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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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Writing this book on communication strategy is an effort of many people over many years.

For their support we want to express our sincere thanks to the corporate communication professionals who inspired us to further develop our ideas on communication strategy development and write this book.

We also wish to pay tribute to all Dutch communication professionals who have extensively experimented with the preliminary versions of the Communication Strategy Framework method. Without their enthusiasm, support, and valuable feedback the method could not have matured into the highly practical tool as it did.

This book is enriched with exciting thoughts on strategy development. For their special statements on this subject we want to express our gratitude to professor Paul A. Argenti (USA), professor Xianhong Chen (China), professor Maria Aparecida Ferrari (Brazil), professor Larissa Grunig (USA), professor Robert Heath (USA), professor Jim Macnamara (Australia), professor Ángeles Moreno (Spain), professor Ronél Rensburg (South Africa), professor Dejan Verčič (Slovenia), Stephen Waddington (UK), Inge Wallage (The Netherlands), and professor Ansgar Zerfass (Germany). We feel privileged for having been able to add their personal contributions to this book. They teach us so much about communication strategy development.

Finally, the authors want to thank Peter Lang, New York, for the publication of the book, and particularly Production Manager Jackie Pavlovic for guiding us through the process from manuscript to the book you hold.

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