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What are the components of a successful strategic communications professional?

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Communications is a crucial part of any business’ overall marketing and business development strategy. However, many organisations would benefit from a strategic communications strategy, particularly if they are about to make key organisational changes as a result of regulatory or reputational challenges. 

Strategic comms professionals are particularly desirable in regulated environments such as government, transport and energy. These individuals helps to communicate policy changes to stakeholders, which often requires careful handling.

As we move into the post-pandemic era, strategic communications is more important than ever in helping organisations effectively communicate with their communities, all while aligning to the businesses' overarching goals, positively positioning their brand values, and actively working towards achieving the company's objectives. 

Comms vs Strategic Comms  

‘Communications’ is a broad field encompassing a wide variety of skills from copywriting and PR to marketing and advertising. A comms professional generally promotes the interests and reputation of an organisation, helping the public to understand its vision, inform people about its services, explain processes, counter misinformation, and increase visibility. 

On the other hand, the role of a strategic communications professional differs slightly. They fuse communications functions with a fundamental business agenda and strategy, liaising with key stakeholders, and decision-makers. They combine campaign strategies with the right narratives to meet long-term objectives. 

Strategic communications professionals have a highly specialised skillset, which includes:

1.    Sector insight

A strategic comms professional’s role involves shaping policy as well as implementing it, so it is paramount that they understand the technicalities of specific sectors and can identify target personas within unique markets. This can often mean having a broad understanding of not just the organisation they’re working with, but the wider sector and those it impacts.  

2.    Environmental Scanning

Strategic communicators don’t just look at the here and now. They must also consider external environmental factors and potential long-term impacts in order to set direction and ensure that measurable outcomes are achieved. So, it’s important for them to consider the quantifiable aspects of campaigns to identify where patterns lie and to yield effective results. Data collection and analysis is a vital skill for any strategic comms professional.

3.    Leadership

Strategic comms plans often require meticulous planning, which can encompass general comms, too. Professionals need to be able to make key decisions, guide teams’ direction and ensure communication is consistent and coherent. 

A strategic comms professional is likely to be in an extremely influential position. It’s a very desirable skill to be able to balance the tasks of boosting team morale and motivation, while retaining authority and leadership.

Policy and Public Affairs

Policy and Public Affairs, makes up a key part of strategic comms. The work undertaken in these specialisms are often high profile and plans can be deeply scrutinised. Choosing the right strategic comms expert is vital.  

Employing a strategic communications professional can be crucial to success as they can enable your organisation to effectively and successfully drive the change you envision and help to make a real difference.

By carefully executing a communications plan, strategic comms professionals help to ensure all stakeholders understand and accept changes to policy. 

Whether you’re searching for strategic communications professionals or you’re ready to make your mark on the industry, our consultants are ready to help you. Get in touch with our team today for a personal consultation.

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