Message from the Chairman – October 2018

Published on
October 5, 2018

Strategic communication needs to play an enhanced role in business strategy

For those of you who know me well, I’m sure this statement is not going to be a surprise: “I’m going to go out on a limb here” – and even more so with: “in my view, business leaders and advisers have typically under-valued and under-utilised the leadership role of strategic communication in business strategy.”

Now of course, this isn’t always the case.

At Rowland, we are privileged to have many clients that recognise the value of having someone with a laser-like focus on reputation management and business strategy at their boardroom table. This provides a perspective which can often be missed by those who are largely focused on operational requirements.

However, after more than 30 years as a communication professional, it never ceases to amaze me the number of organisations that do not embrace meaningful communication at a board, C-suite or advisory level – whether this be in a linear, business-as-usual capacity, responding to a crisis (which itself can often be an opportunity to regenerate business strategy), or a change in structural dynamics or corporate direction.

Strategic communication – properly assessed, mapped and crafted, and comprehensively taking into consideration a company’s position (its background, operations, culture, direction), the multiplicity of environments in which it operates and the diverse issues and stakeholders within these, its own vision/direction, etc. – is a key enabler in assisting an organisation attain its core corporate objectives.

But in its purest sense, it is more than this – it is a critical leadership element of business strategy.

Think about it. On the premise that business exists in a constantly dynamic state, a key part for an organisation to get from point A to point B (regardless of how this is defined) largely relates to a company’s reputation, stakeholder engagement, organisational commitment and culture, governance and issues management…all key facets of strategic communication.

And increasingly in this modern world, this involves acutely embracing a digital and data overlay.

At Rowland, we deal in these dimensions every day of the week, helping organisations navigate their own corporate journeys, whether this relates to their ongoing corporate positioning and market penetration requirements, going through financial transaction such as an IPO or M&A transaction, responding and recovering from a crisis, understanding government processes, interfacing with community and special interest groups, share price sustainability, etc.

This goes to the very heart of our evolved positioning as a “communication, digital and creative agency” and is demonstrated in our unique value proposition, which includes:

  • Delivering data-centric services to improve business and engagement outcomes
  • Bringing strategic thinking to creativity, and creativity to strategy
  • Seeing around the corners our clients sometimes can’t
  • Helping big companies think smarter, and smart companies think bigger
  • Understanding the role brand plays in articulating an organisation’s vision and culture
  • Helping organisations connect with the people who matter most, telling their stories across all channels
  • Delivering profound and meaningful insights via use of our digital tools
  • Driving stronger connections and business results, via use of our data services.

Welcome to the latest edition of Rowland On Point where we share our thought leadership views on a wide range of perspectives of strategic communication in the modern, and increasingly digital, business world.

I hope you find our articles interesting and informative.