WE DON’T MESSAGE AROUND Targeted solutions to communication problems. That is our specialty, honed over forty years in the business helping major corporate clients, universities, health care providers, professional services firms in law, banking insurance, and financial planning .
If you are looking for assistance from someone who can operate at a strategic level, with multi-platform skills backed by years of experience across the country in more than a dozen industries, organizations and companies ranging from FORTUNE 50 to those employing 50, call us.
When you think carefully about it, strategy is really problem-solving. We are presented with data, fact situations, legal or regulatory challenges, competitor initiatives, and many other types of problems that are competitive or even existential threats to the organization.
Problem-solving is what we do best, approached from the standpoint of looking for an optimum solution that can be augmented through effective communication. Peter Drucker has noted that throughout history, the challenge has been to get communication out of information, and that communication and information--while interdependent-- are different and largely opposite. Communication is perception whereas information is logic. That is, information is purely formal and has no meaning in itself.
Strategic Communications has helped clients meet the challenge of transforming information, concepts, thoughts and ideas into meaningful, persuasive communication. We are a communication advisor, strategist, and actuator, employing extensive knowledge and an advanced perspective on communication tools and processes. This includes the increasingly apparent fact that advertising is no longer something that is done to consumers, but that consumers do something with.
Strategy, analysis & planning, problem solving--that's what we do. We don't operate in the production, media-buying or design space, and we do not attempt to point you in the direction of something we happen to do profitably.
No matter the size or nature of the organization, the task of creating consistent, credible communication, delivered to the right audiences in the right manner, is critical. It doesn’t require a ponderous written plan that nobody reads or a lengthy PowerPoint presentation, but it does require the hard work of analysis and making choices.
We start by asking critical questions, such as:
• Who are we talking to?
• What do they need to know?
• What do we want them to do, think, or feel?
• How we will know when we succeed? What needs to happen? What shouldn’t happen?
What Are Strategic Communications?
Simply put, they are communications designed and implemented to achieve organizational objectives--linking strategy to action, messaging, and progam development.
As straightforward as this might appear, there are several reasons why communications fail to reach this standard:
• A lot of strategy is weak and based on wishful thinking rather than thoughtful analysis or identification of the true problem to be solved
• Transmittal of information is often confused with communication
• No one is responsible or accountable for communication
• Activity is mistaken for results
• The people doing communications are incapable of executing the strategy
Many organizations get along with these shortcomings, and achieve good enough results to be satisfied. But when strategy really matters, and communication is critical to achieving success, a higher standard is needed.
How do Strategic Communications look and operate?
• They are closely linked to organizational objectives and emanate from the top. This doesn’t mean that all communication is “top-down,” but that it is informed by a coherent strategy developed by senior management
• They define the problem to be solved or challenge to be overcome, and outline an overall approach. It’s difficult to be strategic when you haven’t defined the problem you are trying to solve
• They are the result of interlinked, coordinated actions, informed by a guiding policy* that identifies competitive advantages and spells out a way of working to leverage them
• They assign specific responsibility and carry accountability for implementation
*For more on this topic, see Richard Rumelt, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters
(Crown Publishing, July 2011).