“Strategic” communication is differentiated from other communication by one simple concept: It is “the communication principles, strategies, and initiatives used to further an organization’s goals,” according to one communication-focused website. (It’s not a bad definition, though it fails to mention “measurable,” which is a critical element of strategic communication.)
The target of an organization’s strategic communication efforts is the organization’s stakeholders, those individuals, groups, or organizations directly involved with — or indirectly affected by — the organization and its work. This includes employees, people who live in the communities where the company operates, investors, the financial community, partners, vendors, suppliers, government at all levels, and more.
Communication — strategic or not — is multi-directional. (Crafting communication collateral and distributing it to an audience is not communication. It’s messaging.) As a result, effective strategic communication almost always is designed to produce engagement with the stakeholders for whom the communication has been crafted.
How to do this effectively was the focus of the March episode of IABC’s Circle of Fellows.
About the Panel
George McGrath is founder and managing principal of McGrath Business Communications, which helps clients build winning corporate reputations, promote their products and services, and advance their views on key issues. George brings more than 25 years in PR and public affairs to his firm. Over the course of his career, he has held senior management positions at leading strategic communications and integrated marketing agencies including Hill and Knowlton, Carl Byoir & Associates, and Brouillard Communications.
Martha Muzychka, ABC, MC, speaks, writes, listens, and helps others do the same to make change happen. Martha is a strategic, creative problem solver seeking challenging communications environments where we can make a difference. She helps her clients navigate competing priorities and embrace communications challenges. Martha offers strategic planning, facilitation, and consultation services as well as writing and editing, qualitative research, and policy analysis. Her work has been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally with multiple awards.
Leticia Narváez, ABC, is CEO and Founding Partner of Narváez Group, a consulting firm focused on Strategic Communication, Employee Engagement, Corporate Reputation, Social Responsibility and Communication Training based in Mexico City. A 30 years experienced professional, she held management top level positions at Sanofi, Merck, American Express and Ford Motor Co. among others. She builds communication bridges with the utmost excellence standards. During her career path, she has been at the forefront of divestitures, mergers and acquisitions, diversity leadership, issues and crisis management, team and leadership development, strategic planning and senior executive consulting. She has been a speaker at international forums, is co-author of several books and manuals on business communications and has written a large number of articles on the subject. Leticia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Public Relations from the Latinoamericana University, a Master Degree on Digital Communications from Cantabria University and a Postgraduate Diploma on Top Business Administration at the Panamerican Institute of Top Business Administration – IPADE.
Brad Whitworth, ABC, SCMP, IABC Fellow, is a pre-eminent thought leader, lecturer, and author in organizational communication. He has led global internal and executive communication programs at HP, Cisco, Hitachi, PeopleSoft, AAA, and MicroFocus. He holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and undergraduate degrees in journalism and speech from the University of Missouri. Brad lives in California wine country and is growing Pinot Noir on his property. A former broadcaster, Brad has made more than 300 presentations to executives, communicators, and university classes around the world. Brad is a past board chairman of the International Association of Business Communicators and a Fellow of the association. He is one of the authors of The IABC Handbook of Organizational Communication and the new IABC Guide for Practical Business Communication: A Global Standard Primer. He currently serves as past chair of the Global Communication Certification Counsel.