In this report, corporate communication strategies in companies are discussed. The essentiality of corporate communication strategy and its link with the corporate objectives is discussed in this report. The report aims to know what impact that a corporate communication strategies, either an internal communication strategy or an external communication strategy can create on the business success as well as on the internal and external stakeholders of the company like employees, customers, suppliers, government and so on. The need for corporate communication audit and monitoring of corporate communication strategies are also another highlights of this report Task 1
1.1Purpose of Corporate Communication Strategies
Corporate business Communication strategy gears up its relevance in the contemporary business scenarios. This is a prominent ingredient in an effectual business strategy that helps the company to lead its path to ultimate success. Business communication seems to be complete with an effective corporate communication strategy which forms a base for a transparent communication among different people within a company as well as outside the business organisation. Public relations, advertising, marketing etc form a part of corporate communications, some other tools of corporate communication.
Looking at the internal perspective, operational employee, team managers etc can increase their work efficiency through improved corporate communication among them. In the external perspective, through corporate communication, company can build good relationship with suppliers, customers/clients, shareholders, funding organisations, local communities, the media, etc and ensure smooth business operations. This is considered as a key ingredient of a business function that enables the coordination of work done by all individuals in each department. A proper synchronization of both external and internal communication is essential to ensure more business success. This leads to increased support of each stakeholder to the company.
1.2Assessment of how corporate communication is linked to corporate objectives within organizations
Corporate communication plays a significant role in attaining the corporate objectives. Customer satisfaction is a vital corporate objective, wherein communicating the product features and specifications is enabled through an effective corporate communication. How far the customers get attracted to the company’s product is linked with how extensively and effectively corporate communication techniques like advertising, marketing etc indulge in customer minds.
Corporate communication strategies ensure the achievement of corporate objectives as when target customers get a clear picture about the product through various corporate communication strategies they get more attracted to the product. This will increase the sales volume, profitability, market share, brand image etc of the company. Thereby, corporate communication has a good linkage with the corporate objectives and its achievement.
1.3Analysis of relationships between Corporate Communication and Corporate Branding
Corporate branding is build with the strong foundation of corporate communication. A proper sync of corporate branding and corporate communication helps a company to meet its ultimate business goals smoothly. A company aims to formulate most effective communication strategy for a better brand image. Branding distinguish the company product from another similar product. It is an identity of a product. Effective corporate communication reaches the customers in a successful manner and thereby they will be able to make out the unique and distinct features of the product.
Corporate communication strategies improve the brand image of a product and thereby the product sustain in the minds of customers, who start treating the product as a premium brand. A better customer relationship is promised through branding and effective corporate communication. By communicating all the product details to the customers, brand awareness in the minds of the customers will be enhanced, leading to more brand loyalty. Thereby, customer retention is enabled using the most appropriate corporate communication and branding strategies (Kim, S, 2011).
2.1 Demonstration of how you would plan an internal corporate communication audit
Any corporate communication strategy would not serve the purpose of business effectiveness. Hence, a company conducts corporate communication audits both internally and externally to evaluate the efficiency of a corporate communication strategy. This evaluation can be made by exploring the delicate areas of communication strategy and thereby forming a major part of corporate communication audit. A detailed communication audit demands for a considerable amount of fund utilization or expenses related to invoices and bills on stationary, travelling and so on.
The financial budget for a communication audit needs to be planned well before its conduct and approved by the concerned authorized personnel. A transparent communication between the auditor and the company representatives is ideal for a smooth flow of auditing process. Various assessment techniques like interview, observation, content analysis etc are practiced by the auditor during the audit. The time limit for the entire audit process is pre determined so as to ensure successful completion considering every aspects in the auditing (Cornelissen 2014)
2.2 Explain how you would conduct an internal corporate communications audit
The internal communication audit aims to identify and evaluate the methods in the internal communication process. As a first step, the senior management personnel and other staffs of a company are interviewed to know more about the thought pattern of each employee regarding the prevailing communication strategy. Surveys in the form of questionnaire are another typical method of communication audit to evaluate the varying responses on communication process within the organization. As a result of this, quantitative data on the same can be drawn. Qualitative data is achieved through group meetings with the concerned individuals in the company. This helps the auditor to know impact of communication process in the actual business executions
2.3 Critically evaluate the effectiveness of current levels of practice in your organization
Evaluating the current communication strategy in the company fosters more business communication effectiveness. Considering the company, Coca Cola, a US based multinational company corporate communication strategies are very relevant for the company. This is due to the fact that the company has several branches across the world, where business communication is a challenging aspect. Also, increased customer base, supply chain management etc is some other challenging elements that demand for an effective corporate communication strategies in Coca Cola.
Transparency and clarity in communication to both internal and external stakeholders of the company strengthen the bonding of the stakeholders within Coca Cola. This ensures more reliable and loyal stakeholders including its employees, customers, suppliers, dealers and so on. This imparts effectual business operations by the company with the complete support from all its stakeholders. The successful business communication networks between different branches of the company all over the world, the effective supply chain management, increased customer base, loyal employees etc form evidence of existing communication practices in a company and its effectiveness (Doorley & Garcia 2011).
3.1 Demonstrate how you would plan an external corporate communications audit
Planning an external audit is another crucial aspect for a company. Hence, expert handling of communication audit is recommended. The company decides whether to hire an expert auditor or to entrust this duty to the concerned PR staff inside the organization. The time allotted for each step in the external audit process is planned in advance so that there will be no delays or issues in between. Also, the company plans the sources to collect the data proving the effectiveness of the current external communication, is determined well in advance. This may include people or corporate to approach, interviewing its external stakeholders and so on (Parguel et al. 2011).
3.2 Demonstrate how you would conduct an external corporate communications audit
Conducting an external communication audit involves several steps, starting with the identification of the key elements in the company, like its logo, symbols, letterhead, business cards etc. External communication audit is done by either one to one interview with the concerned people, customer survey, telephonic talks, discussions etc. The ideal research method for each external audit depends and may vary from one to another. The past communication audit need a thorough evaluation so as to ascertain the loopholes or untouched arenas in the previous external communication audits. Welcoming feedbacks, suggestions from customers, employees, suppliers etc form another integral part of external communication audit, to know the current status of external communication(Kaplan, R. S., & Norton 2001).
3.3 Critically evaluate the effectiveness of current levels of practice
There exists an inevitable need for the evaluation of existing external communication process in the company so as to ensure business growth. External environment of this multinational giant in no doubt, is a critical element, where medias, political ups and downs, changing economic trends etc demand for apt external communication strategies. Hence, to know the effectiveness of such existing external communication methods requires a need to look in to its each and every aspect.
It is essential to know whether the stakeholders are communicated well and are in sync with the business dealings, resource allocation and mobilization is proper or not etc. In a successful company, external communication process outstands with the expert touch where all the stakeholders are coordinated and communicated effectively. There sees a widening of their business horizons in the light and support of ace external communication methods adopted by the company. Reliable and transparent communication approach is a trademark of a successful company, that leads its business to new heights (Kim 2011).
4.1 Explain how you would plan the objectives of a corporate communication strategy
Planning of corporate communication strategy is the prior step to the formulation of this strategy. Corporate communication strategy, at its planning stage, determines how to achieve the corporate goals of the company. The clarity and relevance is sought in the objectives planned in order to make the communication strategy more applicable and effective. Monitoring the objectives effectiveness after the planning stage can lead to more improvisation on the same, wherever needed. It is essential to include all the mandate objectives and goals of the company to ensure there is a smooth execution corporate communication, both internally and externally (Coombs, W. T., & Holladay 2011)
4.2 Select the audiences to influence with a corporate communications strategy Customers or audience of a company forms a crucial part of the company, impacting its sales volume and profitability. Audience influence is hence associated in each aspect of its communication strategy. When the product is properly communicated to the target customers, the message will become clear to the customers and thereby more customers are attracted to the product. This can increase the sales of the products of the company. Hence, it is essential for the firm to formulate the ideal and most efficient communication strategies that will have an impact on the customers in a higher degree. More clarity and reliability are sought by customers through communication strategies and this need to be incorporated in the corporate communication strategies for better audience base(Keller et al. 2011).
4.3 Plan appropriate measures to monitor a planned corporate communications strategy
Monitoring the effectiveness of a corporate strategy is an integral part in the company as this will help to identify the pitfalls and the necessary corrective steps can be taken on an immediate basis without any delays. This will also helps to improve communication with internal and external stakeholders. One of such measuring element is to create SMART (Specific, measurable, attributable, realistic, time bound) objectives. Also, needs to look at both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of corporate communication strategies. The outcome of the strategy needs to be evaluated so as to identify the rectifications (Karaosmanoglu & Melewar 2006).
Reflective Learning Statement
From this report, it can be understood that corporate communication strategies forms a prominent part of any organization. There is a vital need to ensure these are framed considering every aspects of communication related to both internal stakeholders as well as external stakeholders. The effectiveness of corporate communication strategies is ensured by conducting corporate communication internal and external audit. This involves a series of steps wherein all the stakeholders both inside and outside the company are surveyed to identify the impact of the prevailing communication on them. This helps the company to know where it lags behind and what all improvements it needs to take in the future to ensure a more effective corporate communication strategy. Corporate communication strategy is also related to corporate objectives as the attainment of business goals and selling of products, influence of the target audience etc are based on the effectiveness of corporate communication strategies(Roth 2014).
To sum up, it is noted that corporate communication strategies are the foundation of business growth and success. When there is an effective communication by the company towards its internal and external stakeholder, it will bring more trust factor on the stakeholders and who in turn support all the business activities. Suppose, If there is a transparent and timely communication of product details to the customers through the communication tools like advertisement, marketing techniques etc, it will increase the brand image as well as brand loyalty by the customers.
In this report, the relevance of corporate communication strategy of a company is discussed. Corporate communication strategies have a great link with the ultimate business goals. Corporate branding and communication are linked together. When the brand is communicated effectively to the customers, it will lead to more business success. To know the effectiveness of corporate communication strategies, internal and external corporate audit is conducted. There is a need to monitor a planned corporate strategy to make necessary improvements on the same (Becker-Olsen et al. 2011).
Becker-Olsen, K.L. et al., 2011. A Cross-Cultural Examination of Corporate Social Responsibility Marketing Communications in Mexico and the United States: Strategies for Global Brands. Journal of International Marketing, 19(2), pp.30–44. Available at: http://journals.ama.org/doi/abs/10.1509/jimk.19.2.30 [Accessed February 3, 2015]. Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S.J., 2011. The handbook of crisis communication (Vol. 22). J. W. & Sons., ed., Cornelissen, 2014. Corporate communication: A guide to theory and practice, sage. Doorley, J. & Garcia, H.F., 2011. Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication, Routledge. Available at: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=TWqUAgAAQBAJ&pgis=1 [Accessed February 3, 2015]. Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D.P., 2001. business environment. Harvard Business Press. Available at: file:///C:/Users/Joseph/Downloads/02bfe50d1e9e9e6bfb000000.pdf [Accessed February 1, 2015]. Karaosmanoglu, E. & Melewar, T.C., 2006. Corporate communications, identity and image: A research agenda. Journal of Brand Management, 14(1/2), pp.196–206. Available at: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/bm/journal/v14/n1/abs/2550060a.html [Accessed February 3, 2015]. Keller, K.L., Parameswaran, M.G. & Jacob, I., 2011. Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity, Pearson. Available at: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=cofhZbwwFuYC&pgis=1 [Accessed February 3, 2015]. Kim, S., 2011. Taylor & Francis Online. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1062726X.2011.555647#.VNBrz2iUdMA [Accessed February 3, 2015]. Parguel, B., Benoît-Moreau, F. & Larceneux, F., 2011. How Sustainability Ratings Might Deter “Greenwashing”: A Closer Look