Regardless of industry or company size, businesses of all kinds use external communication to achieve organizational goals and satisfy the requirements of their customers and stakeholders. External communication is any kind of message that originates inside an organization but is designed specifically for people outside of the business. Company communication with the outside world typically involves information about products and services, company profitability, financial performance and corporate image.
Reviewing Online External Communication
Sharing information online is a common and effective way for organizations to get their message across to their customers. One of the most effective ways to do so is through the company website. This is often a customer’s first impression of the business, so it’s important to ensure that the website is up-to-date, engaging and informative. Your company can include information on your products or services, any special sales or promotions you’re having, details about your company and your contact information. It’s vital that your website differentiate you from your competitors.
Many companies utilize online ads to lead potential customers to their websites. The ads can be text-only or include graphics. They are search-engine-optimized (SEO) with keywords related to your business that prospects are searching in Google or other search engines. The message in your ads should contain information that will interest the potential customer and make them want to visit your website to learn more about your products or services.
Other effective external communications are press releases and media relations. With these forms of advertising, you develop targeted messages for media relations personnel. This information can include the company's financial performance, unique or exciting company events or information on the company's social responsibility programs.
Email campaigns and newsletters are other methods of external communications. Organizations employ email campaigns to achieve a specific goal, such as getting a lead to book a discovery call or download an important document with sales information. Newsletters are generally sent out monthly and contain updates on the company and time-sensitive information the customer may want to take action on during the period of the newsletter.
Social media is an online method of external communication that is often used both by companies and their employees. Many organizations have social media accounts, and designated people within the company also use their social media handles to communicate information related to the business.
Exploring Offline External Communication
While online external communication is booming these days, offline methods of external communication are still valid and relevant. Many businesses hold or attend in-person events, trade shows and speaking engagements, which is a great way to meet face-to-face with customers and prospective customers, to talk about company initiatives. In an age when customers are being bombarded with information online, going offline is a refreshing change and an effective strategy.
Many companies also hold telephone campaigns that are highly targeted to specific groups of customers or prospects. They are generally related to a campaign the company is conducting. By speaking personally to customers, individuals within the company can build meaningful relationships with them and nurture sales activities.
Effective communication outside the organization also includes sales materials, which can come in both digital and print forms. These are generally brochures, pamphlets, datasheets and other collateral that are on the company website and are also available in hard copy. When salespeople go to meet with clients, they can bring along the relevant sales materials to leave behind for the customers to look through. Print sales materials are also often available at events and trade shows to entice passers-by.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.