By Jim Cullumber

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 10) — Communications needs to be a core business function if an organization wants to succeed, said Daria Steigman of Steigman Communications LLC., Friday at a workshop in conjunction with the Religion Communicators Council’s annual meeting outside Washington, D.C.

In her presentation, titled “From Strategy to Storytelling,” Steigman emphasized the need for communication professional s to have a seat at the table as questions are asked and decisions made.

“You need to move from reactive to proactive; to move from ‘do this’ to the why,” she said.

Steigman admitted communications strategy is “unsexy,” but it is an important part of the communication professional’s job. “Strategy sets you up better and puts you in the process.”

Using case studies and illustrations, she reminded RCC participants of the three key phases of a communication strategy: research, analysis and results/evaluation.

She advised asking the right questions of the right people, saying that is vital in the research process. She said to not be satisfied with anecdotal answers, but be sure to ask the right questions of people from across the organization’s structure.

Steigman also suggested the “SWOT” analysis as a helpful tool, where strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are identified in developing strategies to specific communication issues.

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