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Corporate Communications: A Dimension of Corporate Meaning

Objectives

Appreciating the complexity of corporate communications Understanding Common Starting Points (CSPs) and the Sustainable Corporate Story (SCS) MODEL(S) OF THE MOMENT: THE NEW CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS WHEEL AND THE T W O CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS MIXES
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Marketing and Corporate Communications: What are the differences ?


MARKETING

CORPORATE
multiple stakeholders multiple channels variety of communication positions an entire organisation less room for creativity needs to be consistent with corporate identity/corporate brand attributes

customer defined set of channels controlled communication types positions a product or service more room for creativity needs to be consistent with product/brand attributes

The Trade

THE CORPORATION

Country of Origin

The New Corporate Communication Wheel: Balmer and Greyser. Adapted 4 from D. Bernstein (1984)

Model of the Moment: ii


(A process for using the Balmer and Greysers New Corporate Communications Wheel * * adapted from Bernstein )

1 DEFINE ALL STAKEHOLDER GROUPS 2 IDENTIFY COMMUNICATION CHANNELS 3 PRIORITISE STAKEHOLDERS

4 IDENTIFY APPROPRIATE CHANNELS FOR EACH GROUP

Model of the Moment: iii

5 TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE IMAGE OF: COUNTRY OF ORIGIN and of THE INDUSTRY
6 additional elements identified by Balmer and Greyser TAKE ACCOUNT OF THE CORPORATE BRANDING COVENANT (where appropriate) PARTNERSHIP(s) and the effect of ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES
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model of the moment: iv

Provides a foundation by which a significant part of a corporate communications strategy can be established.
Illustrates the VAST SCOPE of the TASK (comparing corporate communications to marketing communications) For instance, 11 stakeholder groups and 11 channels results in 121 considerations alone!
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Common Starting Points (CSPs): what are they ?

An early example of an integrated approach to corporate communications (developed by Van Riel) Rationale: to achieve CONSISTENCY in corporate communications activities by establishing COMMON STARTING POINTS that underpin ALL FORMAL corporate communications
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Common Starting Points continued...

CSP is an integrated and interdisciplinary approach taking account of STRATEGY, IDENTITY and IMAGE.
CSP process: representatives from the corporations various communications departments establish commonalties (based on the above) which form the basis of all formal corporate communications.
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The Sustainable Corporate Story (SCS)

What is it? A realistic and relevant description of key aspects of the organization (origins, vision and mission)
How is it distinct? It is derived from an organizations distinctive characteristics (its identity)
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The Sustainable Corporate Story....continued

Perceived Benefits?

Via communications distinctiveness of message and consistency of message is achieved.

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The Sustainable Corporate Story.. continued

Van Riel suggest that the following should underpin sustainable corporate stories in that they should be: REALISTIC (based on the identity) RELEVANT (offer added value elements for stakeholders) RESPONSIVE (allows for two way symmetrical communication) SUSTAINABLE (needs to meet the sundry demands of various stakeholder groups)
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What are the parameters of corporate communications ?

Just as there is a marketing mix, services marketing mix, promotional mix (communication mix) a number of authors have attempted to articulate a

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS MIX


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TWO CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS MIXES

(a) THE CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS MIX OF VAN RIEL

and

(b) THE TOTAL CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS MIX OF BALMER AND GRAY


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Van Riels Corporate Communication Mix

Comprises:
Management Communication: managers need to establish a shared vision and trust WITHIN the organization Marketing Communication: the traditional marketing communications mix Organizational Communication: communicating to the various external groups (encompassing a plethora of corporate-level communications functions)
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Balmer and Grays Total Corporate Communications Mix

Encompasses: Primary Communications: the communications effects of products, services, management, staff and corporate behavior. Secondary Communications: controlled forms of communications such as advertising and pr

Tertiary Communications: word of mouth/spin

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Finally...

If the importance of corporate communications are not understood/managed this can lead to communications that are diffuse, confusing, contradictory and sometimes prolix.
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One More Time: why are corporate communications important?

Bernstein (1984) argues that: many business failures are caused by poor corporate communications. many businesses lack a clear, overarching, corporate communications platform managers NEED to communicate to internal and external groups fragmentation across communication disciplines (pr, advertising, print, investor relations) causes many difficulties.
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Summary: i

Corporate Communications is broader, and more complicated than marketing communications. It is complicated because of the existence of multiple channels of communication in addition to multiple stakeholder groups. Moreover, individuals invariably belong to multiple stakeholder groups. Common Starting Points/the Sustainable Corporate Story are two routes by which organizations may achieve consistency in their communications.

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Summary: ii

Van Riels Corporate Communication Mix and Balmer and Grays Total Corporate Communications Mix afford two contrasting perspectives on the area.
The New Corporate Communications Wheel (Balmer and Greyser) affords a framework for prioritising stakeholder groups and channels and takes account of other important factors such as corporate brand, country of origin, and industry image.
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Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Stephen Covey

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