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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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8 building blocks for the Communication Strategy Framework

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FOR THIS BOOK WE HAVE CHOSEN TO PRESENT THE BUILDING BLOCKS IN A PARTICULAR SEQUENCE, WHICH YOU MAY ALSO WISH TO FOLLOW ONCE YOU START WORKING WITH THE MODEL. HOWEVER, AS YOU GO ALONG YOU WILL ROUTINELY FIND YOURSELF REVISITING EARLIER BUILDING BLOCKS TO SEE WHAT YOU DID AND WHETHER THE CHOICES YOU MADE STILL FIT THOSE YOU MAKE AT A LATER STAGE. IT CAN ALSO BE HELPFUL TO PROJECT AHEAD OCCASIONALLY AND THINK ABOUT CHOICES YOU MIGHT MAKE IN SUBSEQUENT BUILDING BLOCKS.

BUILDING BLOCK VISION

A vision articulating the what, why, and how of your shared task provides direction for each person’s activities. What are you a professional of? A vision helps you to explain to others exactly what that contribution is. Without an explicit vision, you will just keep traveling down the same old road. Inviting discussion of your vision is also crucial to be able to innovate. A communication professional understands how communication works and can explain it to others. They also know what’s happening in their field and can contribute to internal discussions with new ideas and angles, always asking how communication should function within their own organizational context and how communication professionals can add value to that communication. A vision is not static; it evolves. These are the facets of this building block.

BUILDING BLOCK INTERNAL SITUATION

A coherent view of the organization’s internal situation is essential to make good choices about communication strategy and...

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