ask the right questions
Here are 10 questions strategic communicators should be asking
1. What does success look like?
2. Why this? Why now?
3. What are the objectives of the project or organization?
4. What are the communication objectives?
5. How can communication help advance the project or corporate
6. What are the main risks and opportunities?
7. Thinking back about past communication activities, what worked and
what didn’t? Why?
8. Who are the key audiences, and why are they important?
9. What are the project management parameters (e.g., time, budget and
10. If we could change just one thing, what should it be?
3. Practice outside-in thinking. Hav-
ing the skill and insight to frame an
issue or initiative so that it hits the
sweet spot of what’s relevant to both
your organization and your audience is
a hallmark of a strategic communicator.
Outside-in thinking is the ability to read
your audience or clients—to under-
stand what makes them tick—and to
act in a man-
ner that speaks
to their van-
tage point. By
expert in public
analysis and in “wearing the hat” of the
stakeholders you serve, you become the
glue between your organization and its
audience—a go-to internal resource
equipped to consistently add unique
strategic value to your team.
4. Connect the dots. When clients are
recruiting senior communication talent, one of the
most important and hard-to-find skill
looking for is
the ability to
integrate. Connecting the dots means
you have the savvy to use big-picture
thinking to see that this change management activity is connected to that
employee video, which in turn might be
connected to an upcoming stakeholder
The ability to ask
is the centerpiece of