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Strategic Communication

Strategic Communication

Strategic Communication- Are your sustainability messages clear and delivered with impact? Do you understand your preferred communication styles? Can you change or adapt messages to different stakeholder groups? It is claimed that the difference between mere management and leadership is communication. This is backed up by repeated research on leaders and leadership skills that has demonstrated that successful leaders spend over three quarters of their time on communication activities. So, what are the specific requirements for sustainability leaders?

The aim of this course is to provide an opportunity for leaders and practitioners to focus on and map out the strategic communication skills that they require across all levels of their organisations and their hierarchies. The focus is on three levels of communication skills that sustainability leaders require:

The core competencies in communication: Interpersonal skills and people skills, looking at how messages are created, and relationships forged.

Team sustainability: The skills required in motivating and leading teams of people are different to those used daily in 1-to-1 communication, and a variety of skills are required; and finally, on: Strategic Communication Skills: Well, developed strategic and external communication skills are required within sustainability at every level of leadership. Communication becomes more complex as leaders need to craft messages that influence behaviours and actions within internal and external stakeholder audiences. This session will cover and practice the strategic communication skills required in Vision, mission and value statements, internal and stakeholder communication systems as well as focusing on Sustainability leaders as communication role models and key players in knowledge management and transfer.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the students will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental theories and best practices of strategic communication;
  • Recognize of the role that communication professionals play in achieving
  • organizational goals as demonstrated in assignments and exams.
  • Know the structural aspects of PR industry – specializations, types of jobs, agency/corporate life, professionalization;
  • Understand a variety of research methods;
  • Write research design (choosing the method, asking the right questions, sampling, preparing and analysing results), goals, objectives, mission statements.
  • Demonstrate enhanced research, planning, organizational and decision-making skills;
  • Develop planning competencies through case studies analysis, class team work and group presentations;
  • Improve skills in written and oral communication, group work.

 Learning Outcomes

Participants successfully completing the course will be able to:

  • knowledge on public relations industry – specializations, types of jobs, agency/corporate life, professionalization;
  • understanding of PR Theories (Models, Roles, Dialogic, Relationships, Trust Rhetorical/Persuasion, Agenda-Setting/Building, Crisis);
  • understanding of Research Methods (Content Analysis, Survey, Experiment, Focus Group, Interview, Observation, Unobtrusive research, Participant observation)
  • knowledge on how quantitative and qualitative research contributes to strategic communication planning as well as strategic communication evaluation,
  • the ability to write research design (choosing the method, asking the right

questions, sampling, preparing and analysing results), objectives, mission statements.

  • the ability to define the goals, objectives, tactics, budgets, timelines.
  • knowledge on ethics, laws, and professional organizations;
  • the ability to judge the success or failure of communication programmes

Course Outline


  • Aligning Communications and Organizational Strategy
  • What’s our WHY?
  • Issues, Risks & Crisis Evaluation
  • The Competitive Environment
  • Integrating the Communications Spend
  • Alignment of the Communications Strategy


  • Identifying and Strengthening Internal Gaps
  • Rethinking the Internal Mandate
  • Reducing the Gaps
  • Cross Cutting Implementation Strategies
  • The Communications Plan
  • Taking Stock of Performance


  • Implementation Strategy
  • Developing the Master Plan
  • Matching Scenarios to Audiences
  • Prototyping the Solutions
  • The Socializing Process
  • Audience Centred Engagement Strategies


  • Measurement and Evaluation
  • Identifying the Needles to Move
  • Back of the Envelope Evaluation
  • Deep Dive Evaluation
  • Strategy Driven by Feedback
  • Assessing the Impact


  • Designing the Next Iteration
  • Developing the Message Strategy
  • Identifying an Adoption Strategy
  • Aligning with Change Makers
  • Building in Flexibility
  • Key Take Aways
·        Lectures

·        Discussions

·        Individual and group exercises

·        Case studies

·        Activities

·        Post- Course Assessments

·        Pre-Course Assessments

·        Games and educational competitions

·        Professional videos & Audio presentations



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