Frequent communication is a necessity in the workplace as workers and management must be on the same page, so to speak, to advance the company’s various goals. Firms also have to communicate with its external public like suppliers and clients. A corporate communications strategy lays out how a company communicates with its internal and external stakeholders. Understanding the impact and purpose of a corporate communication plan can help corporate communicators in crafting their own strategy.
1. Identify the objectives
Corporate communicators should first identify the objective of their corporate communications strategy. It can be said that the objectives are the keys to the success of a company’s communications program. The objectives should be organizationally-driven, meaning the goal of the corporate communication plan is in sync with the company’s vision/mission.
Corporate communications executives should ask themselves—how can the corporate communications strategy help the organization achieve its core objectives? Aligning the communications objectives with the organizational goals can also reinforce the relevance of communications in the company, thereby convincing the management to support communications activity by allotting funding for it.
2. Identify the audiences
Corporate communicators then shift their focus in identifying the audiences with whom they need to communicate to help achieve organizational objectives. Employees are an obvious pick, as they need to be kept in the loop by providing them with information about company directions like new products and services or the latest financial figures. Clients, too, are usually the recipients of any message from a company as they are the ones that can boost the financial performance of the business entity.
Other audiences that corporate communicators can identify are business partners, suppliers, and the general public.
3. Craft the messages
Knowing the objectives and the audiences of the corporate communications program would guide the communications team in crafting the messages.
Corporate communicators should start with a main idea, and then develop a few core messages. These core messages should connect the dots between what the company does and how all of these relate to the audiences.
For the audiences to understand the message, the language should be kept simple. It is also advisable to use analogies to get the message across. Provide evidence by using numbers.
To maximize the impact of the messages, corporate communicators should summarize their case in three key points. The use of interesting narrative, imagery, and human interest stories also beef up the storytelling, making the messages more believable and credible to the audiences.
4. Identify tools and activities
The next move is to identify tools and activities deemed to be the most appropriate to communicating the message. These may vary depending on factors like the audience, or the messages. For instance, the use of a newsletter is best suited for communicating to the employees. An annual report, meanwhile, is more appropriate for the general public.
Corporate communication teams should also ensure that their activities are appropriate to the amount of time, and financial resources that they have.
5. Evaluate and amend whenever needed
Corporate communication groups should also consider a communications audit to review the effectiveness of their strategy with both the internal and external audiences. Example audiences are employees, media, stakeholders, and funders. Some questions that may be asked would pertain to the information that audiences need but not supplied with, and the frequency of a communications campaign.
In drawing up a communications strategy, it is very important to involve the communications group and the entire organization on a smaller scale. The corporate communications strategy should be fed or incorporated into the operational strategy as well to ensure that it would become more effective.