The 411

November 22-23, 2017
8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

CEC Training Facility
1900 Merivale Road, Suite 206
Ottawa, ON K2G 4N4

$1350 (+hst)
Discounts available.


Meet the Instructor

David Kardish

David Kardish

David Kardish, APR, has over thirty years of experience working in all aspects of planning and communications in Canada and the United Kingdom. He has consulted to federal government departments, non-governmental organizations and private sector companies. Mr. Kardish has worked as a strategic planner, communications practitioner, evaluator, lobbyist, social marketer, and is a skilled adult educator, trainer and facilitator.

read bio


"A great balance between theory and practical exercises"

"I have a new understanding and appreciation for the complexity of this topic"

"The instructors did not just read the slides/materials, they spoke about the content with hands on examples"


2-day version


In a complex communications environment, communicators must not simply respond to pressures and events but respond coherently in ways that support and further their organization's mission, goals, policies and programs. More and more communicators are required to be strategic, to take a wide view, to think holistically and long-term, and to focus on results achieved for resources expended. Understanding the process and techniques of strategic communications planning is an essential element in being an effective communicator.




Agenda Day 1
8:45 - 9:45 Introductions and Workshop Overview
Introductions, outline of the workshop agenda and participant learning expectations
- Participants will engage in a warm-up discussion on the concepts associated with strategic thinking
9:45 - 10:15 Strategic Communications Process Demystified
- Participants will discuss several organizational strategic communications planning templates and processes
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 11:30 Building the Strategy: Drivers and Situational Analysis
-Participants will discuss the first elements of the strategic planning process including:

- Identifying the strategic drivers; and
- Crafting the situational analysis – developing the information base; researching and analyzing the environment; identifying critical communications issues; and defining challenges and opportunities
11:30 - 12:15 Case Study Exercise: Developing the First Elements of the Strategy
- Participants working in small groups will develop the first elements of a strategic communications plan, including the situational analysis, critical communications issues, challenges and opportunities
- Participants will report back on their discussions through instructor-led feedback and discussion
12:15 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 14:00 Building the Strategy: The Logic Model and Performance Indicators
Participants will learn the basics of results-based communications planning and learn how to establish final, intermediate and immediate outcomes (long-, medium-, and short-term outcomes) for a communications strategy
- Participants will also learn how to create cost-effective performance indicators
14:00 - 14:45 Building the Strategy: Stakeholders and Target Audiences
- Participants will learn proven techniques to identify and segment key stakeholders and target audiences
- Participants will also discuss the necessity of identifying supporters and detractors
14:45 - 15:00 Break
15:00 - 15:30 Building the Strategy: Strategic Approach
- Participants will learn how to create and assess the specific strategic approaches or designated strategies that will be required to achieve the expected outcomes established for a specific strategy
15:30 - 16:15 Case Study Exercise: Developing the Other Elements of the Strategy
- Participants working in small groups will continue to develop the strategic plan, including the logic model and designated strategic approaches and will report back on their findings
16:15 - 16:30 Close and Evaluation of Day One
- Participants will use a “three-word” evaluation process to discuss the outcomes of Day One

Agenda Day 2
8:45- 9:00 Lessons Learned from Day One
- Participants will identify and discuss the lessons learned from the previous day
9:00 - 10:15 Building the Strategy: Positioning, Messaging and Branding
Participants will learn how to develop a positioning statement and create easy to understand messages using a messaging system
- Participants will discuss and learn about the concept of branding

Mini-Exercise Session
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 11:15 Building the Strategy: Distribution, Resources, Risk and Action Plan
- Participants will learn how to develop an outcomes-based action plan and the importance of developing communications actions and products that meet the needs of specific target audiences and stakeholders
11:15 - 12:00 Case Study Exercise: Developing Other Elements of the Strategy
- Participants working in groups will develop additional elements of the strategic plan including a positioning statement, communications themes and messages for specific target audiences and will report back on their results
12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 - 13:45 Building the Strategy: Performance Measurement
- Participants will learn how develop monitoring and evaluation mechanisms designed to measure the results/outcomes identified in a communications strategy
13:45 - 14:00 Break
14:00 - 15:00 Crisis Communications Planning: A Practical Approach
Participants will learn what constitutes a crisis and how to successfully plan for a crisis
- Participants will learn how to manage a crisis from a communications perspective, including working with the media and dealing with a crisis on the Internet
15:00 - 15:45 Case Study Exercise
- Participants will complete the case study: small groups will develop an action plan to implement the strategy and a performance measurement strategy and will report back on their results
15:45 - 16:00

Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluation
Participants will complete a short evaluation