Corporate communications is all about building and cementing relationships with your clientele and strategizing to deliver your company message to them in the best possible ways that ensure easy relatability.
Communications is the single most important key to your brand positioning, brand awareness, brand recognition and brand association. What’s more, in the dire times you need a good mouthpiece to reclaim your positioning and hold on to your territory.
Above the line, below the line, subliminal, suggestive, word of mouth, through the drumbeats over a dense jungle – whatever be your mode of communication, your message must reach the intended lot. And it must be conveyed in the most creative manner with utmost clarity.
As a CEO, you must ensure that your company operates in an open atmosphere that encourages, along with prospects of growth, milieu of respect, trust and belongingness, a culture of information sharing. This must be followed as a top to down approach so that every employee works in an inclusive environment and feels a sense of responsibility to do the same with his or her team. Not only does this working style build and equip all other brand ambassadors with enough information bases to represent the brand with; this approach also provides an extremely fertile and fruitful foundation for a communications person to operate from.
As a team player, it becomes imperative to communicate Ð verbally or via the written word Ð in the most lucid, clear and cognizant manner possible.Ê
When in doubt about how to devise the most effective communication capsules, always remember to adhere to theÊseven Cs of Communication Ð Be Clear, Concise, Concrete, Correct, Coherent, Complete and Courteous. With this simple formula you can never go wrong in ensuring maximum reach, frequency and penetration of your messages to the target audience.
Corporate communications is an integral senior management, strategy-level function. It must be kept in the know-how of all important things the company is involved in for the following essential reasons:
- To build its ability to communicate the company’s messages in the most effective way and for the right customer segment.
- To devise the optimal strategy to cover a wide audience base, in a direct outreach, and with cutting down of any loss of resource and effort.
- To be razor-sharp with requisite knowledge of the issues or turn of events so as to handle the crisis situations better, in order to ensure no or minimum damage to the brand value.
- To keep up the morale of the internal publics by thoughtful communications strategy encouraging employee engagement and sense of identification with the brand.Ê
With changing times and innovation of new technologies, the rules of the game have changed. If you wish to remain a dynamic and pertinent player then you must adapt, learn and evolve in the face of new challenges, opportunities and practices. Premium amongst the current need is to internalize Web 2.0, internet-driven PR and communication strategies and become adept at getting social media to work for you as an able ally.
With new communication channels being gaping open doors, easily searchable, playing round the clock and with the propensity for information to be dug out of the archives with just a mere click, it becomes imperative that the communications professional and all the other company spokespeople are cautious, clear, honest, conscientious and with a global outlook in the way they communicate, not only professionally but also personally.ÊÊ Ê
If communication has the power to build a brand and keep it on top of the mind recall level, it also has the proclivity to break the brand and create reverse value in the minds of the publics.
Here follow basic and simple rules to help you ensure that your communications strategy is effective and above par:
Communication capsules must hold value for the target audience.
Communication must be purposeful, strengthening the bond with the audience, while generating feel good sentiment and respect for the brand are great purposes to bear in mind.
Messages may not always be about business. They can also be corporate socially responsible. You must positively reckon that genuine CSR activities create lasting value for the brand.
Communication must be bottom-line focused. At the end of the day you must endeavour to run a successful business and all your initiatives must dovetail into that plank.
Communication must be meaningful, withÊuntrained, unprepared brand representatives speaking mindlessly at external platforms just for the sake of occupying space or bandwidth on some media without conveying messages of value, both for the company and the end user, cut an extremely sorry figure, bringing a bad rep to themselves and their brand.
Communication must generate respect and strong identification in the brand even from internal customers.
All brand ambassadors (read the entire employee base essentially, because one way or another each employee is an ambassador capable of propagating your brand value) must be trained to understand the company ethos and convey it to the world at large, through their words, actions, demeanour and brand association.
The right communication tools and the most appropriate PR strategies assist you in building a brand and reinforcing its image consistently in the minds of the relevant publics.
The best communications strategy for any company would involve the following essential aspects Ð it bears value for the brand and its products, carries promise of service delivery, is coherent and customer-engaging, reliable and realistic and is delivered in a timely fashion.
By L. Aruna Dhir
L. Aruna Dhir is a hospitality and feature writer and columnist. Her industry writings are used as references in case studies and hotel schools. With over 16 years of experience with some of India and Asia’s top hotel brands, Aruna is a seasoned corporate communications specialist, PR strategist and writer who has taken a sabbatical, after holding the position of the Director Ð Public Relations at The Imperial New Delhi, in order to work on book projects on public relationsÊand communications, hotels, food and India respectively. As an industry expert, Aruna has launched brands, developed training modules, created standardization of business communication and written manuals. Aruna has represented India to a select group of opinion-makers in the United States, as a Cultural Ambassador under the aegis of Rotary International and participated in the IXth Commonwealth Study Conference held in Australia and chaired by Princess Anne. In her official and personal capacity L. Aruna Dhir has and continues to work on several social awareness projects Ð People for Animals, Earthquake Relief, National Blind Association, PETA and Friendicoes to name a few.
Want to keep up to date with industry news? Click here to subscribe toÊeHotelier’s dailyÊe-newsletter.