Corporate communication comprises communicating with stakeholders such as customers, employees, suppliers, investors and media to give a better perception of a company. Despite its criticality, corporate communication often takes a back seat in company strategies.
Fierce marketing, innovation and an enormous customer bank are no longer the only criteria for companies to sustain and flourish. Rather, it’s all about how your company is perceived and the reputation it carries.
“Don`t communicate to be understood; rather, communicate so as not to be misunderstood.” Lectured in 27 foreign countries in the fields of interpersonal communication and on world religions, Dr. John puts it quite tactfully.
Plus, it’s not only about external customers. Corporate communication also bridges the gap between employees and management, ensuring the company progresses in the right direction.
Human error is unavoidable. So, it comes down to how well companies can pick up the pieces, put themselves back together plus ascertain it won’t happen again. Only that it might – so companies need to be well prepared before disaster strikes.
Read on to better understand why corporate communication is important and how to make it more effective for your organization.
The voice of your organization
According to Karen S. Johnson, a marketing professional with more than 30 years’ experience, corporate communication is the voice of your organization. The objective of building, maintaining and protecting the company’s name is actually the primary task of corporate communication practitioners.
It is about how your company is perceived and the reputation it carries. This includes communication and relationship with the media, government agencies and charity organizations. David Moyer is the president of the executive search firm Moyer, Sherwood Associates, Inc. Moyer suggests companies should invest in communication officers long-term. This can be done by giving communications chiefs the titles, access, resources and any other assistance to be effective companywide.
From management to employees
A key ingredient of effective corporate communications is accurate and consistent communication with employees and management. This could be from formal means of communication such as handbooks, company newsletters to informal ones such as personal conversations.
According to the authors of the Korn Ferry survey, the best corporate affairs officers shoulder a wide scope of responsibilities and act as high-level strategic advisers to CEOs. Communication with employees is equally crucial. According to Dorie Clark, author and adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, “Let employees be ambassadors”.
She further recommends equipping employees with information about the company’s vision, goals, its practices and allowing them to spread that positive message online.
In times of crises
What about that time KitchenAid and Kenneth Cole represented themselves as highly insensitive brands by using tragedies for promotions? That really didn’t turn out pretty.
Such incidents show how businesses can fall off the track causing potential damage to their reputation and the likelihood of customer loss – or even employee loss.
These companies had to face embarrassing reactions from customers and although apologies were aired soon enough, a little damage goes a long way. Incidents like these happening over and over again only reinforce the already proven importance of corporate communication.
Which brings in the next important dimension: to sense potential times of crises and layout corrective communication plans.
In times of uncertainty and chaos, employees and management need to be efficiently communicated with to boost morale, regain focus and face difficult situations. These situations can include product failures, employee injuries, a layoff or substantiating floating rumors.
That sums up our take on corporate communication. Share your thoughts with us on this in the comments below.