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MSC Elective: Foundations of Strategic Communication Management

“Strategic communication.” Eight weeks ago, my mental picture of this concept was some amusing hybrid of Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush impersonation (“strate…gery”) and that Seinfeld episode where George jbtdlzr-2
Costanza is forced by his boss to back up his mastery of “risk management” (and so turns to a book on tape for help). I’ve learned a lot since then,
but my Buzzfeedy brain hasn’t been completely rewired. Professor Randy Iden gets the inherent hilarity of the academic vocab—and loves Larry David enterprises, too. We talk Seinfeld. We talk Curb Your Enthusiasm.

So, what is strategic communication? In this writer’s opinion, strategic communication is not just a C-suite euphemism for pushy business talk, but a pervasive phenomenon you’ll see throughout your organization at every level. In fact, I guarantee you use it, too. If you’ve ever omitted information to spare feelings, hung your hat a bit con-ven-ient-ly on a company mission statement, or walked employees or colleagues through anything new or uncomfortable using really careful language—well, you’ve been a tad strategic, haven’t you? Don’t feel too guilty. Strategic communication, while it has an acknowledged dark side (commonly identified as bold-faced lying!), is often hugely necessary even when it’s a maybe little evil. It can often do a lot of good for an organization (or maybe just your own work welfare).

Now that I’ve convinced you that you need this product, stay tuned for my next blog entry: a list of concepts I’ve learned in class, translated into (basically) conversational language. If this week’s political climes have you dreading Thanksgiving dinner conversation as much as I am, then I hope these grab-and-go conversation-starters (like “so, what’s the deal with airplane peanuts…and boundaryless organizations?”) will serve us all well. Otherwise, just be strategic and bring really chewy stuffing.

Jennifer Lindner
MSC Class of 2017