The Art and Science

of Strategic Communications

Strategic communications engages, inspires and motivates target audiences to act by changing how they think and feel about an issue. It’s part of your core work and combines strategic leadership, strategic thinking, media savvy and the power of persuasion to drive progress toward your goals.

Strategic communications guides every interaction you have both internally and externally, including small private meetings, major public speeches, op-eds, media interviews, tweets, instagram posts and more.

How It Works

Top-flight strategic communications efforts include the following steps. OceanWork guides and facilitates this process and serves as a think partner and connector.

Planning and Design

  • Define the big-picture goal.
  • Identify the target audience.
  • Decide what action we want that audience to take.
  • Do interview-based research to understand what the audience thinks and feels about the issue and what the barriers are for them.
  • Use the insights from this research to determine the most relevant messages and story that will persuade the audience to act.
  • Choose the optimal channels to deliver these messages.
  • Design an overarching creative concept for the campaign.
  • Assess your implementation capacity and budget.
  • Combine this to create an integrated, multi-channel communications plan that includes a simple set of core metrics to track progress toward the goal.


  • Test the creative concept and messages.
  • Refine the creative concept and content based on test results.
  • Launch the campaign and measure impact over time.
  • Use the measurement data to iterate and course-correct as the campaign unfolds.


  • Review campaign impact.
  • Reflect on wins and challenges.
  • Note lessons learned to use in your future strategic communications efforts.