University of Technology Sydney

57215 Strategic Communication and Integration

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: Strategic Communication
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces students to contemporary thinking about the development of strategy and strategic planning by public and private sector organisations, comparing and contrasting traditional top-down, organisation-centric approaches with emergent, networked and participatory approaches drawing on contemporary management studies, and applies these to designing strategic communication. Students learn to apply strategic planning models and explore the role of research, stakeholder engagement, consultation, and collaboration in developing communication strategies to achieve organisational objectives while also adapting to stakeholder and public expectations and maintaining a social licence to operate and sustainability. Strategic communication theory is compared with other theories and models of public communication and public relations such as two-way symmetrical, rhetorical, relationship, and dialogic theories. Students also explore the increasing requirement for integration of multiple forms of public communication including advertising, public relations, and digital and social media communication, examining and critically evaluating how people access and consume information today. Students become familiar with the multiple 'touchpoints' between organisations and their publics and the need for organisations to ensure consistency and complementation in their public communication. Throughout this subject students develop knowledge and skills for planning and designing integrated strategic communication campaigns involving a range of multimedia and multimodal communication activities. They also gain an understanding of the importance of mutuality and social responsibility in organisational behaviour and how this is reflected in strategic communication.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Explain the knowledge and skills used in strategic communication
b. Critically analyse and conceptualise advertising and public relations in innovative integrated ways
c. Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural differences
d. Design communication that reflects integration and innovation
e. Communicate clearly and professionally in writing and orally

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Apply a body of practice-oriented knowledge and skills to develop, implement and evaluate innovative solutions to real-world communication challenges with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability (1.1)
  • Critically and creatively re-think and reflect on public relations, advertising and organisational change models and practices for the 21st century beyond dominant models and approaches (2.2)
  • Recognise and negotiate cultural differences (3.1)
  • Graduates are able to persuade and engage diverse audiences through both written and oral communication strategies across a range of media formats with consideration of others' needs and views (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject provides students with an advanced multidisciplinary exploration of strategy and strategic planning through online workshops led by management scholars from UTS Business School combined with seminars and lectures that apply these concepts to communication. Students read key reading/s each week — available on Canvas — and interact with other students about lectures and readings in discussions. Students engage with ideas and issues in strategic communication through a combination of lectures, tutorial and online activities. They apply concepts from the literature to practice. Students are expected to undertake online tutorials in researching and referencing academic literature. Formative feedback will be provided to students progressively in class and on Canvas.

Content (topics)

The subject introduces students to contemporary understandings of strategy in management, and how strategic planning is undertaken, and then applies these concepts to developing strategic communication. Students explore the many channels, platforms and methods through which strategic communication is implemented, including advertising, public relations and Web communication, and examine the increasing integration of these and the challenges and benefits that this involves.


Assessment task 1: Critical analysis of strategic communication based on reading, online research, workshop discussions, and online forum


a, b and e

Weight: 30%

2000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Understanding of integrated strategic communication 40 a 1.1
Depth of thinking and analysis 40 b 2.2
Clarity of writing 10 e 6.1
Correctness of referencing 10 e 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Applied Strategic Communication Portfolio


a, b and e

Weight: 40%

1500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Understanding of integrated strategic communication 40 a 1.1
Depth of analysis 40 b 2.2
Professionalism of presentation 5 e 6.1
Relevance of examples 5 e 6.1
Correctness of referencing 10 e 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Strategic communication plan and presentation


a, c, d and e

Weight: 30%

5 minutes, 10–12 PowerPoint slides.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Level of integration and strategic focus 30 a, d 1.1
Innovativeness of design 30 d 1.1
Inclusion of diverse perspectives 20 c 3.1
Persuasiveness of presentation 20 e 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Submission of assessment tasks

In this subject assessment tasks are cumulative so that each task builds understanding and/or skills, informed by formative feedback. Consequently, all assessments must be submitted in order for students to receive feedback. Students who do not submit all assessments will not pass the subject.

Attendance: Attendance at tutorials and guest lectures are essential in this subject. These classes are based on a collaborative approach that involves essential workshopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor to build capacities towards meeting the subject learning objectives. A roll will be taken at each class (whether on campus or online). Students who have more than two absences from class will be refused marking of their final assessment (see Rule 3.8).

Required texts

There are no required texts for this subject. Recommended readings will be available via UTS Library and online.


Argenti, P., Howell, R. & Beck, K. 2015, ‘The strategic communication imperative’, in Top 10 Lessons on Strategy, MIT Sloan Management Review, SloanSelect Collection (pp. 61–7), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, viewed 1 September 2018, <http://>.

Australian Institute of Company Directors, 2016, ‘Strategic plan development’, viewed 1 November 2018, < https:// pdf/05446-5-14-mem-director-rob-strategic-plan-development_a4-web.ash>

Camilleri, M. 2018, ‘Theoretical insights on integrated reporting: The inclusion of non-financial capitals in corporate disclosures’, Corporate Communications: An International Journal. DOI:

Cornelissen, J. 2011, Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice, 3rd edn, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Dulek, R. & Campbell, K. 2015, ‘On the dark side of strategic communication’, International Journal of Business Communication, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 122–42. DOI: https://

Hallahan, K., Holtzhausen, D., van Ruler, B., Ver?i?, D. & Sriramesh, K. 2007, ‘Defining strategic communication, International Journal of Strategic Communication, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 3–35.

Heath, R., Johansen, W., Hallahan, K., Steyn, B., Falkheimer, J. 2018, ‘Strategic communication’, in R, Heath & W. Johansen (eds), The International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ, pp. 1–24.

Holm, O. 2006, ‘Integrated marketing communication: from tactics to strategy’, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 1, no.1, pp. 23–33. DOI:

Holtzhausen, D. & Zerfass, A. 2015, ‘Strategic communication: Opportunities and challenges of the research area, in D. Holtzhausen & A. Zerfass (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication, Routledge, New York, pp. 3–17.

Huhn, J., Sass, J. & Storck, C. 2011, ‘Communication controlling: How to maximize and demonstrate the value creation through communication’, German Public Relations Association (DPRG), Berlin, Germany, viewed 31 August 2018, <http:// fileadmin/ communicationcontrolling/ sonst_files/Position_paper_DPRG_ICV_2011_english.pdf>.

King, C. 2010. ‘Emergent communication strategies’, International Journal of Strategic Communication, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 19–38. DOI:

Lodhia, S. 2015, ‘Exploring the transition to integrated reporting through a practice lens: An Australian customer owned bank perspective', Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 129, no. 3, pp. 585–598, viewed 1 September 2018, < https:// s10551-014-2194-8>.

Macnamara, J. 2016, Organizational Listening: The Missing Essential in Public Communication, Peter Lang, New York.

Matzler, K., Füller, J., Hutter, K., Hautz, J. & Stieger, D. 2014, ‘Open strategy: Towards a research agenda. Social Science Research Network’, viewed 31 August 2018, <https:// or http:// 10.2139/ssrn.2416937>.

Mintzberg, H. 1978, ‘Patterns in strategy formation’, Management Science, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 231–55, viewed 1 July 2018, <>.

Mintzberg, H. 1979, The Structure of Organisations, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Mintzberg, H. & Waters, J. 1985, ‘Of strategies, deliberate and emergent’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 257–72. DOI:

Mirabeau, L. & Maguire, S. 2014, ‘From autonomous strategic behaviour to emergent strategy', Strategic Management Journal, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 1202–29. DOI: https:// smj.2149

Peters, T., & Waterman, R. 1982, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-run Companies, Harper Collins, New York, NY.

Thompson, A., Peteraf, M., Gamble, J. & Strickland, A. 2013, Crafting and Executing Strategy: The Quest for Competitive Advantage, 19th edn, McGraw-Hill-Irwin, New York, NY.