It is unfortunate that Corporate Communications has traditionally been treated as a stepchild in the corporate structure so much so that the function hardly gets any attention in many organisations till the time a crisis strikes. The good news, however, is that a lot of organisations, in the modern times, have woken up to the importance of corporate communications in their overall growth and success.
It is now an accepted fact that the way an organisation communicates can be the difference between success and failure. Fortunately, some companies are taking note and responding accordingly with the result that the role of the Communications Lead is broadening, and they have started being recognised as members of the senior leadership team.
Although, it is still a challenge to measure the efficacy of corporate communications, new tools in sentiment analysis, reputation analysis, and brand assessment are adding more rigor to the field. Corporate leaders can also do their part to improve how their companies communicate.
It is worthwhile for the companies to recruit talented, senior-level communications executives with solid business skills and deep knowledge of the company’s products and processes. Hence it is imperative that the person concerned is equipped with good and high educational background.
It is also vital that the companies give communications chiefs the titles, reporting relationships, access, and resources to be effective companywide. This means investing in senior communications roles for the long-term. It may sometimes take years to truly know a company’s business, and a communications resource without the right level of industry knowledge is likely to get less respect it takes to do an effective job.
A company must trust and understand the communications function which includes listening attentively to its communications leader. Companies must continuously learn more and more about communications and the consequences this action can have, for them. They must remember that communication blunders can do real damage to companies’ brands.
Communications lead must be given full authority to advise and educate the senior management of a company. If companies need to listen better to their communications lead, then the reverse is also true. Communications lead needs to help other leaders understand why they are important. A good communications chief recognizes that one leg of their job is representing communications to senior management. They must communicate the victories of any department with a lot of pride for the proper effect and acknowledgement.
Organisations must eliminate command and control communications. It is believed that the best companies are transparent, and when they are wrong, they promptly admit it rather than hide and cover up for it through improper manners. Closing ranks can be dangerous in the digital age, but it is a most common reaction when things go wrong. The best practice to be followed by the communications lead and the best advise they can give to the senior management is to apologise, take responsibility, and do the necessary to right the wrong. Companies should not deny responsibility for problems which results in compounding the problems.
Communications lead must convince the management to utilise the employees as company’s ambassadors. They should smartly and far-sightedly make the company recognise that if employees are using social media, they might as well tap that power. They must be given the information about the company’s vision, goals, and any new and important news, and be allowed to spread that positive message online. As the internal people, the employees will have far more credibility among their contacts than an official brand page could ever have.
These are various mediums by which a communications lead of a company can create awareness within the company and can make a real difference.