5 myths surrounding corporate communications

The world of corporate communications is a dynamic, fluid, and ever evolving one. At the same time, it is surrounded by many myths.
When a fellow corporate communicator shared with me his recent predicament relating to announcing a new product launch, I was not expecting him to raise an old issue – that of his office management insisting on a mere press release and not willing to experiment with other channels of communications.

May be, in my naivety, I thought that with social media now so well established and all pervasive, leaders would have understood the value of using different touch points to reach different levels of customers. Guess I was wrong.
Here are some common myths that still continue to surround corporate communications.

#Myth1: The communications function is not integral to business
I understand business is all about top line and bottom line. But in the midst of numbers, what stiches this story is the narrative out there. And it is the corporate communications function that gives shape to the story that is authentic and aligned with the core business. Without this story, business will not be able to hold the interest of investors and that for sure will have a direct impact on the numbers!

#Myth2: Internal communications is HR job
Wrong. Employees are the best assets for any company. They are the brand ambassadors. They are the true story tellers about the organisation’s culture. Reaching out to employees cannot be just a one-way street. In collaboration with HR and other functions, corporate communications can lead the way to foster open and transparent dialogue that builds trust resulting in better employee retention rates.

#Myth3: The press release is the best way to share updates
This goes back to my earlier conversation with a fellow communicator. Communicators face the tough challenge of having to convince business leaders to look at communications through the lens of creativity and innovation. Podcasts, long expert speaks, thought leadership, representing the company at key discussion events, and reaching out through other channels can create a larger pie of sustainable corporate wellbeing.

#Myth4: Communicators need not know about the business
In order to convey a strong and clear message about the organisation, it is imperative that communicators understand the nuances of their organisation’s business. They need to know the top business priorities, the key products, the competitor landscape, the various stakeholders, the manufacturing details…in short, any knowledge about the business can help the communicators to draw up customised and consistent messaging. Business knowledge also assists communicators to be ready to deal with crisis and be agile in their responses.

#Myth5: Company should always be in the news
Too much information overload about your company can actually backfire. Communicators should be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and focus on key information that needs to be shared with the stakeholders. There is already too much of noise out there. It helps being selective and clear about the company wishes to convey.

While the business of the organisation is in the business of serving its customers, it is the corporate communications function that supports the business by being its ears and eyes on the ground and bringing the outside world in. Think of it as an in-house radio that fine tunes everyday what the stakeholders wish to listen and hear. That is the reason why communications today has a seat at the leadership table. It holds the reins of the company’s reputation.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Country Group Head CSR at Bayer - South Asia
Sarita Bahl leads the Corporate Social Responsibility function for Bayer South Asia and is also the Director – Bayer Prayas Association. Prior to this, she successfully oversaw the communications and public affairs function for Bayer South Asia. Over her three decades of professional experience, Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, public sector, trade associations, MNCs and the Not-for-profit sector. An alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Science and the Swedish Institute of Management Program, Sarita specializes in stakeholder engagement, sustainability and communications. She is passionate about animals (is mother to a female cat), books and movies.

1 Comment on "5 myths surrounding corporate communications"

  1. Farooque Shaikh | July 3, 2023 at 11:52 AM | Reply

    Excellent piece, Sarita.

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