Communication strategy refers to the “step by step technique utilized by the messenger or the speaker to articulate the intended meaning when confronted with some difficulty.” (Heifetz, 1994) These strategies are actually communication behaviors which are rendered consciously or unconsciously to reduce the difficulty in handling a difficult or sophisticated problem. (Ramsey, et. al., 1989) There are various elements involved in communication strategies. Hence, in organizational websites, it is paramount that the the image the communication plan wants to project is clearly identified or set. Also, the target of the communication must be identified. The way by which this image will be projected also needs to be set out. In knowing that the Internet media will be used for this type of strategies, it is also important to present the content in the most consistent manner. The organizational has to make sure that the message presented in the website is the same message and image of their organization as communicated through other media.
Various types of communications strategies are used in organizational websites. These include:
1. Abandoning the message – this strategy means leaving the message incomplete because of the difficulty in language as encountered in delivering the message. For instance, the website will just say “the other company took the wrong way in mm” (The meesage is intentionally left incomplete). (Heifetz, 1994)
2. Avoiding the topic – this strategy involves avoiding discussing the concepts which the communicators find hard to express. For instance: an organization may avoid talking about the certain features of a competitor’s new product feature since it does not completely know how this works. (Heifetz, 1994)
3. Circumlocution: this strategy refers to a communication technique wherein the organization may just paraphrase the subject being discussed. For instance, it may just mention the “product which other companies offer in the market” insated of indicating what it is called. (Heifetz, 1994)
4. Criticizing leaders – this is about blaming leaders (e.g., project managers or team leaders of other organizations or government or industry personnel for problems instead of inquiring how to solve the problem or sharing the responsibility for it. (Heifetz, 1994)
5. Externalizing the competitor – this strategy means putting the blame to an external or outside group for any organizational problem or shortcoming. (Heifetz, 1994)
6. Using past assumptions most of the time – this means clinging to traditional assumptions even when there is no valid proof about it or when it has been superseded by new assumptions. For instance, the organziation may still tage their company as the “leader in the industry” even when this was already five years ago. (Heifetz, 1994)
7. Emphasizing a distracting issue – this means dealing with a less significant controversy or issue rather than talking about the major one/s. This may also mean pursuing a less important goal. This is intended to keep the heat from the major issue/s. For instance, talking about the incompetent employees even when the main issue is the faulty product which they haver offered to the market. (Heifetz, 1994)
8. Distancing – this startegy pertains to being laid back and letting other individuals or group to take up a heated issue or argument related to their own organization. This is to reduce their share of responsibility for any issue or controversy. (Heifetz, 1994)
9. “Good news” leaders – enhancing the organization’s image by just focusing on the hard issues than the most practical ones. This is actually a way of avoiding the actual solution to a problem after they recognized its complexity. (Heifetz, 1994)
Heifetz, Ronald A. (1994). Leadership Without Easy Answers. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ramsey, John M., Harold R. Hungerford, and Trudi L. Volk. (1989). A Science-Technology-Society Case Study: Municipal Solid Waste. Stipes Publishing Company. Champaign, Illinois.