Strategic communication is a much broader term that provides details regarding the activities corresponding to the genres of public relations, communication concerning management areas, as well as advertising. In plain words, any business follow, plan, sketch and incorporate strategies so as to communicate their agenda and set objectives towards their stakeholders and the larger society. Furthermore, strategic communication is also looked upon as a sub head of the communication subject. Nonetheless, with the help of strategic communication any business association look forward to explore their limitations, strengths and its capacity. However, effective strategic communication of any firm is always seen to keep alignment with the firm’s objectives, vision and mission 
However with the effective strategies concerning communication, the firm strives to maintain its competitiveness thereby boosting its strategic positioning in the market. It is further emphasized that the strategic communication must possess certain characteristics such as clarity, preciseness, truth, consistency and must be focused towards the goal. Certain regulatory imperatives must be followed like the honest disclosure of the message towards all the stakeholders. For instance, if a company communicate different messages towards its consumers and other suppliers then honesty and transparency are missing in the communication thereby making the strategic communication of the respective company ineffective and diluted. Hence, all these aspects do handover a basic idea regarding strategic communication. The case that will be used in this essay is “Desalination and drought proofing Melbourne”.
The best idea about the campaign is the necessary step thought for and taken to meet up with the needs of the growing numbers of citizens and combat the drought problem through desalination process. Rather than focusing on how to bring down the usage of water to a considerable amount, the Australian government comprehended well about the psychological and the societal problems relating to drought and thus thought it to be crucial to take the necessary steps towards desalination. Moreover the policy makers of the Australian government emphasized on the aspect of taking pre-emptive action to fight against drought and such natural calamities irrespective of the high cost. Further the policymakers also put emphasis on the situations that if the desalination plant is being constructed then it will certainly exempt the consumers from paying heavy water bills to the government. Moreover, while viewed through the lens of strategic communication, it is observed that the Australian government maintained that level of clarity, honesty, preciseness and alignment in transmitting and communicating its messages to various stakeholders.
As there are best ideas about the desalination campaign of Melbourne, there are worst ideas too about it. The first and foremost negative aspect that has been derived out of the project is its very high cost in setting up of the plant. The next negative point that has been illustrated is that it is damaging to the bio diversity of the planet. Another notable negative point to be cited is that instead of taking precautions and formulating strategies to combat with drought problems, the government directly thought of opening a new desalination plant which is too expensive. It might be put in this way that the remarkable drought that took place during 2006 has certainly been successful in planting fear in the hearts of the policymakers and the Australian government. However, another issue that is of much concern is that the growing number of population in Australia might not actually support the whole desalination project due to the ever rising demand of water supply that is psychological and partly societal. Therefore, there must have been strategies to confront with the rising water demand in order to bring it down.
Another instance that might be taken onto account is that once the desalination project was constructed, there was plenty of rainfall in the following years in Australia which indicated that the construction was not relevant as it involved lots of money to frame the project. Again on the contrary, the Australian government could have used effective strategic communication through advertising to bring down the growing water level usage which seems to not have been done and thus stands out as another negative aspect of the campaign. There was no such sort of risk management involved concerning the desalination project or even no such precautionary approaches were taken. The only way that it can be viewed is a desalination project made as an answer to precautionary approaches and risk management. It can also be viewed in the light that asking the Melburnians to reduce the water usage level seemed tough and difficult situation for the country’s government rather than building the desalination project which shows the short-sightedness and hasty decisions made by the government. This instance can be better comprehended while quoting the line “decisions made in the timeframe of the electoral cycle do not sit well in the context of a long-run, sustainable approach to water management”.
There are certain points that go along as positive aspects relating to the central approach of the campaign while there are more points to be considered that do not get along with the central approach. As earlier in the answer noticed that the Australian government never communicated strategically with the Melburnians regarding reducing water usage level or never tried to create any sort of awareness regarding the real problems faced by the government such as the natural calamity, growing population, growing need of water usage, water scarcity problems due to the occurrence of climatic change in the global weather and others. All these aspects rather gave the impression that the government has not been effectively communicating with the citizens thereby keeping them on the dark. However, without mitigating effectively the water problems, the Australian state government of Melbourne went into constructing the desalination project. Nonetheless, I do agree with the central approach of the campaign. The best part of the project is that it is a big help in providing drinking water to the parts of Australia whenever required and is not dependent upon the rainfall as well as open water storages.
Further it is observed that the plant possess the potential in supplying 450 000 m3 water that is drinkable on a daily basis. Truly it can be counted as one of the successful projects of Australia thereby setting an example for other nations that how desalination plants with the help of technology help in water problems. Further the way, this plant has been set up is notable and praiseworthy though there are persons that criticize regarding the enormous amount of money that had gone in constructing this plant. As far as the design, framework and the development of the project are concerned; the government has shown its skill and has implemented latest and updated technologies for it. Furthermore, this is not only the biggest desalination project in Australia but has been considered as one of the biggest desalination project all over the globe. Though earlier in this essay, the Australian state government has been criticized for not strategically communicating with the general citizens but still where the framing of the project is concerned, it has attained effective strategic communication with its partners like Degremont and Thiess who were contracted through Aquasure consortium in financing, constructing, operating as well as maintaining the plant for a period of 30 years. The plant has been every effectively broken down into six departments such as the administrative and utility department, sea water lift pumping station (SWLPS), pre-treatment, desalination process, potabilisation line and the transfer pump station respectively.
The administrative and utilities complex comprises the staff pertaining to operation and maintenance cell and is considered as the project’s heart. Furthermore, this cell also comprises a research and development laboratory which supervises the overall quality as well as optimization. The SWLPS section of the plant helps in moving the sea water towards desalination line from the subterranean tunnels. Pre-treatment procedure is considered to be very crucial as it maximises the reverse osmosis process and is comprised of innumerable filtering utilities that separate the sea water from small and large particles. The next process which is the desalination process incorporates membrane technology through which pure water is derived. Through potabilisation line the pure water is transformed into drinking water through the addition of certain minerals. The last is the water transfer pump station through which the drinkable water is passed to various other reservoirs and water supply stations. The above processes certainly display the efficiency of the project backed by dedicated effort and flawless strategies.
The lessons that I have learnt from the campaign is that it depends a lot on effective strategic communication which can work wonders in any sort of businesses. Nonetheless, the strategies if effectively communicated possess the power to materialise the vision and the objectives set. Similar is the scenario of the Victorian government, which visualized for a desalination plant and thus was able to form one that is not only the country’s largest desalination plant but is also acknowledged as one of the largest desalination plants globally. From the campaign, a lot can be comprehended regarding the kind of communications, negotiations and differing opinions and arguments that the government has to go through while bringing up this project. However, it is certainly with the aid of its strategic communication with the project partners that the plant is considered to be a success. Another lesson learnt through this campaign is that whenever demand arrives, one must know how to act through crisis period. The government instead of settling for alternatives went to take an action. There were alternatives present like mitigating the increase in water usage problems, strategizing for more water bills, rain water storing and treatment options and others. However, the government never compromised or settled for these options irrespective of the very high budget of the desalination project. Therefore, this is also another lesson that could be learnt from this campaign.
Strategic communication is an important ingredient that can be used for fundraising activities. Especially the Australian state government’s idea of fundraising thereby entering into the contracts with Degremont and Thiess through the incorporation of Aquasure consortium is some effective strategic communication attained by the government and also sets an example to other businesses. Therefore I have also learnt the implications of strategic communication in fundraising activities. Another point that could be learnt from the campaign is that irrespective of the enormous size and shape of the plant that involves thousands and thousands of lives, all the departments are aligned with each other and thus helps in smooth functioning of the project. Therefore this is another aspect that could be learnt and is possible through effective formulation of strategic communication.
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