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Strategic Communication Workshop (SCW)

The Course

The Strategic Communication Workshop (SCW) is a hands-on, results-oriented workshop that assists commands in the development and implementation of strategic communication plans and processes. Teams should bring their command's strategic plan and/or a command initiative that might benefit from a communication component. Naval Postgraduate School faculty use the latest research and lessons learned from industry and DoD to generate discussion. Each team is assigned a professional facilitator who will serve as a guide and provide feedback. Teams will be asked to conduct in-depth stakeholder analyses, assess communication risk as it relates to your organization's goals, and develop communication metrics to track desired effects. Take-aways include an analysis of your command's communication capabilities and a roadmap for strengthening communication as it relates to the successful achievement of your organization's strategic initiatives.

Questions To Be Addressed During The Workshop

  • What strategic analysis is supporting your communication tactics?
  • Who are your key stakeholders and how do they impact the achievement of your goals?
  • What messages are your actions conveying, both inside and outside your organization?
  • How does communication provide the linkage between day-to-day activities and commander's priorities?
  • Are you maximizing your strategic effects with associated communication processes?

Program Manager

Dr. Gail Thomas

Gail Fann Thomas received an EdD in Business Education from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. In 1989 she joined the faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School where she teaches graduate courses in communication, high-performing teams, and inter-agency collaboration.

In 2005 Gail became Program Manager for Strategic Communication in NPS’s Center for Executive Education (CEE). To date, she and her colleagues from University of Southern California’s Annenberg School have assisted more than 300 teams in the development of their strategic communication capabilities. Workshop participants come from the US Navy as well as US Combatant Commands. Gail also conducts executive communication coaching for US Navy senior officers going to major commands. Read full bio...

The Faculty

Academics experts from the faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School are joined by senior Navy leaders in presenting strategies, principles, and tactics for developing and implementing an effective strategic communication planning process. Classroom presentations are highly interactive and encouraged the sharing of experiences among participants.

The Location

The SCW is conducted in the spaces of the Center for Executive Education on the campus of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California or in designated Fleet concentration locations, as designated on our main webpage. If at NPS, lodging is available on-base at the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites in historic Herrmann Hall.

Who Should Attend?

Suggested workshop attendees are teams of 3-5 key organizational members led by a Flag Officer, SES, or O-6. Commands should send a diverse group -- seniority, functional areas, and others who are familiar with the initiative (e.g. Planners, IO, PAO, HR, IT, Policy, and/or Operations).

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Quotas are managed by the NPS CEE Registrar:


SCW Course Testimonials

SCW Course Testimonials

"Two years ago, Navy missions faced serious criticism and opposition in our region. The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Executive Education sent a team to the Navy's third-largest fleet concentration area to facilitate a Strategic Communication Workshop (SCW) to help us address a confluence of mission projects, issues and challenges. The workshop drew Flag, SES and other project leaders from Navy headquarters, the fleets, region and other commands, who worked through the project* with sage SCW facilitators. Two years after that pivotal effort, the results are clear. Our concerted communication efforts aligned leadership messaging and actions, shifted the public narrative by reducing misinformation and public concern, and measurably improved Navy credibility. When leaders need it most, the NPS SCW team can energize powerful, game-changing communication capabilities."

Sean Hughes, Director of Public Affairs, Navy Region Northwest


*The project mentioned, "The Northwest Navy Confluence," was winner of the Navy's 2017 Thompson-Ravitz Awards in "Community Outreach" and as overall "Best in Show" for communication and public affairs programs.