Making the right choices
  • Communication Strategy, Paul A. Argenti, USA
  • This is strategy
  • Strategy is a collaborative effort
  • Mintzberg on strategy
  • Strategy is dynamic
  • Strategy depends on context
  • Strategy is a permanent priority
  • When do you need a strategy?
  • The Communication Strategy Framework
  • The Communication Strategy Framework helps you to make choices
  • Time equals quality
  • Orientation and implementation
  • Do you need the Communication Strategy Framework?
  • Part II The Communication Strategy Framework Explained
  • 8 building blocks for the Communication Strategy Framework
  • Orientation: The left part of the Communication Strategy Framework
  • Building block: Vision
  • Kickstarters
  • Vision on the field of communication
  • A vision gives you a head start
  • Trend studies can be useful
  • The added value of a communication department
  • The typical tasks of communication departments
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Jim Macnamara, Australia
  • Building block: Internal Situation
  • Kickstarters
  • Ambitions and priorities
  • Strategic choices
  • Burning issues
  • A matter of style
  • When style turns into an issue
  • Communication style impacts the role of the communication department
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Dejan Verčič, Slovenia
  • Building block: External Situation
  • Kickstarters
  • Societal trends and developments
  • Issues and stakeholders
  • Public mood
  • Organizational listening
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Inge Wallage, The Netherlands
  • Building block: Ambition
  • Kickstarters
  • Core values
  • Translation of your vision
  • Core task
  • Focus, focus, focus
  • Start thinking about your public
  • Definition of done
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Xianhong Chen, China
  • Implementation: The right part of the Communication Strategy Framework
  • Building block: Accountability
  • Kickstarters
  • Professional accountability
  • Mounting awareness of social accountability
  • Decisional and performative accountability
  • Different kinds of performance indicators
  • Choose the right measurement tools
  • Reliability
  • The importance of soft KPIs
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Ansgar Zerfass, Germany
  • Building block: Stakeholders
  • Kickstarters
  • Who are your enablers?
  • Who should you partner with?
  • Give and take
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Larissa Grunig, USA
  • Building block: Resources
  • Kickstarters
  • Key competencies
  • The right attitude
  • Communication is teamwork
  • Budgeting
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Ángeles Moreno, Spain
  • Building block: Game Plan
  • Kickstarters
  • What are we actually going to do?
  • Guidelines for implementation
  • Set priorities
  • Parkinson’s law
  • Do’s and don’ts
  • Communication Strategy, Robert Heath, USA
  • Case: An inhouse communication strategy for CoolDays
  • Part III Getting To Work
  • Where do we go from here?
  • Four myths debunked
  • Without a seat on the executive team, our department will never make an impact
  • We could be much more effective if we didn’t have to worry about execution
  • Communication belongs to the communication department
  • The bigger the department, the greater the impact
  • Communication Strategy, Ronél Rensburg, South Africa
  • High requirements, rising expectations
  • Meaningful role
  • The growing need to add value
  • At what level is your communication department operating?
  • Ties with top management
  • Business-focused communication
  • Communication enables better decision-making
  • The communication function balances strategy, coordination, and execution
  • Communication objectives are linked to organizational objectives and strategic priorities
  • Research, analysis, and renewal play an instrumental role
  • Communication results are clear
  • Top management is actively involved in communication
  • Communication professionals speak the language of the business
  • Professional hobbyist or innovative business partner?
  • Communication Strategy, Maria Aparecida Ferrari, Brazil
  • Leadership in communication
  • Promoting yourself
  • Trusted advisor
  • Be part of the dominant coalition
  • Make the Communication Strategy Framework Work for you
  • Communication Strategy, Stephen Waddington, United Kingdom
  • Bibliography
  • About the authors
  • Notes

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Lewin’s Reflective Action Model

Figure 2. The Mintzberg and Waters Strategy Model

Figure 3. The Communication Strategy Framework (copyright Betteke van Ruler and Frank Körver)

Figure 4. Left part of the Communication Strategy Framework

Figure 5. Right part of the Communication Strategy Framework

Figure 6. Example of a stakeholder analysis based on degree of influence and degree of relevance to the organization and the question how best to communicate with them

Figure 7. Managing stakeholders based on the degree of threat and inclination to collaborate (Savage et al., 1991)

Figure 8. The Communication Grid of tactics (van Ruler, 2004)

Figure 9. Impact Model (Körver, 2012)

Figure 10. Communication Activities Pyramid

Figure 11. Typology of communication departments (Körver, 2012)

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Writing this book on communication strategy is an effort of many people over many years.

For their support we want to express our sincere thanks to the corporate communication professionals who inspired us to further develop our ideas on communication strategy development and write this book.

We also wish to pay tribute to all Dutch communication professionals who have extensively experimented with the preliminary versions of the Communication Strategy Framework method. Without their enthusiasm, support, and valuable feedback the method could not have matured into the highly practical tool as it did.

This book is enriched with exciting thoughts on strategy development. For their special statements on this subject we want to express our gratitude to professor Paul A. Argenti (USA), professor Xianhong Chen (China), professor Maria Aparecida Ferrari (Brazil), professor Larissa Grunig (USA), professor Robert Heath (USA), professor Jim Macnamara (Australia), professor Ángeles Moreno (Spain), professor Ronél Rensburg (South Africa), professor Dejan Verčič (Slovenia), Stephen Waddington (UK), Inge Wallage (The Netherlands), and professor Ansgar Zerfass (Germany). We feel privileged for having been able to add their personal contributions to this book. They teach us so much about communication strategy development.

Finally, the authors want to thank Peter Lang, New York, for the publication of the book, and particularly Production Manager Jackie Pavlovic for guiding us through the process from manuscript to the book you hold.

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WHY
A COMMUNICATION
STRATEGY
FRAMEWORK?

THE COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FRAMEWORK HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO HELP PROFESSIONALS MAKE TARGETED CHOICES. HOWEVER, RATHER THAN PRESCRIBE A SPECIFIC COURSE OF ACTION OR THE BEST STRATEGY, WHICH IS ALWAYS CONTEXT-DEPENDENT, THE FRAMEWORK GUIDES YOU TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS AND TO EVALUATE WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION, CLIENT, OR PROJECT REALLY NEEDS. IT COMPELS YOU TO THINK ABOUT HOW COMMUNICATION CAN CONTRIBUTE TO ACHIEVING YOUR ORGANIZATION’S OR CLIENT’S PRIORITIES OR YOUR PROJECT GOALS.

The Communication Strategy Framework is a planning method wholly different to the classic step-by-step plan still common in the worlds of public relations and corporate communication, of which John Marston’s widely used RACE model is one example.

We don’t really believe in plans of that type. Rather than showing which choices you have made and why you made them, their main function is to outline intended actions and what those actions will accomplish, and are strongly focused on control. The Communication Strategy Framework, by contrast, is an agile method that enables you to continually adapt to changing circumstances while staying in command. By now we both have quite a bit of experience in working with the Communication Strategy Framework, and we feel it to be a very rewarding method——as, do many other professionals!

This book was first published in the Netherlands, in Dutch, in 2014. Although we knew our method fulfilled a need, the wide enthusiasm with which it was embraced ← 1 | 2 → not only by public relations and corporate communication professionals but also, thanks to its broad applicability, in other fields such as human relations, marketing, and general management, was beyond what we could have dreamed. Indeed, as of 2018, the Communication Strategy Framework is used by virtually all communication professionals in the Netherlands, and the model is also taught at many universities. Therefore, we deemed the time was ripe for an English translation.

IF YOU CANNOT DESCRIBE YOUR STRATEGY IN ONE MINUTE, IT’S NOT A SOLID STRATEGY

Innovation is not only about creating things that are new, but also about exploring new ways of doing things. Our Communication Strategy Framework invites you, the reader, to explore an alternative method of strategy development:

Summary

Strategic development is one of the most daunting challenges that faces any professional, no matter the field. After all, stakes are high. Developing effective strategies can put you on the path to becoming a trusted advisor and a valued employee.
The Communication Strategy Framework introduced in this handbook has been designed to help professionals make targeted choices toward strategic communication. Taking an iterative approach and continually reflecting on whether your choices remain congruent enables you to continually adapt to changing circumstances while staying in command. Linear planning models are ineffective. Quick strategy development can revolutionize the communication function and strengthen the relationship amongst members of a professional team. Linking communication and business strategy is the number one challenge for today’s communication practitioners.
The Communication Strategy Framework facilitates the communication professional to forcefully and efficiently make the right choices. It compels individuals to think about how communication can contribute to achieving the organization's or client’s goals. As a result, it provides a clear picture of your communication strategy in one page by putting superfluous details aside and concentrating on the essentials.
The Communication Strategy Framework has proven to be an instant eye-opener. A best-seller amongst professionals in the Netherlands, it is available for the first time in English. This step-by-step guide to creating a winning communication strategy will help communicators of all types, from professionals and clients to students and teachers!

Details

Pages
XII, 174
ISBN (PDF)
9781433156588
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433156595
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433156601
ISBN (Book)
9781433154836
Language
English
Publication date
2019 (September)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2019. XII, 174 pp., 11 color ill.

Biographical notes

Betteke van Ruler (Author) Frank Körver (Author)

Betteke van Ruler, Ph.D., is a professor and leading scholar in corporate communication and public relations. She received the honorary title of Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands for her groundbreaking work in bridging the gap between academic theory and practice. Van Ruler is published in Public Relations Review, Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public Relations Research, and in many international scientific and professional journals and books. She is founder of the Van Ruler Academy and was Chair of the Public Relations Division of International Communication Association and President of EUPRERA, the European Public Relations Education Research Association. She was honored with the prestigious ICA Fellowship award of the International Communication Association (2018). Frank Körver, M.Sc., is a partner at go WEPUBLIC, an Amsterdam-based consultancy firm and Dutch affiliate of the international Interel Group. Körver is an experienced consultant at the intersection of strategy, leadership and communication. He is a renowned consultant in The Netherlands and trusted advisor of senior executives and CCOs.

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Title: The Communication Strategy Handbook