Agility and multidisciplinary approach in communications

Fast-paced corporate life today is almost a norm for every executive across the hierarchy of any organisation. The corporate environment is continuously becoming more and more dynamic, volatile, and experiencing a rapidly changing environment impacting almost every employee. And communications function isn’t untouched by this reality.

In the age of the internet, when there are numerous brand touchpoints, and the audience behaviour at each of these touchpoints is of utmost importance. Any aberration, change, deviation, anomaly, disruption can trigger a problem that needs to be addressed via communication in a rapid-fire mode.

Some of these situations may have the potential to create damage to any specific audience set or even spread into multiple audiences. Therefore, it becomes important to address them soonest possible. Agility becomes the need of the hour, in understanding the issues, analysing them on a war-footing basis, finding applicable solutions, and having it implemented within no time to stop the further spread.

Businesses today constantly need to adapt to changing situations, new priorities, competitive environment, government regulations, and other market-related changes. It is important that they read it well, have a continuous feedback channel, and promptly can develop adaptive solutions to avoid crises, both current and potential ones.

Organisations need to become flexible, showcase a speed of response, and be agile in their communications. Innovative use of technologies in the business environment, highly competitive markets, the constant addition of new competitors, instability in political and regulatory environments, and constantly changing customer behaviour have added to the challenges of the corporate communications environment. Similarly, many a time internal structural changes within an organisation also pose similar challenges.

Interestingly, corporate communications teams must now engage with cross-departmental human resources and develop the interdisciplinary skills required to address the above situations. Multi-disciplinary learnings will help the corporate communication teams in building capabilities to respond to internal and external changes rapidly. It will also help facilitate effective, efficient, and proactive responses to developing situations due to changes in internal or external factors. This, in turn, will help in not only dousing the existing crisis but also avoiding the potential crises.

Of course, this requires open communication, flat or semi-flat hierarchies, and people need to be accommodative in working with cross-functional teams, where the specialised knowledge and expertise can be better utilised. A collaborative and knowledge-sharing approach can bring in better results as far as finding solutions is concerned.

Corporate communications can help organisations not only adapt to their environment but also alter or maintain their environment to achieve business goals. It works towards increasing organisational survival by tracking, monitoring, dealing with internal and external complexities, identifying potential crises, analysing current crises, and finding communications solutions to put the organisation on strong footage.

Responsiveness, competency, speed, and flexibility, all are key capabilities that need to be developed by the organisation as well as its corporate communication teams in current times, to establish the organisation well among its constituencies.

Especially in the age of digital transformation and technological shifts, in the times of global competition, in the age of remotely present diverse audiences and constantly changing customer profiles, preferences & expectations, agility assumes a significant role in corporate communications practices.

Add to this, a multi-disciplinary approach can help facilitate meeting organisational goals effectively and efficiently. A well-integrated, collaborative input-led, and cross-departmental knowledge-driven communication can make a significant and positive impact on the image and perception of the organisation among both internal and external audiences.

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

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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