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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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Orientation: The left part of the Communication Strategy Framework


A closer look at the left part of the model: Vision, Internal Situation, External Situation, and Ambition

Figure 4. Left part of the Communication Strategy Framework ← 32 | 33 →


There are several key questions that every communication professional routinely has to ask themselves: What is good communication? What role should communication play in our organization? How do we define our role and added value in that communication? What is my own vision on this? And what can the organization expect us to deliver?


Understanding what is happening inside the organization and the strategic choices made in other departments is essential to make the right strategy choices about communication. Without that coherence, it will be impossible to explain your strategy’s value. This building block helps you to pose critical questions about the internal situation as seen through your particular vision on communication.


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