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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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Building block: Ambition


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To be ambitious means you are always trying to improve. You keep on raising the bar higher and are willing to fight to attain your goal. Good ambitions are inspiring and articulate what you want to achieve and at the same time indicate how you will achieve it. Whatever your game plan, there is always an implicit ambition. By making it explicit, you can assess whether your game plan is founded on the right ambition, and vice versa. Whereas objectives describe specifically what you want to accomplish within a given time frame, ambitions describe your core task; how high you are setting the bar and what you want to attain over the long term. In effect, ambitions provide guideposts for your specific near-term objectives and actions. But we will get to that in the Game Plan building block.

Ambition also says something about your method; about pursuing a particular objective in a conscious, deliberate, and concentrated way. Equally, it refers to the objective itself—to what you are striving for—and hence crystallizes what your department, team, or you as a professional want to achieve. Being ambitious is not just about craving success, but about being committed to something. At this stage, that something might not be fully defined yet, nor does it need to...

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