It doesn’t matter how great or big your business is, breakdowns in communication will happen. And things get pretty ugly when they do. Nobody knows what’s going on anymore, projects suffer, and getting your team on the same page again seems nigh impossible. In other words, it's downright frustrating.
Hey, we’ve all been there.
But there’s (somewhat) good news here. Breakdowns like these are completely normal too. Spend one day in any office and you’ll quickly see why: people have different communication styles. One employee may prefer talking things out with coworkers and seeing the “big picture” while another won’t even bother. The ways in which employees interact with each other aren’t set in stone. Variety is the spice of life, and it’s variety that powers innovation in the workplace.
But therein lies the challenge: how can businesses get employees across different departments to speak the same language, solve problems, and avoid lollygagging whenever communications aren’t exactly crystal clear? It’s a complicated question with an equally complicated answer, but teams can meet the challenge by creating an all-hands-on-deck environment that fosters teamwork and productivity. And it all starts with tip-top corporate communication.
What is corporate communication?
According to the Financial Times Lexicon, corporate communication is “a management function or department, like marketing, finance, or operations, dedicated to the dissemination of information to key constituencies, the execution of corporate strategy, and the development of messages for a variety of purposes for inside and outside the organisation.”
It’s the “conscience of the corporation,” as FT Lexicon puts it, that’s directly responsible for shaping and maintaining the company’s reputation. The department oversees communication strategy, branding, internal/employee communications, organizational identity, responsibility, reputation, crisis communications, investor relations, and public relations.
Public relations is frequently interchanged with corp comm. That’s because the two are closely related. The latter, however, comprises all communication activities (both internal and external) a business undertakes. Public relations, as its name implies, works more closely with management to build and nurture relationships with the general public.
The takeaway: corporate communication is a blanket term for any activity that involves managing and orchestrating both internal and external communications to “create [a] favorable point of view among stakeholders.” (Source)
Forms of corporate communication
Businesses who make it a priority to communicate with internal staff and external stakeholders stick around a lot longer than those who don’t. It’s a two-way process: both parties should have the opportunity to provide meaningful feedback and see it applied accordingly.
We kicked off this article with a vivid scenario of workplace communication gone wrong. Because it involved communication (or lack thereof) within an organization, it was an example of internal communications. Internal communication is one form of corp comm and refers to information shared between members of an organization, be they employees, stakeholders, or boards of directors. Basically, it’s the inner workings of a business.
Internal information is typically shared behind closed doors and with staff, not the public. Reasons why vary; the message may be private and not apply to outsiders, for example.
Internal communications are highly systematic. When executed properly, they can shape an entire company’s culture. Employees are empowered through knowledge, morale is consistently high, and organizations build trust and understanding with their employees at every level. In addition, effective internal communications can rally employees behind their company’s mission. All workers know what they’re doing and which roles they play in the organization’s overall success.
External communication, the other type of corporate comms, refers to any information companies transmit to outside parties (the general public, media, agencies, the government, customers, suppliers, educational institutes, etc.). The information contained therein may describe a business’s particular services, or provide a general overview of the company itself.
External communications serve two purposes: (1) to improve interactions with outside parties and (2) present a favorable business image to the media. Today, companies employ a variety of different channels to do both, including the Internet, public meetings, and media broadcasting.
An organization’s internal and external communications should be mutually beneficial for all parties involved. If they are, businesses can outperform expectations consistently. If they aren’t, relationships are bogged down by opposing demands that can slow down operations to a crawl.
Corporate communications with Joomag
A team-based corporate communications platform, Joomag helps businesses find the right ways to connect with internal and external audiences. It’s no surprise that mixed messages can cause serious communication problems in any relationship. And it’s no different when it comes to business. Don’t risk it. Keep your messages consistent and clear with Joomag. Here’s how:
Interactive content creation: in today’s high-intensity workplace, interactivity is the key to fostering engagement and keeping your brand messaging aligned. With Joomag, start creating interactive content from scratch, uploaded PDF files, or from over 300 predesigned templates. Collect important feedback from employees or the public by embedding interactive feedback forms. Turn passive readers into active participants via interactive videos, photos, and audio files. (Learn more).
Collaboration: use content to communicate with employees or the public in real time. Feel free to add multiple users under your account, work together, and ensure everyone stays on the same page at all times. Assign advanced rights and roles to different employees and tap into their unique skill sets. (Learn more).
Seamless distribution: ensure on-the-move employees never miss a beat. Publish content on mobile devices via custom branded apps provided by Joomag. Or, if the public is your target audience, embed assets on company websites, social media channels when engagement rates are highest, and blogs. (Learn more).
Analytics: bring data to the forefront of your corporate communication strategy. Joomag provides up-to-the-minute performance metrics for your content, including email open rates, reader engagement levels, link clicks, page views, traffic insights, geolocations, and much more. Make speedy decisions with confidence. (Learn more).
Ernst & Young and Century 21, two best-in-class companies, leveraged Joomag’s corporate communication platform to drive some truly amazing results. You can read their success stories by following the link below.