“Strategic communication” has become a popular buzzword over the last few years. According to the Financial Times, “Communication is strategic when it is completely consistent with a corporation’s mission, vision, [and] values and is able to enhance the strategic positioning and competitiveness of the organisation.”
Effective communication — both external and internal — is vital to creating a consistent and trustworthy corporate image. It can help an organization create a unique connection with its consumers, employees and investors to stimulate sales and growth. Companies seek out communicators with a knack for fostering this connection.
If you want to put your communication and analytical skills to use in an exciting field with growing potential, a career in strategic corporate communications may be right for you.
What Is the Role of a Strategic Communicator?
Strategic communication specialists guide a company’s external and internal messaging. They craft communication strategies that further a business’s mission and enhance its reputation. They also ensure that a company’s external communications stay consistent across channels, and that internal communications align with what the public is hearing about the company. Through their work, communication specialists help foster the trust of consumers, employees and investors alike.
Developing a corporate persona has become almost as important as developing the product itself. Thanks to social media, everyone is speaking. Companies that find meaningful and interesting ways to engage with customers can direct the conversation for mutual benefit.
Strategic Communication: An Exciting Future?
The corporate world holds powerful new roles for skilled communicators. Gone are the days when a company’s communications department was a minor player in an organization’s success. While business leaders once shunned the importance of branding and creating an active dialogue with consumers, they are now clamoring to hire talented communicators.
The Public Relations Society of America reports conclusions from a 2011 Kelton Research survey that highlight the role of communications in a company’s success: “With faith in business and government institutions waning and the reputations of even the most venerable brands at risk, corporate communications has emerged as an essential skill set for C-level executives in the 21st century.”
The PRSA surveyed 204 American business leaders (vice president and above), and found that 93 percent “believe public relations is just as important to their companies as other forms of communication, including advertising and marketing.”
The same PRSA survey showed that “Nearly all business leaders (98 percent) believe it will be important in the future for corporations to have senior managers with a working knowledge of building and protecting a company’s credibility. And 96 percent say it also will be important for these individuals to have a working knowledge of building and protecting a company’s reputation.”
What Do Students Learn in an MBA in Strategic Communication?
In response to the growing demand for communication experts, many universities are now offering specialized MBAs. Southeastern Oklahoma State University, for example, provides future executives with tools to meet modern market demands through its MBA degree with an emphasis in Strategic Communication.
MBA candidates at SOSU take 10 core courses that cover foundational business subjects, including Management Economics, Data Analysis, Research Methods and Accounting for Managers. Students pursuing the Strategic Communication specialization take two courses in their focus area:
1. Strategic Communication (3 credit hours)
Students learn how to create and implement effective campaigns consistent with an organization’s mission, goals and strategic initiatives. They also study communication tactics that apply to for-profit and non-profit organizations. The course highlights the use of proactive and reactive communication strategies for effective communication with internal and external audiences.
2. Crisis Communication (3 credit hours)
Students gain tools to plan, design, evaluate and properly deploy risk and crisis communication through a message-centered approach. The course features competing theoretical perspectives and rhetorical strategies for risk and crisis communication to the public and media.
Strategic Communication MBAs gain critical thinking and analytical skills that equip them to strengthen brands and manage crisis messaging.
The Benefits of an Online MBA
Not only does SOSU offer MBA candidates relevant and interesting coursework, it also provides students with flexibility to manage their own education. The online MBA program is ideal for working professionals and time-strapped students with other commitments.
Students can complete the online Strategic Communication MBA in as few as 12 months. Furthermore, even though students learn online, they have opportunities to interact with faculty and fellow students through online networks and forums. MBA students have full access to SOSU’s library and its electronic resources. Online MBA candidates also receive remote technology support.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s John Massey School of Business holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). SOSU’s MBA candidates receive an academically rigorous, well-respected degree that helps them compete for sought-after jobs.
With the right skills and training, you can be a top-notch communicator who develops thought-out, proactive communication strategies. Your contributions can help your company succeed.
Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in strategic communication program.
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