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Corporate Communications

Chris Hambly's picture
Submitted by Chris Hambly on 26 April 2010 - 4:02pm

Image is everything and perceptions can be crucial to the success or failure of a business. It goes beyond just keeping a company in the forefront. There must be a carefully crafted plan of what information flows within the company as well as what is delivered to the public at large. It provides the framework for a company’s overall appearance. Having a corporate communications plan can be equally important to the business plan and mission statement. It becomes an enhancement at the employee support level by establishing the company's culture. It provides a bible for interactions with government agencies, the media, and investors. It can define the company's standards for customer service and community involvement. It is also essential to crisis management.

As a company grows and broadens it's customer base a corporate communication plan should be developed as the company evaluates it's overall community value. It can be started by determining the most effective methods of communications. It is not simply turning it over to a public relations department but having a communications director (and/or VP) to develop a multi tiered platform encompassing overall objectives and set goals, select key audiences, establish timetables, and budgets that are cost effective for various stages of the company's growth and development. As communications director they would utilize a combination of tools which could include: press releases, website and blog content, sales materials, newsletters, speaking engagements, conventions and social media engagement to both industry and public audiences, or B2B and consumer. The director's responsibilities would also extend to developing branding materials such as logos, signage, and packaging. He/she would also set standards to measure and evaluate the efficacy of the tools being utilized and make adjustments accordingly on a monthly or quarterly basis. There should also be a year end audit.
Although it may be more efficient to have an entire department devoted to communications in house, for smaller companies it maybe more beneficial to outsource these services. A corporate communications company will strategize to identify a company’s strengths, design SOPs and policies, as well as advocate on your company’s behalf. They will also survey your target audience to examine public perceptions in areas such as customer service. In the digital age it is important to get your company out in front and maintain a positive image utilizing every tool available that you can afford. You can no longer rely on word of mouth and customer loyalty to grow your brand. Having a well developed plan will keep you on track and keep you from being caught off guard as daily operations are being conducted. 
Suggested Corporate Communications reading:
Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications ~ Paul A. Argenti Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders ~ John Baldoni

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