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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 helps you to make choices

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THE COMMUNICATION STRATEGY FRAMEWORK CONSISTS OF EIGHT BUILDING BLOCKS THAT TOGETHER SHOW THE CHOICES YOU MAKE, WHAT YOUR GOAL IS, WHAT AND WHO YOU NEED TO ACHIEVE IT, AND WHERE YOUR PRIORITIES LIE. THE FRAMEWORK THUS GIVES YOU INSTANT INSIGHT INTO WHAT YOU ARE AND ARE NOT DOING AND, JUST AS IMPORTANTLY, WHY.

The Communication Strategy Framework helps you to make strategic choices. Your goal is to make choices concise enough to fit on a single sheet of paper or slide, rather than writing a long rambling plan that ends up merely collecting dust on the shelf. The advantage is that this forces you to keep it simple and straightforward (KISS), to be clear in your formulations and stick to essentials, but also—and more importantly—clearly shows if your choices are congruent with each other. Say you conclude that the internal situation outweighs the externals, then your ambitions will accordingly have to target internal factors, and you will likely need to ally with HR. If your strategy involves changing the behavior of certain target publics, then besides the expertise of the communication department, you will also need to draw on other organizational divisions, or other organizations altogether. After all, behavior changes are rarely achieved through communication alone; you need to deploy a broad front.

TIME EQUALS QUALITY

Over the years, we have sought out and applied inventive methods to arrive at strategic choices. In the process we noticed that if you...

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