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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: Accountability

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BUILDING BLOCK ACCOUNTABILITY

HAVING AN AMBITION WITHOUT CONSTANTLY SHOWING THAT YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS IN THE RIGHT WAY IS NO MORE THAN JUST A DREAM. THIS IS WHY ACCOUNTABILITY SHOULD BE PLACED AT THE HEART OF STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY AND LINKED DIRECTLY TO AMBITION.

Having an ambition without constantly showing that you are doing the right things in the right way is no more than just a dream (Bettag, 2014, p. 15). In public relations and communication management, evaluation serves to demonstrate that your department is an investment, and not merely an expense, but even more to demonstrate that you contribute to the organizational objectives, and thus that you want to be accountable to others. “Being accountable is essential in order to be a ‘need-to-have’ communication department rather than a ‘nice-to-have’ department, but little attention is paid to what accountability really is,” argue Carlijn Remmelzwaal, Caroline Wehrmann, and Frank Körver (2015).

John Roberts and Robert Scapens (1985) were the first to view accountability as a requirement to both explain and take responsibility for actions. This definition of accountability echoes Drucker’s “are we doing the right things and are we doing these in the right way?” Under this broad definition of accountability it no longer makes sense to put this question at the end of the planning methodology as it is in most public relations planning models. Therefore we have placed accountability at the heart of our strategy development...

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