Communication tools are the creative and fun part of planning and implementing a communications strategy. Tools are the “packages” in which messages are delivered; they are not the mechanisms by which that occurs. Chapter 10 illustrates how communication tools connect to pathways to provide information to target publics.
Myriad tools, from traditional hard copy materials to technologically advanced applications, are available to practitioners. The professional skill for using communication tools correctly is the ability to choose those that are appropriate for the target public, situation specific and that effectively match chosen pathways. That is, matched pathways and tools must have the potential to reach significant numbers of publics, deliver rich information and enable a practitioner to control, as much as possible, the timing, distribution and repetition of messages.
The chapter includes an exercise that will help students understand how pathways and tools work to deliver messages in a case in which chief executives are the target publics for a change in public reporting rules about executive salaries.
At the end of the chapter, students can engage in an exercise for their strategic plan project by matching communication tools and pathways. This is also the first step in their efforts to compile a strategy.
When they have finished working on Chapter 10, students will appreciate how tools implement communication pathways.