The goal of this chapter is for students to understand the formal elements of a strategic communication plan.

It introduces students to the framework around which communication strategies are planned and implemented. The chapter illustrates how strategic communication relates to an organisation’s market and non-market strategies and illustrates how the various segments of an organisation’s communication system work in those environments.

A Chapter Exercise enables students to review previous exercises to investigate how a communication strategy would help, to help resolve issues an organisation faces. A second exercise takes students through the process of analysing how issues reported in the news media.

A break-out section briefly introduces students to the concept of issue dynamics. This concept is important when working on strategic communication because the parameters of issues change as do those who are involved in arguing about them. This is illustrated through a section on issues and politics, and on how the three horizons approach can work in political communication.

After working through the chapter, students will understand the importance of the strategic communication framework, and be aware of the similarities, differences and roles of advertising, marketing communication and public relations strategic plans.