Strategic Communication Article Summary

1084 Words 5 Pages
The article An introduction to strategic communication, by Gail Fann Thomas and Kimberle J. Stephens, discusses the emerging style of communication known as strategic communication. This is a relatively new branch that is being studied, lying somewhere on the crossroads of management strategies and communication. There is much disagreement on the definition and boundaries of this field of study, so the article instead chooses to explore it by using three lenses: strategy, communication theory, and research methods. Unfortunately, these lenses are also loosely defined. Management strategy is defined along the lines of “organization making,” that is to create and maintain systems of shared actions that will facilitate later action. Key concepts …show more content…
In our class, we do not approach this level of complexity, nor do I think that we need to. So I’m going to simplify these ideas down to their bare bones - because deep down - these are concepts we’ve already discussed and seen in action around us. Communication is heavily related to strategy, or as we normally put it, communication must be effective. We must adapt in real time to the needs of our audience and discover how to best convey our information and get our point across, and beyond that, to have people agree with us (or in the words of this article, to “align” with us). We’re in a constant state of evaluating our surroundings and others. Any sort of audience adaptation plan is pure strategy. Furthermore, strategic communication argues that everyone is a stakeholder, and that they all share equal responsibility in the overall effectiveness of communication. To boil that aspect down, it is just a portrayal of the communication-as-transaction model we have for modern communication. We cannot just give with communication, nor can we just take. Everyone is involved in the cycle whether we like it or not, and we must play our role in order to create effective communication. Strategic communication also addresses the potential use of ambiguity. One of our key aspects of communication is that it must be ethical. This article called for ambiguity to be viewed as neutral, which was necessary as typically withholding information is seen as dishonest, and therefore unethical. This whole debate is far more substantial to communication because of that. After all, if you can’t prove ambiguity as ethical, than that draws all communication around it into question, which has the potential to cause a large degree of disarray and distrust in an organization. To be completely honest, strategic communication had a very long and tedious definition that doesn’t go far beyond what we’ve already been taught (albeit a very

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