In this chapter, the vital link between business strategy and communication is reinforced. Students will develop an understanding of organisational mission statements, goals and objectives, high-level decision-making, and how strategic communication fits in organisational structures. In this way, the chapter illustrates how strategic planning is a dynamic process.

Students will discover how specialist communication practice works with strategic communication and learn about the need for practitioners to develop good working relationships with senior executives.

A significant learning outcome from working through the chapter is an understanding that a strategic communication planning follows a specific process.

The chapter contains a Time Out section arguing the importance of theory to strategic communication planning. It has two exercises designed to introduce students to the importance of (a) identifying their organisation’s directions as part of their strategic planning and (b) to exploring the concept of “public affairs” and how that specialty helps to manage issues. They’ll read a case that illustrates how research can be linked to strategy.

This is the last of the chapters that introduce readers to the concepts of strategic communication, and that cover the principles that drive its planning and implementation. The following chapters deal will how the formal elements of a strategic communication plan have different roles but nonetheless work together in a planned and cohesive manner to achieve measurable objectives.