If you do a Google Search on the term Corporate Communications, 95% of what you get are job openings in various corporate communications departments. How is it that a term containing “communications” in its very name doesn’t do a good job communicating its value or purpose?
We’re going to attempt the impossible and define corporate communications here and now. While this sounds about as exciting as trying to define the exact flavor of wallpaper paste, it’s not an academic exercise. If we can’t all agree on what the definition is, how can we agree on what good corporate communications is? Or looks like? Or feels like?
So we asked some of the professionals and luminaries inside and connected to the corporate communications industry to give us their personal definition. Here they are, unedited and in no particular order:
“Develop a distinctive brand. Identify your audience and tell your story. Manage your reputation.”
“Corporate communication is a broad term. Underneath it can sit internal communication (with employees, stakeholders and interested parties such as shareholders), external communication (with customers and media), public and government affairs, corporate social responsibility, sponsorship, brand, events and more. These disciplines often overlap and each one requires unique skill sets and dedication. An effective corporate communication function and team recognises and celebrates this and aligns effort, content and timings to benefit the business and its customers.”
“The ability to form a thriving culture so that story telling becomes an intrinsic part of the company.”
“The approach a brand takes to sharing its corporate story with its stakeholders and public.”
“Horrifically dull but very well paid.”
“It’s a good question. I define corporate communications a a company’s ability to organize the people, processes, programs and platforms that allow the organization to achieve a degree of transparency to both internal and external stakeholders. That can include customers, employees, investors and surrounding community members. Some people would include press, but I think the press/media are simply vessels for the communications.”
“The unified and coordinated (integrated) orchestration of measurable programs of strategic, concise and engaging messages that enhance or protect an organization’s reputation, brand, visibility and policies and are disseminated to its stakeholders, media and publics via targeted channels.”
Dianna L. Boyce
“The Corporate communications team works proactively in the community, with customers, with shareholders, through media and with employees to share, educate and emulate the company’s vision and mission. We live and breathe that mission and vision through our actions, programs and words.”
“The process of telling your company story through your authentic voice.”
“Authentic corp communications is your inside voice (of company) spoken outside to clients & community with purpose and passion. #keepitreal”
“How organisations strategically manage their key communications. Communications should be planned, structured and then measured to ensure they support the organisation’s top-level business and communication strategy.”
“Communication is that the message sent is the message received. Corporate communications is the is the process of authoring, organizing, and managing internal and external information sharing toward the purpose of a consistent, complete, credible aggregate message that produces and promotes a positive corporate culture and brand.”
“I define corporate communications as maintaining and fostering relationships between an entire organization both externally with the media and internally with employees.”
“Just as public relations and advertising promote and support an organization’s brand in the external marketplace, corporate communications promote and support a brand within an organization, communicating directly with employees through a variety of platforms and media. Basically, PR and advertising ‘talk’ to external audiences, while corporate communications ‘talks’ to internal ones.”
While this list is long, it probably isn’t comprehensive. If you’re a communications professional and would like to share your own definition of Corporate Communications, reach out to us via Twitter: @flirtcomm. We’d love to keep adding to this list over the next few weeks.