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  • Writer's pictureJason, Steve and Gary

Three Things that Make Communications Strategic

What’s the point?


That’s the key question to ask before anyone in your organization posts a video, hits “send” on your newsletter, or does anything else to tell your story.


Answer that question, and your communications start to become strategic.


At the most basic level, strategic communications are nothing more than content and messaging that’s intentional in how your organization conveys its message. Communications become strategic when they:


  1. Help achieve your broader goals;

  2. Create value for other parts of your organization; and 

  3. Connect with other content to extend your narrative.


Are your communications doing that? Does your content make other things easier across the organization? 


Or is it just a box that gets checked after the leadership meeting adjourns?


A shocking amount of the time, it’s the latter. Too many organizations treat communicators as the end of an assembly line — the decision’s been made, now go post it on social.


Imagine a company treating its lawyers that way. It’s crazy to contemplate — “OK, the executive team figured everything out; now go write up a lawsuit” — but that’s how many companies, nonprofits, agencies, and institutions look at their communications departments.


Ideally, communicators get involved early and figure out how to tell the story — and,  usually, get in front of it — in ways that sharpen and focus everyone else’s work. They see around corners, spot potential controversies and opportunities, and humanize the organization. Sometimes, they even improve the products and processes by considering the story around them.


Strategic communications, when fully integrated into an executive team, also help leaders assuage internal concerns and even empower employees to serve as ambassadors. They help operations teams avoid missteps and stay on schedule. They find stories that investors, members, policymakers, and other targeted audiences find compelling.


The best organizations know that communications are strategy. How you communicate determines how — and whether — your organization will solve its problems, seize its opportunities, and extinguish its crises.


If you aren’t getting that from your comms … Well, we should talk.


Executives discussing strategic communications.

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