Strategy

Strategic Communications and Corporate Strategy

Every communications strategy has to start with the company or corporate strategy. By fully understanding where the business is headed and how it intends to get there, I can then develop the strategic communications framework required to enable that journey.

The strategic communications plan or framework is essentially your blueprint on how to best position your assets – your brand, products, people, culture and unique differentiators – in order to build your reputation and entrench your desired positioning so that your business gains an advantage over competitors and is best positioned to maximise emerging opportunities.

In other words, your communications strategy is just as important as your corporate strategy and the same rigour should be applied in developing it.

Every strategy is different, depending on the unique combination of context, opportunities and threats of every business. In crafting the ideal corporate positioning for your business we would explore various strategic elements including integrating a shared value philosophy into the DNA of the business, your ideal company culture and how to achieve that, and how your branding matches this positioning or needs to be refined. Ultimately all these initiatives roll up into increased reputational capital for your business and as all the research shows, companies with stronger reputations, perform better.

The communications strategy, in my humble opinion, sits above the marketing strategy, although in many businesses this is not the case. Marketing is essentially just a subset of communications that speaks to one particular stakeholder group – consumers. Strategic communications, on the other hand, speaks to ALL stakeholders.

Your communications function (whether in house, outsourced or a combination of the two) are the custodians of the company’s brand and reputation, and key partners to the Executive in delivering the business’ strategy. It is therefore critical that companies invest in the right people to get the job done. Historically the “bums and balloons” and more recently the evil “spin doctor” approach to public relations has deservedly tarnished the image of communicators, but rest assured that you’ll only ever get proper, ethical, strategic thinking at It’s a Shovel.

Implementation and Project Management

No matter how brilliant the strategy I develop for you is, it is completely meaningless without the correct implementation, which is where the project management offering of It’s a Shovel comes in.

As a one-woman-band I would be hands on in the implementation, delivering most of it myself but also bringing in specialist technical skills (design, web development, SEO, etc) where required. Having worked in the industry for very many years, I know all the best and worst providers and can help you build the virtual execution team you need.

From my experience in both agencies and corporates, I know the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the equation and am ideally positioned to manage third party suppliers on your behalf in order to get the best results for the business, in a way that keeps the creatives inspired, happy and willing to go the extra mile for you – even after a tough procurement negotiation!

And lastly, more often than not, the implementation of a strategic communications plan will require some level of change management in order to encourage employees across the organisation to adapt to a new way of doing things – be that a fundamental shift or a new, more nuanced approach. Managing this change process for you in the most efficient and effective manner is another of the value adds of the It’s a Shovel offering.

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