The Premier Development Program For Communication Professionals

For over 10 years, CRA has led the Strategic Communication Academy at Sundance, the world’s leading developmental opportunity for communication leaders and professionals. Outside of our week-long Academy, clients often ask for additional opportunities to further develop themselves or new team members, and to dive deeper into specific topics. This led to the creation of our spotlight series: the Strategic Communication Academy Seminars.

Designed to provide deep understanding and cultivate proficiency, each seminar focuses on a single topic related to strategic communication and its practice in organizations. The content is both intensive and practical, delivered across a combination of provocative readings, group discussion, and counsel from CRA professionals with a wealth of real-world advisory experience. With a limited number of participants in each session and an intensive program schedule, CRA’s Strategic Communication Seminars are an ideal developmental opportunity for any professional seeking to build substantive skills and cultivate meaningful relationships in a brief period of time.

Structure

The 2021 Strategic Communication Academy Seminar Series will feature eleven uniquely-crafted sessions led by CRA Partners and Managing Directors with advisory experience in Fortune 50 organizations. Session leaders will share their expertise and facilitate dialogue including other CRA staff and clients who lend texture. They also custom design the agenda and timing for each seminar, and you can find those details by navigating to a specific seminar on the left-side menu. The goal is to engage a smaller number of more meaningful issues with great depth. While our seminars are typically hosted at our headquarters in the Philadelphia suburb of Radnor, Pennsylvania, the series will remain virtual via Zoom until health and travel concerns related to COVID-19 have subsided.

Investment

The investment to attend a seminar which includes all materials, pre-readings, and notebooks is $2,500 per participant. The investment for senior seminars is $3,500 per participant. For additional information or to enroll, please contact our Event Coordinator at (610) 644-5597 or events@crainc.com. You may also download the 2021 Seminar Series brochure here.

The 2021 Seminar Series

Leading Virtual Teams

Wednesday, February 17 to Thursday, February 18

Our current virtual environment presents teams and organizations with unique opportunities and challenges. This seminar covers the key leadership skills necessary to drive performance, lead through uncertainty, sustain morale, and re-engage key stakeholders in a virtual environment. In addition to this seminar, participants will have the opportunity to engage in 1:1 coaching with session leaders.

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Senior Seminar on Advisory Relationships

Thursday, March 4 to Friday, March 5

One of the most crucial, fulfilling, and at times, difficult roles a senior advisory professional can play is that of counselor. This seminar considers the unique dynamics of giving advice to the most senior leaders, and offers practical counsel on how to establish senior advisory relationships of confidence, equality, fulfillment, and trust.

*This is seminar designed for senior leaders.

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Communication Agility

Wednesday, April 28 to Thursday, April 29

Most organizations are sophisticated, fluid environments, and to succeed within them, communication professionals must be effective in managing both planned and unplanned work that crosses their desks. This seminar covers how communication leaders can bring agility to work flow and relationships using CRA’s Air Traffic Control process, including strong situational awareness, intelligent editorial screens and service levels, and time management.

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Communicating During Times of Change

Thursday, May 13 to Friday, May 14

Research shows most change efforts fail to deliver promised results and ineffective communication almost always emerges as a root cause of failure. This seminar covers the frameworks, concepts, and tools communication professionals need to generate and sustain leadership commitment, craft a compelling change narrative, minimize surprises, and keep constituencies informed and committed along the way.

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Designing Compelling Messages & Narratives

Wednesday, June 16 to Thursday, June 17

Communicators and leaders increasingly use narratives to describe an overarching story that conveys change. Narratives are more than a story though, and can be used strategically to drive business outcomes. In this seminar, we cover different elements of narratives in depth, and provides guidance on how to use framing, language, and data to craft more compelling and resonant messages.

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CRA’s Approach to Measurement & Feedback

Tuesday, July 6 to Wednesday, July 7

Too often communication measurement is tied to click rates and other measures that do not truly demonstrate whether a function is influencing clarity, attitudes, or behavior. This seminar covers how communications functions can use measurement to provide actionable insights and reviews the basic measurement principles and methodologies communication professionals can use to drive an organization forward.

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Equipping Leaders to Communicate Strategy

Thursday, August 5 to Friday, August 6

Too often, employees absorb company strategies only in the abstract: ambitious and important on paper, but too distant to apply to their day-to-day work. This seminar identifies practical ways to tap into team energy and commitment, helping leaders make big-picture strategy relevant to every employee decision and action.

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Developing Communication Strategy

Thursday, September 23 to Friday, September 24

Somewhere between a desired organizational outcome and a detailed communication plan lies a cogent communication strategy: the critical communication choices that determine what the organization should and should not say, and how and when it should say it. This seminar covers CRA’s approach to communication strategy development, including how we scan a strategic environment and make the strategic choices of tone, message, medium, and approaches that inform the specific messaging and activity that will follow.

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Recruiting and On-boarding Communication Talent

Wednesday, October 20 to Thursday, October 21

Communication leaders are always thinking about how to attract, select, and retain talent to build the reputation of their team and help the organization accomplish its strategic goals. This seminar covers best practices for building a team—from determining how communication should function, who should fill which roles, how to assess talent, and how to set members up for success in the short and long term.

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Building Advisory Relationships

Wednesday, November 10 to Thursday, November 11

The past 20 years have brought a change in the role and expectations for communication professionals, shifting from tradespeople who practice a craft for the business to advisors who provide counsel to the business. This seminar covers the nature of the advisor relationship, and offers practical counsel on how to establish those of trust, partnership, and influence with senior clients.

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Senior Seminar on Communication Talent Selection & Development

Thursday, December 2 to Friday, December 3

As a communication professional becomes increasingly senior in their role, their professional responsibility shifts from delivering communication expertise to developing and leading others to do so. This seminar covers the essentials of cultivating loyalty with talented people, developing their potential, and forging them into exceptional teams.

*This seminar is designed for senior leaders.

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