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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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When do you need a strategy?

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YOU MAKE STRATEGIC CHOICES ALL THE TIME, OFTEN WITHOUT EVEN BEING AWARE OF IT. AND THAT’S OKAY, BUT SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO AMPLIFY THE STRATEGY PROCESS. WHEN? AND WHY? HERE ARE SOME SITUATIONS WHERE STRATEGY IS CRUCIAL.

• Your organization is planning an extensive change program. Besides an efficiency boost, the aim is to put customers top of mind again organization-wide. The communication department is asked to design a strategy that will contribute to achieving the program goals.

• A new CEO or director is appointed who wants to overhaul everything. Every department has to submit a new plan to align with the new course. The communication department is asked to develop a strategy to guide the new executive’s successful entry into the organization.

• Your organization has a fixed planning cycle that calls for everyone to deliver their plans at set times. In summer you start formulating priorities for next year. What is the status of previous strategic choices? Are they still valid?

• A crisis has put a big dent in trust in the organization and its reputation has suffered. What will you do in the next twelve months to restore trust among employees, clients, customers, and stakeholders?

• Your organization has acquired a competitor. The communication department is asked to develop a communication strategy to aid their integration in your organization. ← 18 | 19 →

• Your organization’s core product has come under fire. NGOs and stakeholders are threatening to cut...

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