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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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Four myths debunked

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EVERY FIELD HAS ITS MYTHS, AND COMMUNICATION IS NO EXCEPTION. THESE MYTHS CAN LEAD THE ORGANIZATION ASTRAY AND STUNT THE DEVELOPMENT OF ITS COMMUNICATION FUNCTION. WE DEBUNK THE FOUR MOST COMMON ONES.

MYTH: WITHOUT A SEAT ON THE EXECUTIVE TEAM, OUR DEPARTMENT WILL NEVER MAKE AN IMPACT

Do you need to be a member of the management team to be able to make a real difference? It stands to reason that a communication department is stronger if it has strong ties with the board. A short chain of command and C-suite support will certainly enhance the impact of communication. These days, most communication directors report directly to the CEO or another management board member.

At three-quarters of European organizations the communication function is invited to strategic decision-making meetings (see www.europeancommunicationmonitor.eu). That leaves one-quarter at which they are not. The question is, is that a problem? Should the communication profession even want to be a part of discussions about organizational strategy or other “big” topics? Or is it enough to exert an influence by other means? We believe that the added value of communication professionals lies in their capacity to help executives make better decisions. Membership of the management team is by no means a must; being a part of the dominant coalition of people who matter in the organization and influence decisions formally and informally—that is.

Having impact primarily means you ensure the organization makes better decisions. ← 138 | 139...

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