Strategies and Essentials of International Corporate Communications
In organizations, there are set processes, policies and customs that determine their direction and development. This includes both internal, external relationships of the organization and objectives for which it is governed. In the contemporary business setting, the main external relations would be with, shareholders, creditors, suppliers, communities. Internal relations would include board of governors, directors, executives and employees.
Global communication trends have created an impact on corporate governance and the vital theme surrounding it is the extent of accountability of the individuals in an organization. Therefore, a combination of communication management and corporate governance it is important for organizations to facilitate information on decision making process to the stakeholders as well as communicating correct signals to the public. According to United Nations Global impact (2004), If companies want to emerge with overall management quality required for success and competitiveness then it needs to put emphasis on environmental, social, and corporate governance in this world that is globalized, interconnected and competetive.
It is important for an organization to communicate to the stakeholders coherent and credible information. Corporate communication therefore is the centerpiece that holds an organization together. It is the communication structure that connects stakeholders in an organization. Riel & Fombrun (2007) say that it consist of relaying of information by different specialists and general people in an organization with a unifird goal of improving the organization’s self sustainance. Communications in an organization is important for the effective performance of the management and human resource by empowering the staff with information and motivation to undertake their roles. Communication also provides a unified frame of reference in an organization especially when appropriate messages are closely aligned with workers environment. Communication then creates and supports organization’s culture.
This is a formal statement written to guide the operations of an organization. It outlines an organization’s overall goal and gives a sense of direction. According to Radtke (1998), for a mission statement to be effective, it must resonate with the organization’s stakeholders as well as the organization’s partners. It must inspire commitment, innovation and courage by representing the purpose of the organization. The mission statement need to address three questions, the aim of the organization, what the organization does and the organization’s values.
Public relations is key in providing an organization exposure to their target audiences by disseminating information of public interest and news items that are not paid for through a third-party endorsement (Seitel, 2007). Many organizations are involved in public relations activites such as confferences, media activities, crisis communications among others. This communication tool is essential in building rapport with customers, investors, employees as well as the public. Many organizations employ some level of public relations to improve on their public image.
With the advent of the internet, the world has become a “global village,” and information distribution is changing fast. Information is updated by the minute and people access it any time (Hiebert, 2004). Organizations today conduct most of their businesses over the internet and use it to communicate effectively in order to meet their goals. Social networking web sites have become normal communication media just like the traditional telephone. Evans, Twomey, & Talan (2011), interviewed executive level public relation managers to study social media as a communication tool.Their findings suggest that social networks and blogs are valuable tools in public relation campaigns. Singling out Twitter as the prefered communiction media not available in other media.
This is the relationship between an organization with journalists. Ways of organization’s working with the media are: writing a news release to media houses, writing public service announcements, letters to the editor, writing an opinion or editorial piece, writing a guest column and dealing with television or radio interviews.
Employees participation in management decisions, communication is critical for improving cooperation, control grievances and minimize conflict in an organization. Communicate policies and procedures to employees. Organizations establish procedures to communicate policies to employees. Employees are required to have human resource handbooks outlining the employment procedures. In the United States, organizations are required to clearly post notices outlining state and federal regulations, equal employment opportunity, compensations insuarance minimum wage, whistle blower Act, working enviroment and disability act and grievances procedures (Moore & Kerr, 1993).
With the emergence of human resource management, there are individuals within organizations that handle employee relations issues. The employees identify the person they need to see incase of any concerns a bout policy, work and personal issues, this information is confidential. Organizations need to review their human resource handbook regularly in order to update their policies and procedures appropriately.
Employee orientation programe is another critical component in corporate communication. According to the University of California The main objective of new employee orientation is to assist new employees make successful adjustments to their new job, help them understand their role and hoe they fit in the whole organization, assist them achieve and soften the learning curve and help them develop a positive working relationship by building a firm foundation. A successful orientation program is well planned and spread over a period of time. It is an on going process. At the end of the orientation, new employees should be able to state and understand the mission of the organization, decribe the organization’s vission, identify the organizations key services and functions as well as identify the main responsibility of their position and the effect it has on other employees. The new employee should also be able to identify the physical layout of building and understand the organization’s appraisal policies
Understand the organization’s sick leave, vacation policies as well as eligibility of employee benefits.
Strategic Communication provides the organization with a framework enabling it to sort their information dissemination efforts. Strategic communication gives the organization an avenue to create and send messages are different but important to the organization.
A strategic planning process can take an organization to the next level of success it develops creativity that boosts an organization’s success. According to Lieberman (2011) Strategic planning comprises of six steps:
Identify the organization’s opportunities by forming a planning group of leader to analyze the futuristic vision for the organization. The mission is then instituted as a connection between the present and the future of the organization. The group evaluates issues that threaten the organization’s mission and establishes a firm understanding of the financial stability. The second step according to Lieberman (2011), is selecting and developing strategies. A strategy is an organized set of actions with the purpose of developing and sustaining a competitive edge by undertaking the organization’s mission. Strategies streamline decision making in order for the mission and operational systems to work towards a common objectives. The third step is establishing plan for success. Each objective should be specific, measurable and achievable. The objectives and sub-objectives should involve a tangible measurable result, when the organization achieves the sub-objective then achieving the main objective becomes inevitable.
Lieberman (2011) explains the fourth step as “brainstorming, priotizing, and selecting viable strategies” organizations establish strategic item requirements for creation of specific plans of implementation by ranking their priorities. This takes six to eighteen months.the fifth step is to outline measurable action plans. The result of the strategic planning process is a list of action plans. Each plan is specific and with timelines, the action articulates the move from theory to practice. According to Lieberman (2011), the last step is “defining ways to measure success”
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Impact, UNG 2004, ‘Who Cares Wins: Connecting Financial Markets to a Changing World’, United Nations.
Lieberman, C 2011, ‘Strategic planning for organizational success’, Philanthropy Journal , 30 June 2011.
Moore, J & Kerr, D 1993, ‘Assessment in Performance Appraisal’, International Personnel Management Association Assessment Council, Texas State Auditor’s Offic, Texas.
Radtke, J 1998, Strategic Communication for Non- profit Organizations: Seven Stepd to Creating a Succesful Plan, John Wiley and Sons.
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Seitel, FP 2007, The Practice of Public Relations, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.