Strategic Communications

Building skills in: Strategy, Insight, Horizon scanning and Evaluation

Course levels of expertise:

  • practitioner: new or developing your expertise in that discipline
  • advanced: experienced professionals in that discipline

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Strategic Communications – a practitioner’s guide (Practitioner)

Strategic Communications is central to our work as government communicators. The ability to understand the policy/operational challenge and offer a combination of communications tools to address the issue are essential skills that demonstrate leadership across communication projects. This course will introduce you to the four pillars of Strategic Communications with practical steps and case study examples to help you get started.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be more confident about:

  • Strategy – setting priorities and providing strategic advice;
  • Insight – using research and evidence to inform comms planning;
  • Horizon Scanning – the importance of managing long and short term activity information;
  • Evaluation – agreeing sound objectives and ways to measure comms activity.

Audience: AIO-G6 (dependent on experience)
Length and frequency: 2.5 hours 6 weekly
Delivery channel: face-to-face

Practical Approach to Planning, Insight and Evaluation (Advanced)

A practical approach to Insight, Planning and Evaluation is aimed at SIOs working in planning, research and evaluation roles who are looking to improve their strategic analysis and insight skills.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you will be more confident about:

  • setting meaningful communications objectives;
  • approaching insightful thinking and planning;
  • using the key terms linked to research;
  • using approaches to help understand your audiences;
  • being aware of data sources and evaluation techniques;
  • being able to put theory into action and apply it to your work.

Audience: AIO-G6 (dependent on experience)
Length and frequency: full day, monthly
Delivery channel: face-to-face

Advanced Strategic Communications (Advanced)

This course focuses on challenges in strategic communication planning. It will help you to develop a deep understanding of context, and meeting the challenges of campaign integration, resource management and coping with complexity.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you will be more confident about:

  • How to set SMART objectives and the core functions within which a strategic communications team should operate;
  • Leadership on any communications project;
  • Understand the importance of contextual intelligence and providing advice on strategic priorities within Government, using audience insight and and motivations to address key issues;
  • Have a deep understanding of context – taking an advanced approach to stakeholder relations and analysing networks to gather and share intelligence;
  • Can match stakeholders with channels, evaluating (ensuring that lessons are learned and demonstrating impact of the team), and create strategies for co-operation and campaign integration that own the narrative and messaging and provide overall leadership;
  • Can manage in an uncertain world – budgeting and forecasting in an uncertain world, and perform critical path analysis that appreciates competing priorities;
  • Cope with complexity – working in an agile way and dealing with surprises

Audience: SIO – Grade 6 (dependent on experience)
Length and frequency: full day, monthly
Delivery channel: face-to-face

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