In the age of hyper-connectivity, where there are multiple stakeholders constantly interact with the organisation or any entity for that matter at numerous and diverse touchpoints, smooth communication becomes the most critical factor from an image management perspective. Board decisions, policy directions, growth plans, brand launches, dealer junkets, trade meets, media conferences, and all intermingled elements of corporate communication work towards creating and maintaining a certain image of the organisation.
As companies grow, they become their internal network grows just like the roots of a banyan tree. It’s a network of network, a chain, a hierarchy, a structure, and each of which is defined by a certain role and comes with a designated responsibility. While independent and specific in their tasks & duties, they still pursue a common agenda of the growth, expansion, and building profit for the organisation. While individual employees, may not have direct responsibility or even deal with the corporate communication function, they do make an impact, some of them subtly and some significantly.
Internally, in an organisation, there are plenty of ways people interact with each other. Whether it is top-down communication or bottom-up, whether is communication between the peers at a lateral level or it is to do with the company’s work culture or to discuss new campaigns, participants are from a varied profile in terms of age, experience, specialisation, and expertise.
Leadership may often want to communicate about the business directions, work culture, company performance, or giving away internal awards and accolades to the high-performers. And when the organisations are large enough this happens even without meeting one-to-one or in small groups. Sometimes, there are complex issues concerning change management within an organisation. It might be required when an organisation is going through some sort of restructuring, realignment, reorientation in its policies, people, and processes.
Sometimes, aligning with a new regulatory framework, changes in laws impacting things at a social and political canvas needs to be addressed by the organisation, internally through carefully planned and executed communications. Bringing the entire employee pool on the same page when it comes to the mission & vision of the organisation, it’s business, its brands, their positioning, and image management among the consumers form a key part of such internal communications.
How about natural disasters, environmental issues, power outages, production failures, gas-leakage, poisonings, cyber-attacks, recalls of products or their specific parts, financial frauds, employee misconducts, or leakage of internal information through whistle-blowers, etc.? All of these and many similar situations always pose a serious threat to the organisation’s image and are dealt with by ensuring a properly planned and carefully executed communication.
Any such untoward incidence always has a high potential to develop into a cascading campaign affecting varied stakeholders of the organisation externally and bringing in huge destruction in the image causing severe a reputational loss. And to ensure this is avoided great internal communication comes into play, working on the collective mindset, responsibility, and consciousness, of everyone in the organisation.
Collecting and processing raw information, from a multitude of layers within the organisation, fact-finding, compiling, verifying, developing the messaging & content for dissemination, training the internal audiences, briefing the spokespersons, usually is a highly complex process involving great details. If this is well-coordinated and managed all communication campaigns to the external audiences can be done flawlessly.
Whether it is to bring everyone on common grounds internally to align them with the organisations, mission, vision, values, culture, policies or it is to deal with an external crisis that could hit hard on the organisation, calls for drastic measures first internally within the organisation, before even a word is spoken to address the external audiences.
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