Traditional paradigms of corporate and marketing communications are now being challenged in an increasingly complex global environment.

Monday 27 April–Friday 1 May 2020
1st Floor MBA Suite
Caroline Marchant


This course is no longer available. If you have any questions, please contact

Businesses today must adapt to increasingly knowledgeable and powerful stakeholders who expect immediate, 24/7, often personalised communication from organisations. Make sure you are one step ahead in identifying your corporate stakeholder relationships while understanding the importance of a clear vision and brand.

With lectures and supporting guest speaker sessions from senior managers in the public and private sectors, this award-winning course will give you useful theories, demonstrating how they can be used in corporate practice to help manage an effective stakeholder communications strategy, including practical tools to help cope with crisis situations. It will also show you that what you say and do can have a powerful and immediate effect on stakeholder perceptions.

Aims and Outcomes

This course will fill a significant gap in traditional management education by improving the understanding and strategic management of effective stakeholder communications. It will enable participants to:

  • Identify the complex web of corporate stakeholder relationships
  • Understand the importance of clear corporate vision and brand
  • Manage issues and respond to crisis situations
  • Understand the importance of clear, transparent, and consistent communications to establish and maintain reputation and trust
  • Devise processes to manage ongoing effective stakeholder communications
  • Consider strategic tools to assist in building strong stakeholder relationships, e.g. media management, corporate social responsibility, sponsorship, and more

Course Content

This is an intensive yet accessible course run over 6 full days, using a variety of teaching methods including lectures, interactive discussions, case study analysis, role play, and daily guest speakers.

Day Content Overview
Day 1
  • Course overview
  • Introduction to stakeholder theory, recognising multiple stakeholders, and the demands of a changing macro environment including technological changes
  • Case study work
Day 2 Guest Speaker: Alan Young, Corporate Communications Director, SSE
Guest Speaker: Stephen Moir, Corporate Communications Director, Green Investment Bank
  • The importance of clear direction and brand
  • The corporate communications process, with particular emphasis on the importance of employees and investors as stakeholders
Day 3 Guest Speaker: Christina Kelly, Corporate Communications Director, Clydesdale Bank
  • Strategic tools to help communicate the vision and brand:
    • New media
    • CSR
    • Cause related marketing
    • Media management
    • Planning and integration
Day 4 Guest Speaker: Christine Watts, Corporate Communications Director, Waitrose
  • Managing and reacting to issues:
    • The processes and importance of planning and recognising influencers
    • Role of NGOs
Days 5-6
  • Managing and responding to a crisis with Hazel Westwood
    • Best practice interview and case study analysis
    • Participant role play interviews to understand and improve responses to crises
  • Mock press conferences and group assignment activity

Assessment and Credits

Participants are required to attend every session throughout the week and to take part in all activities and submit all assessments. On successful completion, they will receive a certificate and 10 credits which can be used towards a University of Edinburgh MBA/EMBA programme.

There are two assignments for this course. The first is an individual written report auditing a company's current stakeholder communications and making recommendations for the future. The second assignment involves group work and is more practical. The group assignment will be worked on during the week of the course and involves being videoed and elements of role play for the purposes of the assessment only.

This is an intensive course with teaching based on a 09:00–17:00 working day however there will be group work, assignments and reading outside these hours. There will also be some pre-course reading and tasks to complete before the first session.

Course Fees

Course fees include all tuition and course materials, but excludes any textbooks that may be required. Catering and accommodation are not included.

There is a 20% discount for University of Edinburgh Alumni and Staff.

The deadline for applications is Monday 30 March 2020.


For entry requirements please see our EMBA entry requirements.

Please email us if you would like more information: