Every idea, fact or opinion is static until communicated and understood. In today’s information driven society it has been acknowledged time and again that communication is as important as food, clothing and shelter. In this chapter we are looking at communication as it is related to organisations and business establishments. The effective parts of corporate communication are very important to understand.
Corporate communication is considered as an important tool of management which has evolved over the years. It is described as the set of activities involved in ‘managing and orchestrating all internal and external communications’ which are designed to create favourable starting points. Corporate communication is based on giving out of information by a variety of specialists and generalists in an organisation. It is concerned with people, organisational processes, activities and media.
A major variable for the success of any organisation is the perception of the public. What the general public, competitors, employees “perceive” about the organisation is what defines its respectability, its position and ultimately its success. The primary objective of corporate communication is to establish a perception (true or otherwise) in the eyes of all its stakeholders. That is the significance of corporate communication; ‘controlling how the world sees you’. For example, in a crisis, regardless of what actually happened, it is the public’s and employees’ understanding of the crisis and how it was tackled that will define their reaction to the organisation. If a company does not present itself as quiet, dignified and peaceful, and projects aggressive behaviour it will be questioned by the stakeholders.
The company’s fortune is influenced by the public’s assessment of whether aggressive behaviour was necessary or not. The significance of the corporate communication team is to understand how the stakeholders will react to such behaviour. They have to ensure through press releases, newsletters, ads and other modes of communication so that public gets only that information which the organisation wants them to have.
Functions of Corporate Communication
Corporate communication builds a healthy organisational environment. In an organisation information is to be disseminated by specialists and generalists to a variety of people besides sharing information with employees, stockholders, media and customers. Corporate communication creates and maintains the brand and looks after the organisation’s reputation. It projects the company’s brand within and beyond the organisation.
Thus, the process of corporate communication ensures a liaison between an organisation and outside bodies. Nowadays it is used as a public relations tool to project a positive corporate image, to build strong relationships with stockholders, to inform the public about new products and achievements. A smooth and affirmative relationship with all stakeholders helps in maintaining and sustaining a positive corporate image. The effective parts of corporate communication are visible in this content.
Be it a corporate body, company, organisation, institution, nongovernmental organisation or a governmental body—all of them need to have a respectable image and reputation. Increasing competition, accessibility of information and the media explosion have made ‘reputation management’ a priority for most organisations.
It takes place between and among the employer and employees of an organisation. It is considered a vital tool for binding an organisation, enhancing employee morale, promoting transparency and reducing slow destruction. The root cause of most internal problems faced by a company is ineffective communication. Internal communication flows in different directions — vertical, horizontal, diagonal, across the organisational structure. Internal communication may be formal or informal. It helps in discharge of managerial functions like planning, direction, coordination, motivation etc. The broad policies and objectives flow downward from top management to lower level. Both written and oral or verbal media can be used to transmit messages. Written media consists of instructions, orders, letters, memos, house journals, posters, bulletins boards, information racks, handbooks, manuals, activity reports.
It takes place between members of an organisation and the outside world. External communication is also very important as it enhances and enables significant functions of creating positive image, brand preservation and maintaining public relations. In a global society, external communication helps in marketing as well. External communication is concerning transmission of messages, desirable information outside the organisation with Government, its departments, customers, dealers, inter-corporate bodies, general public etc. External communication promotes goodwill with the public. Certain facts and information must be shared and exchanged with outsiders. Both written and verbal media can be used. Written media consists of letters, memos, in-house magazines, posters, bulletins, annual reports and so on.
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