In the past decade there have been many attempts to define ‘strategic communication’ (Hallahan et al, 2007). In her inaugural lecture as professor in strategic communication in the Netherlands, Noelle Aarts descibed strategic communication as: ‘to organise meaningful interactions to ensure adequate positioning of the organisation in the networks that people form with each other, both within and outside the organisation’ (Aarts, 2009).
But how to define ‘strategic science communication’? In a first attempt to get a grip on strategic science communication, Nielsen in the previous paper relates it to persuasion, to organisational communication to public relation management (Nielsen, 2012). In this paper
I will use the definition of Aarts and describe strategic science communication as ‘strategic communication within the science and technology domain’: communication to ensure adequate positioning of an organisation in the science and technology domain.
The science and technology domain is characterised by the fact that science and technology has high impact on the societal issues. Another important factor is that the knowledge workers in this field, working in R&D departments, laboratories, specialised governmental bodies and knowledge institutes, are granted more authority than in other areas of society.
Their visibility implies that their communication can have immediate effect on the positioning of the organisation as a whole. This situation will probably pose specific requirements to the communication department of the organisation.
The question is: does the structure and management of the communication function of organisations within the science and technology domain indeed differ from those in other domains? Do the organisations in various fields pursue similar objectives? And to what extent and how does the communication function contribute to these objectives? In this paper
we describe a benchmark study that provides insights into the link between organisational objectives and the structure and management of companies in different domains.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Strategic science communication
The value of communication for the performance of the organization

C. Wehrmann   Department of Science Education and Communication, Delft University of Technology

In the past decade there have been many attempts to define ‘strategic communication’ (Hallahan et al, 2007). In her inaugural lecture as professor in strategic communication in the Netherlands, Noelle Aarts descibed strategic communication as: ‘to organise meaningful interactions to ensure adequate positioning of the organisation in the networks that people form with each other, both within and outside the organisation’ (Aarts, 2009).
But how to define ‘strategic science communication’? In a first attempt to get a grip on strategic science communication, Nielsen in the previous paper relates it to persuasion, to organisational communication to public relation management (Nielsen, 2012). In this paper
I will use the definition of Aarts and describe strategic science communication as ‘strategic communication within the science and technology domain’: communication to ensure adequate positioning of an organisation in the science and technology domain.
The science and technology domain is characterised by the fact that science and technology has high impact on the societal issues. Another important factor is that the knowledge workers in this field, working in R&D departments, laboratories, specialised governmental bodies and knowledge institutes, are granted more authority than in other areas of society.
Their visibility implies that their communication can have immediate effect on the positioning of the organisation as a whole. This situation will probably pose specific requirements to the communication department of the organisation.
The question is: does the structure and management of the communication function of organisations within the science and technology domain indeed differ from those in other domains? Do the organisations in various fields pursue similar objectives? And to what extent and how does the communication function contribute to these objectives? In this paper
we describe a benchmark study that provides insights into the link between organisational objectives and the structure and management of companies in different domains.

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