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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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High requirements, rising expectations

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INCREASINGLY, ORGANIZATIONS ARE DEMANDING THAT THEIR COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENTS MAKE DEMONSTRABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TOWARD THE REALIZATION OF OBJECTIVES. THEY WANT THEIR COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENTS TO BE BUSINESS-FOCUSED. AND THE DEPARTMENTS WANT THAT TOO. BUT HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

Communication is getting plenty of attention in boardrooms these days. It has come into its own as a full-fledged management instrument and communication managers have gained a place at the top of the ladder in quite a few organizations. According to the European Communication Monitor, the advisory influence of communication professionals is on the rise in Europe, at least among respondents. This means that what they say is taken seriously by top management.

MEANINGFUL ROLE

Can we as professionals lean back and rest on our proverbial laurels? Not a chance. One-third of communication directors polled by the Monitor are still not a trusted advisor, and more than 20% of all communication professionals have no advisory influence at all. Consequently, they have to push hard to be heard. And that is very odd. After all, not only does communication play a vital role in the success of organizations, but serious sums are invested in it, too.

THE GROWING NEED TO ADD VALUE

After the fallout of the economic crisis, which left many communication departments a fraction of their former size, now we are seeing investments in communication inch back up. Though the crisis left deep scars, awareness of the importance of excellent communication...

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