The Five Principles of Strategic Communication

14 September 2021
Online
Communications
Strategy

Overview

Every organisation needs to engage – with staff and stakeholders, with the media, with government and regulators, and with the public. But too often, communications are tactical, responsive and fragmented. Strategic Communications is about building engagement that delivers your organisation’s core aims by: Developing and delivering strategic aims; Building constructive relationships; Understanding and influencing opinion; Managing risk and reputation

This one-day live, interactive virtual training seminar will introduce the main concepts, which are all applicable across different professional settings and national cultures, as they are based on understanding how people think, how they listen and how they respond to information, which are deep human behavioural traits.

Who is the seminar designed for?

The programme introduces senior decision-makers to the five key concepts of Strategic Communications and gives worked-through examples of how they can be put into effect. It enables those with overall responsibility for the organisation’s strategy to harness the power of communications more effectively and to set and manage budgets and oversee performance in areas such as media relations, marketing and stakeholder engagement. There will be plenty of opportunities for delegates to share situations and gain fresh insight into your own working lives.

How will you benefit from attending?

The practical focus, based on profound knowledge of why certain communications approaches work best, will enable you to make practical plans to improve your own personal and organisational communications focus and strategies. All your communications activities, from short press releases to major campaigns, will improve as a result of our approach to communicating effectively.

Learning outcomes

You will learn five primary principles of communication:

  • Audiences
  • Engagement
  • Persuasion
  • Narrative
  • Advocacy

You will also be introduced to the underlying theory, science, research and evidence, and see this presented in a clear framework that you can put into practice. 

Agenda

Tuesday 14th September
Times on the Agenda are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
Start time in EST (Eastern Standard Time): 07:00. Finish time 13:30
Start time in BST (British Summer Time): 13:00. Finish time 19:30

12:00 Session One

The Case for Strategic Communication

Introductions including sharing the individual aims of each participant, followed by three short case studies on the relevance of strategic communications. Then the five principles are introduced, including how they inter-relate and connect with other communications techniques and disciplines, such as media management, stakeholder relations, political campaigning, advertising, marketing, speech-writing. Then follows a discussion on their relevance to the challenges facing participants and their organisations.

13:00 Session Two

Audiences

Introducing the concepts of audiences, segmentation and profiling, drawing on commercial, social and political marketing practice. It introduces core research techniques (polling, focus groups) and analysis techniques (segmentation, geo- and psycho-demographics) that cover not only what people say and do but how they think and feel, exploring the concept that 90% of people’s actions are driven by instinctive and emotional responses. This expands into some core insights from psychology and sociology; into cultural difference; and also connects to social marketing and behavioural change.

13:45 Exercise: Designing a Survey
14:15 Session Three

Engagement

Engagement is about developing an effective conversation that will move audiences from where they are now to where you want or need them to be. Using individual and group psychology, it explores how people hear and assimilate communications; the interaction between rational thought and emotion; self-image and self-actualisation; and allied phenomena such as dissonance and groupthink. Together, it provides the foundation for understanding why different forms of communication work – or don’t work – for different audiences, messages and channels.

15:00 Lunch
15:30 Session Four

Persuasion

Showing how, once identified and profiled, an audience can be persuaded to shift their attitudes or their behaviour. It begins by looking at the brand of the persuader, including reputation, and the role of trust. It then considers ways of establishing communication through shared points of view or experiences, demonstrating empathy; ways to add to or build upon rather than challenge existing viewpoints; the role of evidence, including the way ‘facts’ are processed, and people’s knowledge of and trust in science and in statistics; different forms of argument and assertion; and the role of trusted intermediaries and endorsements.

16:15 Session Five

Narrative

Developing narratives that work across different audiences and channels, bringing together values, vision, policy, evidence and arguments; combining it with effective language and imagery; ensuring consistency and coherence; and anticipating objections and attack-points. It covers specific techniques such as story-telling; the use of myth, associations and assumptions; framing; imagery and mood; and killer facts and memes; and shows how the narrative can be used to create communications products ranging from set-piece speeches to adverts.

17:00 Exercise: Writing Your Narrative
17:30 Session Six

Advocacy

Taking persuasion and narrative and exploring how they work within contested environments, with competing players (including neutrals and intermediaries). Discussion of the imperatives governing the media and civil society / campaigning groups and the strategies and tactics they employ; the news cycle; lobbying and influencing; policy formulation and the ‘zone of the possible’; forming alliances; anticipating and neutralising threats. It introduces some underlying disciplines such as game theory and specific techniques in media management and in campaigning, including agenda-setting, scenario planning, and the use of ‘red teams’ to anticipate the tactics of other players.

18:15 Final Discussion
18:30 Close

Our training seminars are based on

  • A vast reservoir of knowledge about effective, delivery-focused approaches that are designed to enable you to achieve better results in your place of work
  • Expert practitioner and thought-leader experience, covering a comprehensive range of practical knowledge and people skills, to help you to work more productively
  • International perspectives and experience, enabling transferability and applicability wherever in the world you are from

Our training team

  • Our L&D team have all had successful careers as practitioners in their fields of expertise. They bring their experience, knowledge and skills to support the professional development of other public servants
  • Our team all now work as professional trainers, blending practitioner experience with professionally designed L&D solutions
  • Between them, our team have provided training for more than 100,000 public servants from 120 countries

Our training ethos

  • We deliver people-focused training designed to help you perform better
  • We provide practical insights, based on years of experience about what works, combined with practical methods to help you to make it work effectively in your own organisation
  • We are here to help you to perform better

Price

The price of attending this one-day Virtual Training Seminar is:
CAD 870 per person
EUR 580 per person
GBP 500 per person
USD 690 per person

Please contact us for details of discounts for group bookings, or to arrange a conversation with a member of our training team to discuss in-house delivery options, including tailoring the day’s training to your specific needs.

You can email David Leakey on [email protected] or phone on +44 20 7661 7817.