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The Whyalla city council adequately realized the importance of community involvement in their project to rebuild a new jetty at the Whyalla Foreshore. While it would have been faster or more efficient to simply allocate work and resources to the building of a random jetty for the community, their approach involving the community culminated in a series of accolades for the design and infrastructure and a communal appraisal for a job well done (“Iconic” jetty proves excellence, 2022). The importance of strategic communication across the public is highlighted as the hallmark of success in public works (Sandhu, 2009). By implementing the use of online questionnaires and other methods of contributing to the opinions of the community, the Whyalla City council achieved inspirational ideas that culminated in an overall successful project (Community comes out to give views on jetty, 2017). The Whyalla Foreshore has become a major tourist location and the pride of the community around it (“Iconic” jetty proves excellence, 2022). In this paper we shall asses the various criteria necessary for an appraisal of strategic communication initiatives that may be imperative in the success of any project; more so one that involves the public.

Criteria for Appraising a Strategic Communication Initiative

Criteria (think about ‘what makes a strategic communication initiative good?’What’s your justification for this?
Structure – divulging necessary information where required is essential to the success of the project; in tandem with set rules and regulations.Government regulatory practices are essential to the commitment of stakeholders to the project (Argenti, and Robert, 2005)Organizations are often inclined to conduct briefings and regular conference calls to ensure that the messages being perpetuated are accurate and that systems are running as they should – as per the framework of strategic communication (Argenti, and Robert, 2005).Transparency of the organization has shown to garner greater and better results as compared to the initial underhanding of information (Hallahan et. al. 2007).
Purpose, vision, mission – this variation usually employs a macro perspective and analyses how political and economic decision-making is affected by institutional arrangements.Organizational and communal history plays a major role in asserting the intricate aspects of a project or strategy (Sandhu, 2009).The political bearing of any actions may trigger certain responses to ongoing projects and thereby instigate the use of present powers to ensure the achievement of set goals (Sandhu, 2009).The reflective paradigm of political and historical institutionalism begs a stronger methodological rigour in the historical research of strategic communication management (Sandhu, 2009).
Performance – immediate action after communication is essential and so is the subsequent practice of such activities to assert confidence.The execution of deliberated strategies after any communication is instrumental to the success of the project (Argenti, and Robert, 2005).While single action may bring results, repeatability and confidence in the sustenance of this communication strategy realize faster and better results (Argenti, and Robert, 2005).Continuity is a major way through which action and practice come into play (Argenti, and Robert, 2005).
Reputation – a feedback loop amidst the communication loop helps in maintaining organization and the acquisition of new ideas and opinions on the progress of any project creating a good reputation.Once information is relayed, it is essential to ensure that there is feedback (Halloran, 2007).A feedback loop in the communication process helps in the communication of more details and ensures that the knowledge conveyed is understood (Halloran, 2007).Correspondence in the communication loop ensures that all stakeholders are at par with all decisions made as well as helps to keep every person in check and on schedule (Halloran, 2007).
Public Relations (Community and Stakeholder involvement) – all parties privy to the nature of the project may be in a position to offer greater insight into the applicable products and processes for actualization.Community members are in a position to contribute their resources to the success of the project as was seen in the offer by GFG (a local steel supplier) to donate $300k worth of steel (Whyalla Jetty, 2020).Unity of purpose as illustrated in the Whyalla Jetty project realized interest in the Federal government that contributed $1 million to the project (Whyalla Jetty, 2020).The final product of community and stakeholder involvement was an aesthetically pleasing jetty and outstanding recognition locally and beyond making it a favourite tourist destination (Whyalla Jetty, 2020).

Critical Analysis

As reiterated above the regulatory imperatives of a good communication strategy should involve the transparency of all aspects of the organization (Halloran, 2007). In our given case study, Whyalla City Council was wise to incorporate the aspect of public involvement in the Whyalla Foreshore Jetty project. This move had to incorporate the use of online feedback acquisition systems to get public opinions. It was realized that the community was thoroughly invested in the rebuilding of their jetty. There were 184 responses to the online survey conducted with many more having inputs through public consultation (Whyalla Jetty, 2020). Other stakeholders like the federal government and private firms like the GFG – a local steel supplier – were involved in the Whyalla Jetty project. Based on (Smith, 2020), organisational analysis and public relations audit the Whyalla City Council implemented an efficient communication strategy.

As per Smith’s audit, the political and historical standing of the Whyalla Foreshore Jetty project, performance, ethics and niche played an important role. The Whyalla City Council acknowledges the Barngarla people as the Traditional Custodians of the land the city is built (Whyalla Jetty, 2020). While decision-making seemed flawless all through the project, it was a culmination of the intrinsic understanding by all parties involved that the jetty was a common project of interest.

Action and practice play a major role in the execution of any set plans. The visibility of the stakeholder and reputation to the community of Whyalla was essential in ensuring success (Smith 2020). Continuity in execution brings about the confidence of execution and a progressive trajectory to the completion of the project. Team spirit was also an essential aspect of success.

Continuity in feedback all through the Whyalla Jetty project was implied through the online survey sent out. While the city council may have already had ideas and qualified professionals for the job, they chose to involve the public to get feedback (Whyalla Jetty, 2020). This move realized greater public participation in government activities and created an environment of productivity and social involvement and appreciation of government.

Community and stakeholder involvement was of foremost importance to the Whyalla Jetty project. It was the hallmark of unprecedented future successes with the Whyalla Jetty project being the first of many. The external recognition and resulting awards garnered from the infrastructural project became a basis for benchmarking. Other cities now had a good example of government-community involvement and how to actively involve all stakeholders in the realization of success through development (Smith 2020).


Based on all the arguments levelled in this discussion I would recommend that similar action through communication strategy and planning be conducted for the success of future projects. Similar governments and organisations may borrow from the precepts implemented to realize the Whyalla Foreshore Jetty project. Smith’s public relations audit encourages organizations to maintain a good reputation internally as well as externally. The better the internal relations among stakeholders the better an organisation has a chance to stay ahead of its competition. While similar or different projects may offer diversity in situations and stakeholders, the aspects of proper strategic communication ought to be a constant and significant factor for consideration. It has been recommended that the most enduring companies are those that target a long time, have a strong set of values and are proactive in place of reactive in communicating. Just as agencies have lengthy-time period advertising and budgeting plans for the enterprise as an entire, they also need to have a master communique method (Argenti, and Robert, 2005). For many, however, this is a hard challenge.

The strategic communication exchange also includes analysing how an agency provides itself in society as a social actor in the advent of public subculture and inside the dialogue of public problems (Halloran, 2007). Research can be informed by searching past the bounds of conventional communications disciplines to include such diverse activities as public diplomacy, mental operations by way of the military, and social advertising. Studying strategic communication as social technological know-how and the humanistic domain is reflective of real modifications in society and its organizing concepts. With the proliferation of media and the cacophony of messages they generate, it has grown to be more and more important for social actors and organizations to be deliberate and considerate in their communique to be heard.


Argenti, P.A. and Robert, A., 2005. The strategic communication imperative.

Hallahan, K., Holtzhausen, D., Van Ruler, B., Verčič, D. and Sriramesh, K., 2007. Defining strategic communication. International journal of strategic communication1(1), pp.3-35.

Halloran, R., 2007. Strategic communication. The US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters37(3), p.18.

Sandhu, S., 2009. Strategic communication: An institutional perspective. International Journal of Strategic Communication3(2), pp.72-92.

Whyalla City Council. 2017. Community comes out to give views on jetty. [online] Available at: <https://www.whyalla.sa.gov.au/our-city/news-and-events/latest-news/council-commits-to-development-of-new-jetty> [Accessed 25 August 2022].

Whyalla City Council. 2017. Council commits to development of new jetty. [online] Available at: <https://www.whyalla.sa.gov.au/our-city/news-and-events/latest-news/council-commits-to-development-of-new-jetty> [Accessed 25 August 2022].

Whyalla City Council. 2020. Whyalla Jetty. [online] Available at: <https://www.whyalla.sa.gov.au/our-city/news-and-events/latest-news/council-commits-to-development-of-new-jetty> [Accessed 25 August 2022].

Whyalla City Council. 2022. “Iconic” jetty proves excellence | Whyalla News | Whyalla, SA. [online] Available at: <https://www.whyalla.sa.gov.au/our-city/news-and-events/latest-news/council-commits-to-development-of-new-jetty> [Accessed 25 August 2022].


Figure 1: The framework for strategic communication
Source: (Argenti, and Robert, 2005).
Figure 2:Whyalla Jetty Project
Source: (Whyalla Jetty, 2020).
Figure 3: Whyalla Jetty Project
Source: (Whyalla Jetty, 2020).

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