You know communication is important in your personal life. But it may not be the first thing that comes to mind in terms of business. However, the importance of corporate communication in the business world is equally as important. Bad communication leads to unhappy employees, turned off customers, and in the end bad profit margins. So what exactly is corporate communications?
Corporate communication is all written and spoken interactions both internally and externally. And with more ways to communicate and more customers using online platforms to get answers to their questions, corporate messaging needs to translate across all mediums now more than ever.
Why is it important to business?
You may ask what’s the importance of corporate communication? And how heavily does it weigh against daily tasks and meeting overall company goals. Here are some reasons why focusing on good business communication can lead to a stronger company.
- Shows transparency to employees
Employees are savvier these days. They expect more out of their employers and have greater access to learn about a potential employer. Think about online reviews from other employees, chat groups about companies, and friends touting one company over another on social media. So with all these external factors, it’s important that companies create transparency through corporate communications.
Using corporate communication companies can create messaging to show transparency. That way new hires will know before they step foot in the door, that they are working for a company who is honest. This should also carry through managers’ communications with their employees. That way, employees will feel the company and their managers are being clear on expectations. And on the flip side, employees will feel free to speak up with suggestions.
- Builds strong internal teams
When you work eight or more hours a day with people, you want good co-workers. The importance of corporate communication in day to day operations is paramount. For example, you have a large product rollout and some team members are holding up the process and missing deadlines. The CEO wants to know why your team is behind and now the entire team is held accountable. Or a manager receives new direction on a project and forgets to tell the team what the new goal is. So the team members miss the mark on achieving the new goal.These examples of lack of corporate communication lead to frustrated employees. And in return, you either start having “checked out” employees who no longer want to perform or worse high employee turnover which leads to bad company reviews. And this can affect getting great talent to join your organization in the future.
- Keeps messaging consistent to customers
If you work for a larger company, you may have a corporate communications department for external audiences like customers and stakeholders and maybe an internal communications department for employee communications. Or if you have a smaller company where one person is dealing with all communications, different messaging may be created for external and internal audiences.
The importance of corporate communication is to keep messaging consistent to not only your employees but your external audiences. If you forget to communicate with your customers in the same fashion as your employees, your company brand and mission gets lost. Customers don’t know what you stand for or why they should choose you over one of your competitors.
Building a corporate communications plan
We’ve touched on the importance of corporate communications, but how do you ensure your company is actually communicating effectively? Creating and putting a corporate communications plan in place is the best way to carry this out. A plan is simply taking your written, spoken, and electronic communications and putting it all down on paper. That way, every employee understands the importance of corporate communication for your organization.
When building your plan, it’s vital to do some research and then put this research into a detailed document that all employees can easily access. A great place to store your plan is on a learning management system. That way everyone has access to the latest version and can reference the plan when questions arise.
1. Conduct audit
The first step to creating a corporate communications plan is to look at what you are currently doing in terms of company communications and ask yourself some simple, but key questions:
- What communication is currently taking place with customers?
- How do teams communicate with each other?
- What are the communication breakdowns?
- Are customers happy with the communications they receive?
- Are current communication methods meeting company goals?
This audit can be more informal or it can be a formal process conducted by an outside auditor. No matter what your process is the end goal is the same. You’ll want to evaluate your current communications and then brainstorm on ways to improve what may not be working.
2. Mission statement
Once you have your research, it’s time to fill out your plan. At the very top of your corporate communications plan should be your company’s mission statement. Why? It defines who you are and what needs you serve your audiences.
Then under your mission statement, add in two or three key messages. These messages should support your company mission and show your audiences “why you” versus your competitors.
3. Define objectives
After your mission statement should be your communication objectives. Take what you’ve learned from interviewing and surveying your employees, managers, and customers and create well-defined objectives. Make sure to focus on the end results. In other words, what do you hope to achieve? For example, it could be “to improve the employee onboarding process for better retention rates” or “turn more current customers into repeat customers.”
Whatever your objectives are, make sure they have timelines attached and can be measured to see which ones were achieved and which ones need to be worked on in the future. Remember you want S.M.A.R.T. objectives (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time-Bound.) This will make it easier when it comes time to evaluate how well your corporate communications is across your company.
4. Speak to all audiences
Next, you’ll want to write down the various audiences and influencers that touch or interact with your company. This list should include all internal and external audiences. Examples of your audiences may be customers, potential customers, general consumers, competitors, suppliers, commissioned sales force, subcontractors, employees, new hires, educators, federal, regional, and local governments, industry spokespeople, and the media.
5. Craft communication messages
Once you have your objectives and audiences, craft messages that communicate effectively to each of these audiences. Your messages should be brief, strategic, relevant, compelling, and memorable. Also, you want your messages to be consistent across all audiences so you may only have two or three messages in total.