Strategic Communications Academy applications due Dec. 15

Have you ever felt like you’re just not reaching people with your message? How can you communicate your expertise in ways that stick with your audience? How can you shake people out of complacency and get them excited about your big goal or idea? In an age of distraction in which people’s attention is a scarce resource, how can you deeply engage others to form meaningful partnerships and increase your effectiveness?

The Strategic Communications Academy for UF Leaders & Scholars aims to answer these questions and many more. A partnership between the UF College of Journalism and Communications and UF Training & Organizational Development, this unique professional development program offers an opportunity to elevate your strategic thinking, communication skills and professional impact.

Designed for faculty and staff in leadership positions or for thought leaders in their fields of study, the eight-month program helps participants improve their professional performance by using evidence-based communications strategies rooted in psychology, sociology, neuroscience, political science and communications science. Participants will learn to:

  • Build and manage relationships with the individuals and organizations crucial to helping them achieve their goals
  • Hone storytelling skills to inspire support for a department’s mission and vision
  • Develop a strategic communications framework
  • Write with confidence, clarity and charisma
  • Create memorable and compelling presentations worthy of the TED stage
  • Facilitate high-stakes meetings with “influentials” such as high-level administrators, policy makers and funders
  • Interact with the news media to build credibility and call people to action
  • Think quickly in challenging communication scenarios
  • Leverage social media to develop a meaningful digital network
  • Use design thinking and systems thinking to create meaningful calls to action

“The SCA has given me new ideas on how to communicate my program of research to colleagues within and outside UF,” said Toni Glover, assistant professor in the College of Nursing and a participant in the 2017 program.

“Effective communication is a highly learnable skill, and it’s extraordinary to watch people grow in every aspect of their careers once they become effective communicators,” said Ann Christiano, a professor in the College of Journalism and Communications who also serves as the program’s lead instructor. “As a university, our star will continue to rise as our faculty and leaders become even more effective advocates for their work.”

The 2018 program will meet once a month (March through November 2018) for engaging learning activities, coaching sessions with UF communications experts and professional networking. Participants who successfully complete the series will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Applicants must be UF faculty members or exempt staff members with at least two years in a management/leadership or decision-making role at the University of Florida or have a record of thought leadership in a given field. The two years of experience criterion is waived for employees at the assistant director level and above as well as faculty. The fee to participate is $1,590, which includes all materials, facilitation fees and meals.

To learn more, please visit the program website to complete the online application form, due Friday, Dec. 15.