Strategic communication


Communicating is vital in all phases of your strategic communication project. Let’s go back to the start before we focus on communicating in the Executing phase.

Before you start: communicating in your organization

Before you initiate your project, you need to communicate within your organization to get support. You need to involve your supervisors and colleagues in your plan.

An important rule is: first communicate internally, then communicate externally. This prevents raising expectations which cannot be met. And it enables your organization to have One voice when communicating with stakeholders and partners.

Informal, face-to-face communication is more effective for this purpose then memos and reports.

Understanding phase

Open talks, interviews and focus groups with target audiences & stakeholders give you insight in what they know and how they feel about your issue.

Listening and empathy are the skills you need most in this phase.

Designing phase

Round tables and meetings with your potential partners help breaking down your big goal into a doable sub goal and finding common objectives to work on. This process also helps developing working relations with stakeholders.

Executing phase

Frogleaps Strategic communication course focuses on communication to initiate, design and implement projects aimed at sustainability change. We are talking about real change: behavior change resulting in better practices for sustainable development and biodiversity.

Awareness campaigns and education alone do not result in behavior change, in many cases. That’s why these fields of communication are not part of this course. But awareness raising and education are valuable for influencing knowledge and attitudes! So they can be an element in your design as illustrated below and in Our case of Simona.

During the Executing phase your communication is aimed at:

  • Involving potential partners in your project
  • Redefining your sub goal together
  • Briefing partners, consultants and agencies
  • Creating word of mouth about your project
  • Influencing knowledge and attitudes of target audiences

Let’s fast forward to the Evaluation phase and take a look at the role and means of communicating in this phase:

Evaluation phase

During Evaluation phase you aim communication at getting cooperation for the methods you apply, for instance interviewing, surveys and focus groups.

Reflecting and giving feedback to partners and target audiences about results and future actions is important as well.

OUR CASE OF SIMONA: communicating to understand, design and execute

Information stand of Simona's Institute for Nature Conservation

Information stand of Simona’s Institute for Nature Conservation

For the Understanding phase, Simona’s team of protected area managers organized a stakeholder dialogue. They talked, asked questions, listened and analyzed the answers.

For the Designing phase, Simona organized focus groups, round tables and meetings aimed at developing solutions. During this phase reflecting and giving feedback to partners is important to keep the process going. Simona held regular round table meetings on project’s progress. She also visited individual partners regularly.

The hunters and mountaineering club communicated with the park visitors about the new event facilities and rules: influencing knowledge and attitudes.

The municipality communicated with the police and officials so they know when and how to close the road, put up signs and organize the free bus service.

Simona’s team informed the management of the Protected Area, the Nature Conservation Institute, the Environment Agency and the Ministry.

Articles in media trusted by target audiences

Articles in media trusted by target audiences

The teams also communicated with visitors of the 1st May festival about biodiversity, Natura 2000 and the value of the Pulsatilla Grandis. And with the press about the new event management, the successful cooperation of all stakeholders and the benefits for visitors and nature.

After the event Simona send press releases and got positive feedback in local press. Thank you letters from Ministry and Mayor to partners helped the positive attitude towards the event management. Everybody was proud to be partner to the new way of celebrating the 1st of May.

This is the last Topic of Key subject 4. Want more? Go to Key subject 5:
Evaluating your change strategyquiz-frog-retina