The Big Picture of Business: Corporate Communications – Correctly Positioning Your Company

Evolution of Corporate Communications Activity

In many professions, the idea of full-scope, sophisticated positioning has been foreign up until now. Business development has occurred primarily by accident or through market demand.

Because of economic realities and the increased numbers of firms providing comparable services, the notion of business development is now a necessity, rather than a luxury.

Competition for customers-clients is sharpening. The professions are no longer held on a pedestal… a condition which mandates them to portray or enhance public images.

As companies adjust comfort levels and acquire confidence in the arena of business development, there is a direct relationship to billings, client mix diversity, market share, competitive advantage, stock price and levels of business which enable other planned growth.

Public perceptions are called credence goods by economists. Every organization must educate outside publics about what they do… and how they do it.

This holds for corporate operating units and departments. You must always educate corporate opinion makers on how you function… and the skill with which you operate.

Gaining confidence is crucial… as business relationships with professionals are established to be long-term in duration.

Each organization or should determine and craft its own character and personality… seeking to differentiate from others. That appeals to professionals within your own staff, those professionals whom your firm would like to attract and clients.

Top management must endorse corporate imaging and other forms of practice development, if your company is to grow and prosper. Few companies can even sustain present levels of sales without some degree of business development.

Some people in your organization will devote much time to promotions, public relations, marketing and advertising. This quality should be recognized and rewarded… since professionals with a sense of business direction play an important part in company growth.

Be it a ‘necessary evil’ or not, corporate imaging activity can be accomplished with skill and success…provided that organizations follow the advice of professional communicators.

Companies must maintain a delicate balance between seeking new business, replacing lost clients and nurturing client relationships. Operating units and departments must schedule and follow a program to market their worth to their companies.

No matter what time allocation basis is selected by the organization, it is vital that some basis exists in writing and in execution.

Guidelines and Customs to be Observed in Corporate Communications

The professional organization that evokes a caring image – and backs it up with service – will prosper in today’s marketplace.

In image building, the following ideas should be considered:

  • Your company and profession fill essential needs of society.
  • Each key staff member represents a learned profession.
  • Qualities that denote your company include skill, expertise, objectivity and independence.
  • Work and abilities of your employees are diverse and creative.
  • Your key management team is dynamic, in terms of business issues.
  • The marketplace is rapidly expanding and is an excellent career choice for young people.
  • Your team encompasses multi-dimensional professionals…concerned with much more than the immediate responsibilities of the work at hand.
  • Recognize the role of professional communicators. Seek qualified counsel.

Corporate Communications Program – Essential Ingredients

Strategic Plan

  • Mission statement.
  • Visioning document.
  • Goals and objectives.
  • Tactics.
  • Timeline for implementation.
  • Benchmarks for measurement.

Policies and Procedures

Investor Relations Program

Public Relations Program

  • Complete generic press kits.
  • Guidelines on working with the media.
  • Pointers on training staff and volunteers as media spokespersons.
  • Company collateral literature system.
  • Guidelines on arranging speeches, seminars and town hall meetings.
  • Ways to improve local community and government relations.
  • Opinion pieces and bylined articles on key topics, suitable for placing in newspapers under local bylines.
  • Formula press releases and features, which can be locally customized.
  • Other components of a program which can and should be customized.

Marketing Program

  • Internet.
  • Sales support.
  • Business development.
  • Direct marketing.
  • Indirect marketing.
  • Advertising.
  • Business-to-business promotions.
  • Industry and professional marketing.
  • Point-of-purchase materials.
  • Collateral materials.

Job Descriptions (Position Results Oriented Descriptions)

Staff Training Program

Corporate Communications Manual

  • Overall Philosophy and Writing Style.
  • Statements to Make Publicly.
  • Letters.
  • Forms.
  • Statements.
  • Customer Comment Cards.
  • Customer Service Correspondence.
  • Sales Manual.
  • Graphics Standards.

Crisis Plan

  • Risk management team.
  • Preparedness.
  • Contact numbers.
  • Plan for emergencies.
  • Case studies.
  • Company profiles.
  • Preventive programs to keep crises from occurring.
  • Training and testing.
  • Timeline for implementation.
  • Benchmarks for measurement.

Compensation, Benefits and Other Financial Plans

Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Plans

Continuous Quality Improvement Program

Ethics Statement

Literature and Audio Visual Programs Which Portray Company Image

Special Financial Publics Program

Internal Auditing and Assessment Program

Government Relations Program

Community Relations Program

Staff Development and Professional Enhancement Program

Conflict Resolution and Arbitration Plans

Corporate Philanthropy Program

Contingency Program for Specified and Unplanned Emergencies

About the Author

Hank Moore has advised 5,000+ client organizations worldwide (including 100 of the Fortune 500, public sector agencies, small businesses and non-profit organizations). He has advised two U.S. Presidents and spoke at five Economic Summits. He guides companies through growth strategies, visioning, strategic planning, executive leadership development, Futurism and Big Picture issues which profoundly affect the business climate. He conducts company evaluations, creates the big ideas and anchors the enterprise to its next tier. The Business Tree™ is his trademarked approach to growing, strengthening and evolving business, while mastering change. To read Hank’s complete biography, click here.

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