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The Power of a Connected Business Strategy

We believe a business strategy can be much more than a roadmap for achieving ambitious goals.

Imagine a strategy that actually connects with its audiences.

The power of a connected strategy is that it helps set priorities, ensures consistency, builds trust, protects brands, removes barriers, inspires ideas, guides behaviors and motivates action.

How Strategies Become Disconnected

Traditionally, companies devote significant resources to planning and executing their business strategies. The most successful companies don’t just have a winning strategy; they deliberately communicate their strategy to their stakeholders, making everyone a partner in the success.

When companies stumble in the execution of their strategy, it’s often because the important role of communications was neglected.

It seems intuitive to align communications with the business strategy, but in siloed organizations, or in companies with small communications departments, the full advantages of a comprehensive communications approach are sometimes missed.

Perhaps the communications lead doesn’t have a seat at the table because he is consumed with day-to-day demands, or government affairs, investor relations and marketing are all in different departments.
Whatever the cause, the result is that the business strategy doesn’t resonate beyond the board room.

Reconnecting to Your Business Strategy

When your customers, shareholders, employees, government officials and the community feel connected to your strategy, your business objectives will be attainable.

Therefore, business objectives are the starting point for everything we do. Our next step is to create strong links between the strategy and the people who need to understand it.

Once the business and communications strategies are in place, we can oversee implementation. Whether it’s by your in-house team or outside consultants, we transcend organizational silos and guide the team to operationalize the plan.

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President and Founder

Amanda Marko

Seeing connections between people, ideas, and strategies comes naturally to Amanda Marko. Adept at all components of reputation management – public relations, traditional and social media, employee engagement, executive thought leadership, shareholder communications, government affairs and corporate social responsibility – she takes a truly holistic view of audience engagement.

Amanda is also a strategic communications executive known as an agent of change. She is particularly skilled at navigating traditional environments and gently moving organizations toward cutting-edge technology, beautiful design, and transparent solutions to business challenges.

Because her creative thinking is tempered by the realities of global business, Amanda has repeatedly served as trusted counsel to government and corporate leaders on matters of that are often dire, far-reaching, and high-impact.

Prior to starting Connected Strategy Group, Amanda worked in the United Kingdom for SAP, the world’s leading enterprise software company. For the German company, she created a strategy that fundamentally changed the way employee and executive communications are done in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the company’s largest region.

Before that, she was head of global communications for Cleveland-headquartered PolyOne Corporation, where she injected corporate strategic messaging into every communication for every audience – from employees and retirees, to shareholders and analysts, to government officials and community stakeholders. The communications pieces were award-winning and the cumulative impact on company culture and stature were nothing short of a turn-around.

As head of corporate communications and public affairs for the Greater Cleveland Partnership, she created a communications strategy befitting one of the nation’s largest chambers of commerce. For the first time, the business community received the credit it deserved for economic development, and as a result, the chamber’s membership retention and growth was best-in-class.

As press secretary for U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, she ran the communications operations from Washington, D.C., for Ohio’s senior senator. Notably, she navigated the office through Capitol Hill’s first social media scandal, ensuring the senator was unscathed by the national media firestorm.

Amanda is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School Journalism. She earned a master’s degree in national security from the Naval War College and a certificate in investor relations from University of California-Irvine. She also served as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

A Lesson from the Naval War College

Schwerpunk is a German word for "center of gravity," originated by Carl von Clausewitz in his seminal military strategy book On War. In business, schwerpunkt is the strategic objective or corporate vision.

"A well communicated schwerpunkt allows multiple leaders to independently and simultaneously adapt strategy to changing situations, immediately coordinated by a common schwerpunkt - without senior leadership getting in the way."

-strategicscience.org