Strategic Communication: Definition and Usage

Since its emergence, the term strategic communication has become widespread in both professional and research fields. However, such popularity of the concept leads to difficulties in its clear definition and the presence of various interpretations. In the broadest sense, this concept can be defined as “the purposeful use of communication by an organization to fulfill its mission” (qt. in Zerfass et al. 487). Zerfass et al. emphasize that there are four main purposes that the term strategic communication serves (488). Frandsen and Johansen note that strategic communication is used by all types of organizations to achieve specific goals (1). Most often, this concept is a replacement for integrated communication, which is “goal-oriented communication initiated by organizations to address any kind of stakeholders and audiences” (Zerfass et al. 488). Thus, strategic communication can be utilized as a tool for changing attitudes, increasing knowledge, or stimulating desired behavior of the audience.

Strategic communication in the research field is a multi-facet term associated with many related concepts. In particular, six disciplines can be emphasized, including public relations, management, marketing, technical communication, political communication, and social/information marketing campaigns (Zerfass et al. 488; Frandsen and Johansen 3). These directions can be defined as approaches to using the strategic situation, which depend on the goals of the organization. In turn, the choice of a particular area of ​​application of the concept varies on the tactics and strategic tools that need to be applied. Moreover, strategic communication unites all disciplines leading into it, acting as an integrated approach.

Strategic communication also refers to the study of the functioning of an organization at various levels. In particular, this area of ​​expertise is concerned with various aspects of individual, group, and social communication in and outside the organization. Whereas many research has previously focused on communication research as the center of a strategic approach, current publications take a more perspective approach (Frandsen and Johansen 3-4). This view states that the strategy is “always based on prior experience and actions and will always be dependent on the participation of many people” (Frandsen and Johansen 4). Thus, strategic communication is a dynamic process that includes both formal and informal communication within the organization and between its stakeholders.

With regard to strategic communication, it is important to consider the influence of uncontrollable and random factors that shape its nature. While goals can always be predetermined and set, a communication process that involves many actors is often unpredictable. Thus, when developing a communication strategy, it is important for organizations to consider changing factors that continually transform the approach. In this case, the main difference between strategic communication and strategic management is that the former is based on the decision-making and evaluation stages. An organization, when building strategic communication, needs to constantly assess the situation and adjust tools based on the reaction of the audience and its composition.

Strategic communication for me as a clinical educator is an important part of the practice. First of all, the adoption of the principles of strategic communication allows me to set goals that need to be achieved within the framework of training and development. Since my work is focused on communication with individual employees, as well as with groups, I can develop distinct strategic approaches for the most effective communication of information. It is also important to take into account that the strategy can change under the influence of various factors, which makes communication extremely flexible during interpersonal interaction.

Additionally, in the future, I plan to work in the field of management, which makes strategic communication even more significant. In particular, as part of my future practice, it will be necessary to interact with a large number of different stakeholders inside and outside the company. The principles of strategic communication can be used by me to achieve specific goals when interacting with both employees, company members, and customers. In this case, strategic communication with the crane is important as it avoids the provision of irrelevant information as well as demonstrates a level of professionalism.

The information presented in the course can be used to build effective strategic communication. In particular, I can integrate theoretical information gained from training with a critical look at the concept and its applications. This approach allows the development of the skills of a reflexive practitioner who is practice-oriented and uses various theoretical tools depending on the situation (Falkheimer and Heide). In this way, I will be able to generate new knowledge that will be relevant to a specific organizational context and align with the strategic goals of the organization. In this case, a professional communicator analyzes the situation and selects the tools that are most relevant to achieving the result. In particular, the concept allows you to determine the needs of the audience, analyze the situation and evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen strategy. Additionally, the communicator can transform aspects of the strategy depending on the influence of actors and external factors on the communication process, which also requires an understanding of key theoretical concepts.

Works Cited

Falkheimer, Jesper, and Mats Heide. Strategic Communication: An Introduction. Routledge, 2018.

Frandsen, Finn, and Winni Johansen. “Strategic Communication.” The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication, 2017.

Zerfass, Ansgar, et al. “Strategic Communication: Defining the Field and its Contribution to Research and Practice.” International Journal of Strategic Communication, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 487-505.

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