Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Strategic Communications

Course summary

Course code: MARK1235
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Business Faculty
Department: Marketing, Events and Tourism
Course Coordinator(s): Matthew Housden



The course aims to:
Equip students with the knowledge and skills to help organisations deal with the challenges of managing corporate reputation through planned communications with a range of stakeholders.
To develop and understanding of the strategic links between corporate and product brands.
To critically evaluate linkage between how an organisation wants to be seen and how it is seen, namely corporate communications.
To demonstrate that the strength and magnitude of an organisation’s reputation represents the way in which a complex range of stakeholders perceive an organisation, entity or destination.
To develop strategic approaches to closing the gap between the way an organisation intends to be seen and the way stakeholders actually perceive it.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

Critically evaluate the context and concepts relating to corporate reputation:
2 Evaluate and Critically assess the compatibility of an organisation’s corporate strategy, structure, systems and culture in relation to its positioning and reputation
3 Develop processes leading to the identification of key external and internal stakeholders, and understand the nature of associated communication programmes
4 Propose and justify the use of a portfolio of broad indicators to evaluate the strength of an organisation’s reputation
5 Analyse the nature of corporate brands and through reflection make recommendations concerning any gap between identity and image
6 Critically evaluate the different methods through which corporate communications can be delivered in order to deliver effective customer focused and contextually determined messages and enhance reputation

Indicative content

Organisation culture, Strategy; mission, values and positioning, formulation process Organisational structure and communications climate

Meaning: visual, organisational, corporate, visual identity versus strategic identity, the identity mix: behaviour, communication and symbolism

Brand strategy: structure, architecture and promise

Systems and processes, eg, formalistic or organic, developing or established, communication culture, use of digital communications

Measurement of reputation using commercial systems, eg, Brand Asset Valuator, BrandZ, Equitrend, Brand Power, USA’s Most Admired, Reputation Quotient, Rep Track

Definitions of the corporate brand
Typologies: Olins, Kammerer, van Riel
Drivers: strategy, organisational, employee, value

Communication audits
Targeting stakeholder groups, including digital stakeholders
Targeting employees
Reputation platforms
Corporate stories and story telling
Corporate positioning

Communications planning
Vision, mission and values
Identity or brand, ethics, CSR, sustainability and environmental issues
Strategic repositioning

Corporate advertising, public relations, sponsorships
Media; offline and digital/online, social networking
Symbolism; logos, names, signage, music, styling, uniforms, design and architecture
Behaviour: employees, management performance, corporate, brand, communications
Measuring the effectiveness of corporate communications:
eg, Kelly Repertory Grids, Natural Grouping, Q-Sort, Photo-Sorting, Attitude Measurement, Card Sorting


Group Work - 30% weighting, 40% pass mark, learning outcomes 1-4. Outline Details - A critical refection on the corporate communications strategy for two organisations, comparing and contrasting alternative approaches and using theory to assess strengths and weaknesses of the approach. This should cover identity management Strategy Implementation and Measurement. 2000 words.

Formative Assessment - Interim group presentation group report.

Individual Reflection - 70% weighting, 40% pass mark, learning outcomes 5 & 6. Outline Details - An individual reflective report on an organisation of choice outlining the issues facing the company in a specific area of corporate reputation strategy. 1000 words.

Formative Assessment - Submission of Draft.