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The Communication Strategy Handbook

Toolkit for Creating a Winning Strategy

Betteke van Ruler and Frank Körver

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!

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The Communication Strategy Framework: A practical method

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WHY A GOOD COMMUNICATION STRATEGY IS VITAL

• Planning is always essential. But nowadays planning is not simply about determining a sequence of steps. More and more, planning requires intelligent pragmatism and flexibility. Only then can you add real value. A good strategy creates scope for pragmatism and agility.

• We live in a fast-paced world. We want to take enough time for things that are important, but often that is a luxury we just don’t have. Strategic choices therefore have to be crystal clear. A good strategy cuts to the core and can be explained in a page or less. If it cannot, you have not been critical enough. Strategy is about making choices, and excelling is about making choices that make a difference.

• Communication can put your organization on the road to success, but only if you are doing the right things the right way—and showing it. Accountability is key: a good communication strategy enlarges your accountability.

• A communication strategy with no support beyond the communication department is doomed to fail. How you make strategic choices can be just as important as the strategic choices themselves. A good communication strategy, based on logical choices, generates support and enthusiasm among internal and external stakeholders.

• Senior management are not the only ones to set a high bar for communication. Most communication professionals are ambitious too. These days, nobody wants another “armchair expert.” The stakes are too high. A good...

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