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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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This is strategy

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STRATEGY IS A TERM USED IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS, BUT RARELY DO PEOPLE EXPLAIN WHAT THEY ACTUALLY MEAN BY IT.

Strategy is a term that gets used in lots of different ways. All those definitions are valid, but they can also give rise to confusion. That’s because we seldom explain what we mean.

We use the term “strategy” to indicate when we have discovered a smart way to do things, or that we are thinking in terms of ends rather than means, when we are tying in with the organization’s strategic roadmap, or that we are thinking about long-term payoffs instead of quick wins. These are all very different definitions, which is rather confusing.

STRATEGY MEANS THINKING ABOUT HOW TO GET TO A GIVEN POINT AND ALL THE THINGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER EN ROUTE

Strategy stems from the Greek word that means, literally, “to build [agein] a road [stratos].” But originally it was also used to refer to a person who was “in command,” or “to achieve through a clever ploy.” Even back in ancient Greece, a strategist was equal parts architect, captain, and savvy implementer. Now the latter is something we also refer to as tactics, to distinguish it from operational implementation. That lets us pare strategy down to a function of thinking about goals. Strategy, then, means thinking about how to get to a given point and all the things you need to consider en route. This...

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