What Is the Meaning of Corporate Communication?

by Pallab Dutta; Updated April 25, 2018

Corporate communication is the practice of developing, cultivating and maintaining a corporate identity or brand image. A solid corporate communications team provides initiatives to mold company image, communicate with internal and external audiences, and sustain a long-term positive reputation. Through public relations and wide-spread corporate communications, your customers, employees and clients can share in your company successes.

Building a Reputation

Corporate communication encompasses methods and processes in promoting a company’s credentials, its positioning pitch and its acceptability in the marketplace. It involves a series of planned, interconnected activities and programs to communicate and engage with internal employees and externally with partners, customers and other stakeholders. Corporate communication helps highlight a company’s annual earnings and achievements, its roster of products and services and its philanthropy and community outreach efforts. The intent at all times is to project a unified message and a consistent corporate identity.

Building Corporate Identity

Corporate communication is generally acknowledged as the best possible method of building long-term corporate identity. A well-articulated and consistent corporate communication strategy, along with larger advertising and PR campaigns, reinforces a positive image about your company. This practice has helped businesses, corporations and even startups to develop and sustain unique corporate brand identities. Strategic, timely and well-orchestrated corporate communication initiatives have helped companies to limit negative fallouts of market missteps, crisis scenarios or unseemly or controversial utterances by key business executives.

Building an Influence

The top management or key business executives play an influential and nuanced role in shaping the corporate communication agenda of an organization. The communications team will follow their lead, and often use higher-ups and top management as part of their campaigns. Management can offer strategic inputs and suggestions to fine-tune specific programs and communicate key organizational highlights. The communications team takes these insights and translates them for their audience of clients, customers and employees. The relationship between upper management and the communications team is vital to sharing corporate wins.

Supporting the Corporate Communication Team

The in-house corporate communication department is the key enabler of any corporate communication effort. A senior executive and the brand communication manager devise, develop and revise various initiatives. They understand the need to be flexible and account for evolving business environments and contextual organizational shifts. The team drafts news releases, prepares executive briefs for top management, ghostwrites op-eds, blogs, social media posts and columns for business managers and other higher-ups. The team arranges interviews of key personnel in relevant industry and trade publications or for panel-based programs on cable and network news channels. The department can also liaises with an external PR agency to manage nationwide PR campaigns and press conferences.

Benefits and Beyond

A well-managed, flexible and sustained corporate communication practice can reap medium-term and long-term benefits. It enables a company to have a distinctive identity in a crowded and intensely competitive marketplace environment. Customers are more loyal to the company and generally feel positive about buying or consuming the company’s products and services. Business investors stay committed to investing in the company. Shareholders remain confident about the capabilities of key executives, and the long-term prospects and profitability of the company.

About the Author

Based out of the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, Pallab Dutta has written on business, technology and management issues since 1994. He has freelanced for “The Wall Street Journal," “The Economic Times” and “The Times of India." Dutta holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Bombay University and a Diploma in modern information systems from IIT Bombay.

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