Corporate communication – finding the right corporate communications
Companies are in constant contact – with customers, business partners, journalists, or their own employees. No matter who the communication is aimed at: A concrete strategy always makes sense. Using the right tone of voice is essential in order to communicate your corporate identity. A successful corporate communication (CC) strategy helps the company control its impact on others correctly.
- What is corporate communication? Definition of corporate communication
- Four areas of corporate communication
- Corporate design & corporate language: means of corporate communication
- Corporate communication measures: internal & external examples
What is corporate communication? Definition of corporate communication
The broad field of corporate communications cannot be precisely defined. In principle, the measures are too diverse and overlap with many other areas of a company, such as marketing. In principle, however, corporate communication encompasses all communication that a company conducts. This can be found both internally, in the way employees are addressed, and externally, if business partners (as in B2B marketing), customers (as in B2C marketing), or media (as in PR) are the addressees.
In the sense of a corporate identity, corporate communication should create a uniform image on all channels. The homogenous communication strategy should, for example, also reflect company culture and specify the type of conversation. The aim of corporate communication is to be able to control the effect as efficiently as possible through a uniform communicative appearance.
If one does not pursue a consistent strategy in all available ways, one either gives away potential or torpedoes their own efforts. To achieve this – especially in larger companies – different departments need to pull together. That’s why changing corporate communication is not a quick task. If you want to strategically adapt your corporate communication and bring it into line, you will have to deal with a longer process.
If you decide to undergo the task, you can create several positive effects at once:
- Strengthen corporate identity
- Increase recognition value
- Improve professionalism
- Efficient control of external impact
- Improve work atmosphere
Corporation communication does not necessarily have to be in writing, even if it is most obvious there. Uniform corporate communication also makes sense in direct one-to-one conversations or telephone calls.
Four areas of corporate communication
Corporate communication covers any contract the company has with others. Roughly speaking, the addressees can be divided into four different areas.
Often ignored in a uniform communication strategy, but actually the basis of efforts, is internal communication with employees. This communication is extremely diverse. Through e-mails and letters, forms and reports, circulars, notices, and newsletters, colleagues communicate with each other and management communicates with employees. These measures should also be carried out in the spirit of corporate identity and it should be checked whether all elements correspond to the corporate culture.
By using a corporate communication strategy in internal communication, it is possible to expose the employees to the branding and at the same time communicate the values and norms of the company. In addition, well thought-out communication with employees ensures greater satisfaction and a better working atmosphere.
Besides the employees, the customers are the most important contact persons. If customers are not addressed appropriately, they will not buy anything and contribute to the failure of a company. A good corporate communications strategy appeals to customers in the right way and turns buyers into loyal customers. This is where corporate communication and marketing meet. Everything around the range of advertisements, the organization of newsletters, brochures, coupons and catalogs, and the complete online appearance, fall into this range.
However, not only the marketing department has contact with customers. Support and billing departments also communicate with buyers in one way or another. While the advertising sector in most companies follows a uniform strategy, the other contact points with customers must also be brought into line with corporate communication.
Work with the press – an area of public relations – should also function along the same lines as corporate communication. Particularly in the form of press releases and press conferences, the company can make its corporate identity public through the media. Not just the type of communication, but also the contents are important here. For example, it can make sense to include corporate social responsibility measures in the media. In this way, the external image can be controlled.
External: business partners
Contact with investors, shareholders, and other business partners must be made with great care. A disgruntled investor can cause the demise of a company. Therefore, both the content and form of communication are important. Contact takes place, not just in direct e-mails and conversations, but also through reports and letters to shareholders. Many companies create special brochures for their business partners in order to convey information about the company. If these means of communication are also created in the sense of corporate identity, this makes a very professional impression.
Corporate design & corporate language: means of corporate communication
In order to drive a successful communication strategy, corporate communication has various means. If these tools are coordinated and consistently represented, communication can be as efficient as possible. In particular, corporate design, which is generally a pillar of corporate identity and corporate language, play a major role.
In the course of the corporate design, every form of communication of the company has common graphic elements. For example, they agree on a binding font to be used in all documents. Also the company logo is to be accommodated in every written communication situation: in letters and e-mails, for example in the letterhead and/or the e-mail signature. The corporate design is also continued in presentations. For example, the color scheme is usually fixed.
Corporate language can be assigned even more to the area of corporate communication – a special tone of voice, a form of expression that distinguishes the company externally and internally. The language used by a company must follow general rules on the one hand and have an individual (and uniform) character on the other. In addition to correct grammar and spelling, the former also means expressing oneself comprehensibly. This sounds natural at first, but employees in technical professions in particular sometimes find it difficult to formulate facts in a way that is understandable even for laypeople.
The individual characteristics of corporate language are about finding the balance between outstanding features and everyday conventions, to an extent. As a rule, you should stick to a language that is appropriate for your target group: While it may not be a problem, for example, to speak the language of employees and B2C customers, investors may feel uncomfortable with such a casual approach. The most important thing, however, is that corporate culture is also reflected in corporate language. The way in which something is formulated allows the values and norms of the broadcaster to be derived.
In order for all employees to be able to internalize this language, a guide should be drawn up. This can be used to store concrete examples or lists of expressions that should not be used or that should be used as far as possible. Ready-made text modules, which occur again and again in everyday communication, also make it easier for employees to deal with the communication strategy.
Corporate communication measures: internal & external examples
There are many ways in which a company can apply its corporate communication strategy in practice. Both internally with employees, as well as externally, the most diverse possibilities can be found to use enterprise communication effectively. The measures do not always have to run off in writing.
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