How communication pros can keep up with boardroom Joneses
The banking Royal Commission and other all-too-frequent revelations of scandals in corporations and government, ranging from Volkswagen’s diesel engine emissions breaches to politicians’ personal holidays paid by government-contracted travel firms, make strategic communication advice at boardroom and senior executive level all the more important.
But it seems that experts in strategic communication are often either not informed of senior management decisions, or not able to dissuade senior management from actions that lead to ruinous publicity and reputational suicide.
Part of the problem, according to research conducted by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is that, while corporate and government communication professionals are increasingly educated and trained, many do not hold the type and level of postgraduate qualifications that ‘cut it in the boardroom’.
UTS believes that an MBA is not the answer for senior communication professionals, as these degrees focus largely on business and finance. Instead, UTS has come up with an Executive Master of Strategic Communication. UTS will continue to offer a Master’s degree in communication for recent undergraduates, but its Executive Master of Strategic Communication is restricted to professionals with a minimum of five years of experience working in a communication role and is tailored to senior strategic communication management and leadership.
The degree is unique in that it is being taught collaboratively by four faculties and departments: UTS School of Communication; UTS Business School; the UTS School of International Studies; and UTS’s Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation. Graduates will be versed in high-level business and political strategy, law, creativity, innovation, and international and intercultural communication, as well as contemporary media.
Head of the Program, Distinguished Professor Jim Macnamara, a well-known practitioner as well as an international researcher, said students can also take a ‘stream’ of subjects focussed more on corporate and marketing communication or government communication to suit their career and the course includes major practical projects that can be related to students’ professional work.
Also, to suit working professionals, classes are taught in evenings after work or in intensive Saturday workshops.
The Executive Master of Strategic Communication commenced in March 2019, however, applications are now available for commencement in July.