Developing a corporate communications strategy may seem to be a simple task to those who are not familiar on how to do it right.
For professionals who appreciate the complexity of balancing a number of elements – boosting market share, improving business image, and taking care of the stakeholder ecosystem to name a few – it is well established that coming up with a communication strategy is an ordeal not for the faint hearted.
The Importance Of A Good Internal And External Commnication Strategy
Why is having a corporate communications strategy so important in today's society? Why can't the communication department just do what they used to do a few decades back, preparing speeches and drafting newsletters?
The answer is this: in order for the company to continue to grow, internal as well as external communications should be on tip-top shape.
Internal communication is important because maintaining an open line of connection between the business leaders and the workforce is vital in keeping the business in operation. An effective internal communication system allows the employees to trust the company.
When employees are aware that the company they trust depends on them to deliver their work, chances are, they will be more concerned towards completing their tasks and even go the extra mile after that.
External communication is just as important. After all, a good reputation is integral to the success of any business.
“Reputation management is the bridge that connects communications with the business strategy,” Reputation Institute Executive Partner Kasper Ulf Nielsen told Forbes' Chief Insights Officer Bruce Rogers in an interview about building the bridge between communications and business strategy.
“Through reputation you become relevant to all C-suite executives,” Nielsen continued. “From the CEO and the CFO who want to make sure that you have the license to operate in all countries and that the market believes in your future potential – to the COO who wants to be sure that your sales force has the latest proof points on hand to convince customers that they should trust your company.”
Coming Up With a Strategic Communications Capability
In a piece for Harvard Business Review, seasoned communications and marketing executive Georgia Everse discussed the proper implementation of corporate communications strategy. She summarized the process into four steps:
1. A strong strategic foundation. The communication department must have a good grasp of the communication strategy's vision, mission, and objectives. Indeed, it would be very challenging to communicate something when the purpose of the entire project is unclear to the members of the team.
2. The right set of tools. The communication team must identify the category plans, channel plans, and audience plans of the company – in short, the what, wow and why. Another integral part of this step is having a timeline and plotting the process in the calendar.
3. A development process. There must be an effective process to carry out the plans and use the tools of the communications capability.
4. A team of people with the right spirit and skill set. A motivated team enthusiastic towards their work will most effectively carry out the above-mentioned steps. The best way to have a motivated team is to choose a leader who can serve as a respected mentor to the employees, and at the same time act as a conduit between the workforce and the management.
Integrating Social Media in the Business' Corporate communications strategy
With more and more people being on their mobile devices almost every minute, integrating social media into a company's corporate communications strategy seem to be a sensible step. Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other social media sites to the company's communication plans may seem simple, but it has been proven effective in reaching out to the target market.