The Premier Development Program For Communication Professionals

For nearly 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 participation limited to 30 participants 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.


The 2020 Strategic Communication Academy Seminar Series will feature nine uniquely-crafted sessions led by CRA Partners and Managing Directors with a minimum of ten years of advisory experience in Fortune 50 organizations. Session leaders will share their expertise and facilitate dialogue including other CRA staff and clients who lend texture. The agenda spans one and one-half days, with the content intentionally limited to six discussions. The goal is to engage a smaller number of more meaningful issues with great depth. Two senior-level seminars will be hosted in Tampa, Florida. The remaining seminars are open to all communications professionals and will be hosted at our headquarters in the Philadelphia suburb of Radnor, Pennsylvania.


The investment to attend a seminar in Radnor which includes all materials, pre-readings, notebooks, lunches, and dinner is $2,500 per participant. The investment for the two senior seminars held in Tampa will be $3,500 per participant. Attendees are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and any additional meals. For additional information or to enroll, please contact Program Manager, Hannah Cassidy at (610) 644-5597 or You may also download the 2020 Seminar Series brochure here.

The 2020 Seminar Series

Advisory Relationships for Senior Leaders

Thursday, February 20 to Friday, February 21

One of the most crucial, fulfilling, and at times, difficult roles a senior advisory professional can play is that of a 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 a senior seminar hosted in Tampa, Florida.

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Communication Agility & Editorial Air Traffic Control

Thursday, March 26 to Friday, March 27

Most organizations are sophisticated, fluid environments, and to succeed within them, communication professionals must be both disciplined and flexible. This seminar covers how to bring agility to work flow and relationships, including strong situational awareness, intelligent editorial screens and service levels, and time management that balances planned and unplanned work.

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Managing Stakeholders & Winning Internal Elections

Thursday, April 23 to Friday, April 24

All organizations are political, and thirty years of experience tells us that the effects of individual influencers can overwhelm even the most strategic and thoughtful of communication plans. This seminar covers the research on opinion leaders and influencers, and offers a practical process by which professionals can leverage the stakeholder network as a tool of organizational influence.

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Communicating During Times of Change

Thursday, May 14 to Friday, May 15

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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Developing Communication Strategy

Thursday, July 9 to Friday, July 10

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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The Art of Framing and Message Design

Thursday, September 3 to Friday, September 4

“Framing” has become a common term within the professional sphere, yet few know what it actually means, and even fewer understand how to use framing in a strategic way. This seminar covers different elements of framing in depth, and provides guidance on how to use framing and other rhetorical tools to design messages of effect.

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CRA’s Approach to Measurement and Feedback

Tuesday, October 13 to Wednesday, October 14

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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Building Advisory Relationships

Thursday, November 5 to Friday, November 6

The past 20 years have brought a change in 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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Leading Teams and Developing Talent

Tuesday, November 17 to Wednesday, November 18

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 is a senior seminar hosted in Tampa, Florida.

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