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In staff surveys, colleagues often tell us we don’t communicate well enough. Sometimes our students tell us we communicate too much! Everyone tells us they get too many emails, but they don’t have time to read newsletters or online noticeboards. So whatever we do, it never seems quite right.

So why bother?

Whole text books have been written about the art of communication, but to keep it simple, when we communicate well, we help people to feel informed and engaged, and that we are working with them, not against them. It allows us to build relationships with colleagues and customers, and gain valuable feedback to ensure we provide the very best services we can.



Communication helps us to:

  • tell people about all the great services we provide, and how to make best use of them;
  • ask for feedback and discuss potential developments;
  • let them know when things go wrong;
  • keep them up to date about planned changes, or service improvements;
  • raise awareness about who we are;
  • build a reputation.



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A communications strategy provides an overarching vision of how effective communications can help to resolve a current or ongoing set of issues, or objectives.

It should therefore start by outlining the current challenges that your section or department wishes to address (consistent messages to customers, a standardised way of communicating within your team) and then move on to outline decisions that have to been made in order to address those issues or outline those goals.

At a high level, a communications strategy includes the overall principles for your area/department/section, outlining why you are communicating, what you need to communicate and who you need to communicate to.

Typically communications strategies start with a small number of core aims and objectives, then describe the types of communications (type, provision and mechanism for delivery) and go on to outline the various audiences/stakeholders, and conclude by describing how they will be implemented in an operational plan. (link to golf ball page)



  • Communications Strategy | University of Bath
  • Communications Strategy | Lancaster University
  • Communications Strategy | University of Bath
  • Service Level Management and Managing Customer Expectations | University of the Arts London