Ever since rhetoric, – “the art of speaking well” – emerged in antiquity, people have discussed how to succeed in communicating strategically. Strategic communication was previously a specialisation within media and communication studies, but it has long been a separate, fast-growing field in both education and research. The field has developed its own theories rooted in both social sciences, such as sociology, social psychology and political science, and in humanities – such as rhetoric and linguistics.
Communication for organisations
Research in strategic communication deals with the formal and informal communication initiatives which an organisation conducts in order to realise a particular objective. This could involve anything from marketing and communication aimed at reinforcing relationships with external groups to how the internal communication affects the organisation.
A holistic view of organisational communication is unique to research within strategic communication. Communication processes affect the balance of power and relationships internally, between management and employees, but also externally – for example with customers. What a company or a public authority communicates is crucial to the trust and legitimacy that the organisation achieves both internally and within wider society.
An integrated approach is required to understand the communication of organisations. It is not possible to draw a clear boundary between internal and external communication; they affect each other. The research therefore covers three areas: public relations, organisational communication and marketing communication.
Examples of research areas at the department:
Internal communication. How does the leader’s communication affect the internal processes of a company?
Crisis communication. What and how does an organisation communicate in order to be prepared for and to manage a crisis?
Marketing communication and branding. How do companies use communication to strengthen their position on the market?
New media and modern democracy. What role do social media play – and how do organisations manage them – in a democratic society?
Organisations and society. What is the connection between the communication of organisations and social phenomena?
Professionalism, expertise and ethics. What is the current situation like for communicators and what are the trends for the future?