Chatham House Report

Project: International Security Department, UK Defence

Paul Cornish, Julian Lindley-French, and Claire Yorke
  • This report aims to raise awareness of the role and potential of strategic communications as a means of delivering policy. 
  • Strategic communications should become a more prominent component at the highest levels of government, at an early stage in the development of a complex stabilization or other operation, during a crisis response or a contingency operation and generally as an organic part of policy-making.
  • In addition to understanding the what, why and where of strategic communications, governments and strategic communicators across the policy process must be able to recognize the 'who': the audience to whom policy is addressed. Strategic communications must recognize the diversity in audiences and their different motivations, interests and ideas.
  • In planning government strategies and the delivery of policy, activities should be considered and undertaken as much for their communicative value as for their physical impact.
  • Strategic communications is not best achieved through a fixed, central structure – an 'Office for Strategic Communications' of some sort. It is the fostering of a strategic communications culture, rather than the design of more formal structures, that will promote the necessary changes in current practice.