Wow Amazing Information Essay

8687 words - 35 pages

C H A P T E R

T W O

Communicating
Strategically
In the first chapter, we examined the changing environment for business over the
last half century. In this chapter, we explore how these changes have affected corporate communication and why it has become imperative for modern companies
to communicate strategically.
Strategic communication can be defined as “communication aligned with the
company’s overall strategy, [intended] to enhance its strategic positioning.”1 An
effective strategy should encourage a company to send messages that are “clear
and understandable, true and, communicated with passion, strategically repetitive
and repeated, [and] consistent (across ...view middle of the document...

1

Paul A. Argenti, Robert A. Howell, and Karen A. Beck, “The Strategic Communication Imperative,” MIT Sloane
Management Review, Spring 2005.
29

arg03172_ch02_029-046.indd 29

21/07/12 3:30 PM

30 Chapter Two

Aristotle, who studied under Plato and taught in Athens from 367–347 bce, is
most often associated with the development of rhetoric, the ancient antecedent
to modern persuasive communication. In his book The Art of Rhetoric, Aristotle
defined the three basic components of every speech, which have been adapted to
meet the needs of the modern corporation as follows:
This strategy depends on thinking carefully about the same three parts that
Aristotle used to describe the components of speech: (1) a “speaker,” or in our case,
a corporation, with something to say; (2) a “subject,” or message that needs to be
conveyed; and (3) a “person” or group to whom the message will be delivered.
Aristotle’s observations on message communication laid the foundation for
modern communication theory, which developed in the United States along with
several other social sciences following World War II. In 1948, law professor and
political scientist at Yale University Harold Lasswell proposed a communications
model that he believed applied especially well to mass communications.2 His linear model can be summarized as “who (Aristotle’s speaker) says what (Aristotle’s
subject or message) in which channel (medium) to whom (Aristotle’s recipient)
with what effect (effect).” Several years later, professor of communication skills
Richard Braddock proposed an expansion of the Lasswell model to include more
reflection on the intent of the message, as well as more analysis of the circumstances under which the message was being delivered.3
Further in 1948, mathematician and engineer Claude Shannon published his
“A Mathematical Theory of Communication” in the in-house scientific journal at Bell
Labs. The following year, Warren Weaver helped Shannon to publish the article
as a book, and as a result this communications model is called both the ShannonWeaver model and the Shannon model. The model, used today in social sciences,
mathematics, and engineering, is linear and focuses on the physical transmission
of information. It follows the creation of a signal by an information source (using a
transmitter) to the reception of the signal by the recipient. The model also includes
a “noise source,” which can be anything that interferes with the integrity of the
signal.4
In 1956, professor of communications George Gerbner proposed a communication model that built on both the Lasswell and Shannon-Weaver models and
emphasized the important role that perception plays in communication as well as
the transactional nature of communications.5
The Corporate Communication Strategy Framework presented in Figure 2.1
incorporates these and other communication models to provide a valuable framework for effectively analyzing corporate communications....

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