Communication strategy


“Your Communications Plan”

First step: Choose a topic. Review the Communication Challenge Topics and choose one that is relevant and interesting to you. Make sure to review the examples and anecdotes that follow each topic in this document. You can also find this information under the Course Info tab.

Second step: Review the Strategic Communication Plan example. Your plan should mirror this example in format and length. You can also find this example under the Course Info tab.

Third step: In this discussion, please respond to the following:

Part 1: What is your topic?

Part 2: Provide a rough draft of your Strategic Communications Plan for peer review and instructor feedback. Your draft should include enough detail that we can provide strong constructive feedback and input.


In the world of business, we can create opportunities through strategic communication. Throughout our professional careers, there are key events that raise the stakes of our communications approach.


1) Review the Communication Challenge Topics and their accompanying case study examples.

2) Select 1 topic that is professionally relevant for you.

3) Use for your COM510 assignments (the topic you have selected, not the case study example).

Note: If there is another challenge or current opportunity in your professional life that is more relevant for you, you may choose a topic that is not on this list. Keep in mind that the communication challenge you select must in- clude both written and verbal communication elements to meet the needs of this course. (Your professor must approve your selection before you proceed.)


Examples of each scenario are provided to demonstrate what thoughtful, professional communication would look like in each of these situations. These are only examples and should not be used for completing the assignment. You can create and establish all necessary assumptions. The scenario is yours to explain.


Choose one of the following topics for your assignments.

Internal Promotion Opportunity

New Job Opportunity Interview

Running a Meeting

Coaching Your Direct Employees

Pitching a Project Idea


Seeking a promotion from within your company is one opportunity in which strategic communication could mean the difference be- tween success and failure. If you choose this scenario, youll need to create both a written and a verbal (audio or video) communica- tion. These elements should explain why you are the right person for the internal promotion while addressing potential questions you might need to answer as part of the process.

Things to Consider

Have you checked the listings on your companys job board lately?

Is there a new position you would like to secure?

Have you taken on more responsibility at work?

Have your outcomes been positive?

Do your job title and job description match what you do? (If your job description is inaccurate, be sure to mention this when you are interviewing and/or negotiating.)


Case Study Example Internal Promotion

Kim has been working at the XYZ Company for two years. She is interested in an internal position that has just opened up. The new job involves more responsibility and would require her to supervise personnel for the first time in her career. She believes she brings a number of strengths to this opportunity. The position would mean reporting to a different manager. It would also include a significant increase in salary and a supervisor title. Kims annual reviews have been good and she believes her current manager would recom- mend her for the new position.

Kim first emails her boss a carefully worded email to set up a time to discuss the job opening in person. She has thoughtfully planned her approach to engage the support of her current manager. Next, Kim emails the HR representative hosting the position to formally express her interest. She copies her current manager on the email and submits her application through the companys application portal.

These carefully planned and executed steps result in Kim receiving an email from the hiring manager. She gets an invitation to inter- view for the position. Each step in Kims application process has built support for her candidacy in a strategic, meaningful way. She asked probing questions to gain insight into the department, job, and the individuals who were involved in the hiring process. This allows her to arrive for the interview with solid support and a firm knowledge base from which to draw in answering the interviewers questions.


Every new job opportunity represents a chance to improve your pro- fessional position. Strategic communication is critical to make the best first impression, navigate the screening and recruiting process, and secure the job through an interview (or series of them). If you choose this scenario, youll need to create both a written and a ver- bal (audio or video) communication. These elements should explain why you are the right person for the job while addressing the types of questions interviewers might ask.


Things to Consider

Do you follow the latest job listings relative to your area of expertise and industry?

Do you have an interview opportunity or position in mind for which you would like to apply?

Do your research, write a cover letter, and prepare for an interview that highlights your skill set. How can you bring value to the company? How would you prepare for the initial and follow-up interviews?

Case Study Example New Job Opportunity

Pat is not satisfied in his finance job with a non-profit organization. He wants to move to a fast-growth start-up business. His methodi- cal online searching has yielded what seems like a great opportuni- ty in a new technology firm locally. He is further encouraged when he learns that a former colleague is already working there.

Pat considers how best to reach out to his former colleague. He re- members that she is an active LinkedIn member and decides first to send her a message through the site. He tells her of his interest in the company and the position, asks a few probing questions about the department, and then spends time reviewing the company web- site and researching the firm online. Using sites like, he learns a great deal about the companys culture, its current areas of focus, and even salary ranges and typical interview questions;

After several days without news, Pat follows up with his former col- league. Knowing that she has welcomed calls in the past, he makes a quick phone call to her to affirm his interest in the company. Pats coworker provides him with great insights into the firm and sends an email to a manager in the department where Pat wants to work. She personally recommends Pat to this manager.

In the meantime, Pat carefully drafts a cover letter, updates his resume, and completes the online application. He begins preparing for interview questions, listing questions he has about the company, and brainstorming the best way to present himself to meet the pos-


sible needs of the company. In this way, he will arrive for the inter- view fully prepared to make his best, most confident presentation.


Meetings are all about strategic communication, or they should be. If you dont communicate strategically, youll waste attendees time and even lose control of the meeting. If you choose this scenario, youll need to create both a written and a verbal (audio or video) communication. These elements should address why you hold meetings, how you call them, how you conduct them, and how you follow up on them for the most meaningful impact and efficient use of attendees time.

Things to Consider

Do you have an important meetings coming up, for which youll need to prepare?


makes a meeting exceptional?

Is the objective set and clear?

Are agendas sent out in advance?

Are only essential personnel invited?

Is the meeting actively facilitated to ensure prog-

ress toward the objective?

Are action items and decisions recorded?

Is a follow-up communication sent? If so, how? If not, why not?

Case Study Example Plan a Productive Meeting to Improve Team Performance

Melinda and her team, including employees Jane and Jim, made a sales presentation to a prospect company yesterday. Melinda does not think the presentation went well and wants to make sure the team does better next time. She believes several factors contrib-


uted to the teams lack of success. Jane seemed distracted and unprepared, while Jim made several mistakes in presenting and representing data during the presentation. The prospect noticed these mistakes and pointed them out.

Melinda believes it was a mistake not to require a rehearsal before the meeting. She thinks her team was unprepared. To address these issues, Melinda calls a meeting through the companys scheduling software, careful to use encouraging, concise, and direct language in calling the meeting, and clearly explaining the meetings purpose (without making accusations). While she waits for attend- ees to respond, she drafts her communication plan for that meet- ing. Her goal is to make sure team members will be receptive to productive criticism and ready to contribute to a discussion about the teams performance. Her meeting agenda reflects this.

Prior to the meeting, Melinda writes an outline on notecards to help her stay on track. She will first explain why the after-action meeting is important. She will then walk all three participants through an assessment of the prior sales meeting, presenting each issue as an opportunity for improvement. She will explain that she is not as- signing blame. Rather, she, along with her team, should take this op- portunity to learn from the prior meeting in order to improve future presentations. She incorporates questions into her outline, making sure all involved will be included in the discussion and…