How to Build a Corporate Communications Strategy
Although 89% of people believe that effective communication is extremely important to an organization’s success, 8 out of 10 people rate their own business’ communications as either average or poor.
Failing to have a corporate communications strategy in place will not only have a negative impact on employees’ work ethics and motivation levels but will also affect a business’s reputation with its customers and key stakeholders: 74% of people said they had stopped dealing with a company and moved to a competitor due to feeling the business was disorganized.
To avoid such losses, it is essential for organizations to implement a strong corporate affairs strategy, which includes maintaining regular and clear contact with staff, customers, and stakeholders.
What is the purpose of a communications strategy?
- To explain a company’s goals and objectives
- To clarify the relationships between audiences, messages, channels, activities, and materials
- To refine the roles of staff members, stakeholders, and others
- To develop creativity and camaraderie among teams
- To help staff members and stakeholders get on the “same page”
- To include stakeholder input in the communications process
- To ensure stakeholders and customers are being reached effectively
Where to start with the process of corporate communications strategy?
Create market awareness
By creating awareness in the market companies have the opportunity to get their names out there and to let customers know what they have to offer. This does not mean businesses have to splurge on high profile marketing campaigns; another option is to seek out trusted third parties who are already discussing your brand and amplify what they have to say. Smart use of social media offers the opportunity to publish and share thought leadership articles and opinion pieces for free.
Respond efficiently to customers
Communications strategies that are based around response and conversion are becoming increasingly common, especially with the rise of content marketing tools that make it easier to track how engaged the audience is with a piece of content and to follow up in a targeted way. Any insights discovered can be passed to the relevant team who can follow-up with customers.
Educate the market
Technology companies, in particular, often need to educate the market about their products or service offerings. A communications strategy that’s focused on education may favor easily digestible infographics, how-tos, and short videos that explain the market need and how a product addresses that pain. Take care to put ample educational material out there for customers still trying to make a buying decision.
Focus on internal communications
Internal communications are just as important to an organization’s overall health and development as external communications. A solid internal communications strategy helps ensure better morale and employee engagement in the overall corporate objective. Make use of an internal communications strategy template to get started.
Five tips to building effective communications
- Create actual value – all content should focus on how a product, service, or development will help customers or employees to solve a problem or overcome a challenge.
- Include Key Performance Indicators – incorporating clear key performance indicators (KPIs) is critical to meeting the goals and objectives set forth in the strategy.
- Be clear about metrics and goals – it should be clear to everyone working on a project what a successful outcome looks like.
- Understand your audience – it is important to understand the pain points and interests of your audience.
- Listen to your stakeholders and customers – prior to launching a new product or service it’s a good idea to seek out input and feedback from internal and external sources.
Clear communications are the bedrock of any successful organization, whether that’s internal communications or communicating with customers, suppliers and stakeholders. By being clear and open organizations build a culture of trust which in turn leads to loyalty. In today’s business landscape, loyalty is a clear competitive advantage.