strategic communications

Strategic communications

Strategic communications is about identifying and taking advantage of opportunities to further the strategic objectives of an organization. It is important not just to know how to do a task but also why we are doing it.

I have contributed substantively to the communications planning process working with executives, boards and stakeholders. As I develop projects, I maintain an emphasis on the central purpose and identify measurable goals that advance the organization’s strategic objectives.

I have developed, executed and reported on projects, publications, events and campaigns, some of which are detailed on this website.

I return in my decision-making to 7 key questions:

  • What does the organization want or need to achieve?
  • Who do they want to engage with?
  • What do they want from those people and want them to get in return?
  • What are the needs and interests of the community that I can appeal to?
  • What are the best communications channels for this engagement?
  • What are the available resources in terms of time, funds and human resources?
  • How will we measure success?

Work sample

Other examples of strategic communications appear elsewhere on this website

Health Research – Train Tour Concept

The assignment: To respond to a concept and propose how to implement it.

The concept: A train would travel the country stopping in various cities promoting achievements and value of health research to the public.

My analysis: The idea of using a train metaphor is intriguing as it reflects Canadian nation-building. Promoting health research as nation-building is a strategic objective of the organization. However, the proposal is costly; it does not provide a legacy of ongoing benefit; it is not scalable; it provides limited opportunity to engage the public, stakeholders or sponsors.

My response: Adapt the idea to a virtual museum. This would be permanent and scalable, it could provide greater opportunities for engagement; the cost would be much lower and the benefits greater. It could be interactive so individuals of different interests and knowledge bases could benefit.

The proposal: A proposal for a virtual museum that would incorporate different media (written word, audio, video, still photography linked with narration). It would resemble a gaming environment where the participant would self-direct their experience. The plan provided opportunities for sponsors and stakeholders to participate.

The vision:

Entering the Site: When you enter the site you will see what looks like an old-time railway arrival board. You will choose departure city, destination and language.

The Journey: As you “travel” you will hear train sounds and conductor comments (narration). When you get to a stop, you will have the choice to get out of the train for a virtual tour. A map on the wall of your train indicates progress.

The Historical Journey: You will see progressively older historical pictures of your departure city as the time rolls back and then you would begin a tour chronologically of the highlights of health research and innovation in Canada coming back to present day.

Journey to the Future: Canada’s most prominent researchers and thought leaders share what they imagine the future to be in Canadian health research and health innovation. You will see research that will change how future health care will be delivered.

At the end of the journey, you may take an interactive quiz, testing your memory of what you learned and opportunity to provide comment with links to social media.

View a PDF of the slideshow. (2 mb pdf, reduced quality)

Result: Considerable interest was generated among the Board, sponsors, Virtual Museum of Canada and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.