How to guide: strategic communications

A guide for researchers to strategic communications. Key for organisations keen to influence policy and decision-makers at the highest levels, in national government or in global institutions.

‘Strategic communications’ were first talked about in political circles and in the corporate world over a decade ago. Though many thought it might be another passing fad dreamt up by public relations experts, the value of strategic communications is still being hotly debated today. Their impact around the globe has a renewed significance with the growth in complexity of our global communications and in a rapidly changing technological environment dominated by the internet, and more recently, by social media and mobile communications technologies.

As communicators have sought to understand and exploit the fast-moving, non-stop, ‘brave new world’ of communications, so strategic communications as a term is now used more widely to describe the increasingly sophisticated communications activities undertaken by a wide range of organisations, including governments, multinationals, political parties, non-governmental organisations, non-profit organisations and research institutes.

Authors: Shephard, K. and Scott, A. (2015) The Institute of Development Studies for The Impact Initiative