STRATEGICOM: ESTABLISHING A UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATION STRUCTURE
A great number of Universities in Europe recognise that, in order to achieve its strategic aims, they must communicate highly effectively with their key audiences and stakeholders. To this end, an innovative Information Communications Technology infrastructure is fundamental to the successful delivery of the Communications Strategy. Moreover, effective communication is essential if the a University is to maintain and enhance its competitive position regionally, nationally and internationally, strengthen its external relationships and improve the culture of the organisation.
With this in mind, the Strategicom project, an EU-funded project under the TEMPUS programme, calls for the establishment of a structured university communication strategy throughout Algeria based on the research and identification of successful communications models in compliance with the Bologna Process that are then adapted and transferred to Algerian Universities. The Project benefits from the involvement and support of the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education, the coordination by Università degli Studi Gugliemo Marconi- Telematica, the EU partnership of UNED-Spain, JENA University -Germany, Université de Haute Alsace-France, and Agence Universitaire de Francophonie, and the Algerian partnership (6 universities) under the national coordination of Université de Tizi-Ouzou.
The needs assessment conducted during the first phase revealed that most universities in Algeria have roughly the same equipment and human potential as they all meet the same organizational and operational charts established by the Ministry of Higher Education. What can be added is that they all are in full "Communications Boom” " and the need for structural measures is felt, hence the idea to create a communication structure "STRATEGICOM" based on best practices identified in leading European universities.
Focusing on six key areas (Effective internal communication, External and internal publications , Web development, Media liaison , Stakeholder liaison and Branding enhancement and Intelligent CRM), the European project partners, as members of the Research Working Group, collected the trends and strategies in the European Universities through online questionnaires, interviews and desk research. The findings collected through these activities are shaping the design of a communications model for Algeria. In fact, distinct lessons were distilled from the Universities practices, while keeping in mind their transferability to Algerian universities and fall under the following categories: Corporate Communications: organizational structure, brand and reputation, and consistency; Internal Communications: among staff, students; and External Communications: prospective students and staff, press and media, Government Policy, Local Community, Alumni and Donors, and Employers and Industry.