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Career In Corporate Communication



What is Corporate Communication?

Corporate communications refer to the way in which businesses and organizations communicate with internal and external various audiences. These audiences commonly include:

· Customers and potential customers

· Employees

· Key stakeholders (such as the C-Suite and investors)

· The media and general public

· Government agencies and other third-party regulators

Corporate communications can take many forms depending on the audience that is being addressed. Ultimately, an organization’s communication strategy will typically consist of written word (internal and external reports, advertisements, website copy, promotional materials, email, memos, press releases), spoken word (meetings, press conferences, interviews, video), and non-spoken communication (photographs, illustrations, info graphics, general branding).

What does Corporate Communication do?

In most organizations, the communications department is responsible for overseeing a wide range of communications activities. One of the simplest ways of understanding these different activities is to group them according to the role that they play within an organization, as below.

· Media and Public Relations

This refers to the way in which a company or organization communicates with the general public, including the media, by:

  • Organizing news conferences, product launches, and interviews, and creating materials (banners, flyers, etc.) for such events

  • Writing and distributing press releases to the media to garner coverage

  • Monitoring the news for mentions of the organization, its product, and key employees such as stakeholders and members of management

  • Devising a plan to address unfavourable press coverage or misinformation

  • Customer Communications and Marketing

Though most businesses still differentiate between their marketing and communication departments, the lines between the two have begun to blur in recent years. Corporate communication strategy often impacts marketing strategy, and vice versa, which has increased cooperation and collaboration between the two functions.

It is not uncommon, therefore, for members of the communication department to help generate various marketing materials and general customer communications, including:

  • Marketing emails

  • Brochures

  • Flyers

  • Newsletters

  • Website copy

  • Social media strategy

  • Crisis Communication

Crisis communication refers to the specific messaging that a company (or individual) portrays in the face of a crisis or unanticipated event which has the potential to damage their reputation or existence. In the event of such a crisis, it is the responsibility of the communications department to create a strategy to address it (often done with the aid of outside experts) which may include:

§ Organizing interviews and news briefings for company representatives to discuss the issue at hand

§ Advising company representatives on what to say and how to say it when speaking with members of the media

§ Communicating with attorneys, government regulators, emergency responders, and politicians as necessary

§ Generally protecting the organization’s reputation and ability to do business

§ Exactly what constitutes a “crisis” will depend on the type of organization but may include anything from workplace accidents and violence to business struggles to product defects, chemical spills, litigation, and more.

· Internal Communications

In addition to being responsible for communicating the organization’s message with external audiences, most communications teams will play at least some role in internal communications, including:

§ Drafting emails and memos announcing company news and initiatives

§ Compiling employee resources (such as information about employee benefits)

§ Creating printed materials, such as employee handbooks or flyers

§ Facilitating group brainstorming sessions and training sessions amongst employees

§ Managing internal blogs, newsletters, or other publications

§ Internal communication is often done at the direction of or in partnership with the human resources management team.

Types of Corporate Communication:

Internal Corporate Communications

Internal corporate communications are those messages that are conveyed to employees and stakeholders that have an interest in the production side of the business. On the other hand, external communications are those messages meant for the consumer of the goods or services the company produces. Internal communications include:

· The company’s mission statement

· Employee manuals and handbooks

· Employee newsletters, e-newsletters and e-mails

· Information contained on the company intranet

· Trainings and seminars

· Unwritten communication such as corporate cultural norms

· Communication given to shareholders (who may also be consumers)

External Corporate Communications

External forms of communication can include the following:

· Annual reports

· Websites

· Facebook, Twitter and other social media

· White papers, case studies, by-lined articles

· External newsletters and email blasts

· Mass media advertising and direct mail

· Blogs

· Brochures and printed sales materials

· Promotional items

Knowledge areas that need to be acquired:

Education:

Corporate communication deals with the exchange of business information within and outside an organisation. It is a managerial discipline, closely related to public relations, marketing, organisation and leadership and human resources. Corporate communication involves mostly preserving a coherent corporate identity and promoting a positive brand icon.

Professionals in business communication draft communication strategies, formulate briefs and speeches for managers, write press releases, handle media relations, deal with corporate responsibility and conduct, improve interpersonal and inter-departmental communication, and many more.

Masters in Corporate Communication are typically offered as part of communication studies departments of universities, together with programmes in strategic and business communication, integrated marketing communication, public relations, journalism, human relations, rhetoric and public advocacy, and others. Corporate communication courses aim to improve the knowledge and skills of students such as effective written and oral communication, business acumen, ethical awareness, digital strategies, or flexible thinking.

Graduates in the field will be prepared to work as communications specialists in business, industry, public administration, and non-profit organisations. Career prospects include various positions such as: business spokesman, marketing specialist, technical copy writer, public speaking trainer, publicity manager, campaign director or media planner.

Certain courses available are:

  • BBA and MBA in Public Relations & Corporate Communications (BBA - PRCC): School of New, Karnataka

  • Certificate Program in Corporate Communication: SVKM's NMIMS - NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education, Maharashtra

  • Corporate Communication - Certificate Programme: UTS (Universal Training Solutions, Maharashtra

  • MBA (Capital Markets): SVKM's NMIMS - School of Business Management, Maharashtra

  • Event Management & Corporate Communication Course: MassCoMedia, Delhi


Skills:

Pursuing a career in corporate communications requires a specialized skill set, regardless of the area on which you ultimately choose to concentrate. Some of the most important skills include:

· Writing skills

As a member of the communications department, you will likely spend the majority of your day writing copy in various formats, from emails and memos, to blog posts and articles, to website copy, social media posts, printed collateral, and more. To be effective in the role, you will need to hone your writing skills so that you can communicate clearly to diverse audiences across many formats.

· Presentation and public speaking skills

Presentation skills have become more important in recent years. In fact, according to once survey of corporate recruiters, it’s in the top five skills that companies look for when filling positions. Communications professionals are regularly expected to interface with the public and members of the media, as well as fellow employees and internal stakeholders. The ability to clearly and confidently present your ideas and information, whether in person or through the aid of technology (such as a video or webinar) is expected in many roles.

· Communicating with data

Organizations now collect more data than at any point in history, all of which is critical in informing important strategic decisions. As data has proliferated, employees across disciplines are finding that they must interact with this data in new ways. Modern communications professionals must be adept at interpreting data from a variety of sources, communicating with that data, and using it to tell compelling stories.

· Research and critical thinking

Depending on your exact role within an organization and the types of communication that you are expected to create, you may find yourself spending a lot of time searching for resources that can inform your content. The ability to conduct research and—more importantly—evaluate your resources critically, is an essential part of many communications roles.

· Technical skills

Technological advancements are shaping the field of communications as much as any other industry. The International Association of Business Communications states that the five most important technology trends impacting corporate communications are chatbots, blockchain, virtual reality, extremely-personalized experiences, and artificial personal assistants. Many (if not all) of these technologies are being driven by developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence, which threaten to automate many roles. Developing your technical skills can help you remain competitive in this new reality.

Abilities:

· Oral communication/presentation skills:

Oral communication or skill in public speaking is critical to achieving success in a strategic communication career. You may have to deliver a presentation to pitch new business to a potential client or discuss campaign ideas and results with a current client. Successful presentations demonstrate a solid understanding of how to connect with the audience in a compelling and persuasive manner.

· Analytic ability:

Strategic communicators use analytic skills to examine industry trends, audiences, and message design. They also use these skills to manage organizational needs, solve complex problems, conduct research, come up with creative ideas and communication tactics, and conceptualize realistic and effective messaging goals. They also may use metric-driven programs such as Google Analytics.

· Ability to work under pressure:

Strategic communication often involves working against tight deadlines and being expected to deliver results under pressure. In the event of a crisis or a stressful organizational situation, you want to be able to craft an effective response and shape the narrative going forward. In a less negative situation, such as promoting the grand opening of a store, you will still need to create messages quickly in order to get them out to audiences.

· Proactive mindset:

Many people think that strategic communication is reactive because they associate it with crisis communication. But many areas of strategic communication are proactive; that is, they involve finding unique opportunities to communicate with key audiences before competitors do. Having a proactive mindset will help you distinguish your messages from the thousands of others that your audiences encounter daily.

· Adaptability:

Work schedules sometimes may change abruptly in order to meet the needs of an organization. You might be called on to be part of a project at the last minute. Having an open mind and being ready to help when needed will set you apart from others who are not as flexible.

· Diverse talents:

Being able to perform diverse tasks will make you more marketable as a communication professional, whether you’re asked to develop an infographic for a brochure, create a video for a marketing campaign, deliver a presentation to a client, or conduct a focus group for market research. Instead of pigeonholing your professional growth, learn as much as possible to leverage your personal brand, and then develop a specialty in something that interests you.

Personality:

· Flexibility

· Meticulous learning

· Collecting information

· Determined

· Seeing the bigger picture

· Building relationships

· Honesty

· Attention to detail

Job outlook:

The pay scales in the sector vary based on the organisation and experience on part of the candidate. A candidate with a relevant degree and good communication skills can also get remuneration in the range of Rs 3.5 lakhs per annum. Once you have relevant experience of 4-5 years in the field, the annual remuneration can easily go up to Rs 5-6 lakhs. While talented people can make their way up to the level of vice-president in a company, at the entry level, corporate communicators usually draw salary of Rs 15,000-20,000.

The demand from organisations is only going to increase given the growth we are witnessing. If you feel that communication is your strength and have an ability to understand businesses then this is the career for you. After all, like finance and marketing professionals, a corporate communication professional too is not restricted to a specific industry.

here is enormous scope for corporate communication in India. Industries are expanding and need to recognise the importance of having to communicate with the public that matters to the most. With the kind of development we are witnessing in India and abroad, corporate communication is here to stay. Prospects in the field are plentiful for more than one reason. Firstly, competition has grown. The need to maintain the brand has grown considerably, with regard to Indian as well as global consumers, as more foreign companies are coming to India than never before. Secondly, the need to communicate has exploded. Even the target audiences have expanded radically. We have come to use more and developed tools of communication to reach out to them. Finally, the external scenario has become extremely dynamic.

More variables affect the image of the company now than before. Also, the number of tools of communication has increased significantly. Television and internet have changed the communication scenario. What would reach the public in 24 hours in case of newspapers or 12-14 days in case of magazines earlier, now reaches them in a matter of seconds. The tasks formerly being taken care of with a couple of press releases are now being handled by entire departments.

The size of the corporate communication department is dependent upon the size of the company. Large organisations have a full-fledged department that works on their communication objectives. While small companies may have just one individual managing the entire show. In such a scenario, fresh talent is always welcome. A fresher can earn anything between three to five lakhs per annum. And from there, the sky is the limit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do aspirants need for it?

There are no defined qualifications for entering this field. Those with the gift of the gab and the ability to write have an edge. Soft skills like networking, inquisitiveness and time consciousness are also important. Graduates in English literature and mass communication with some hands-on experience are preferred at the entry level, so are MBAs.

A degree or diploma in mass communication helps for a career in corporate communication. However, many professionals agree that more than the degree, it is your personal skills that matter the most. "It helps to have a degree in communication, but it is not essential. What matters is being able to understand issues related to your organisation, an understanding of current affairs, and an eye for any development that could affect the organisation. A degree or diploma in communication, no doubt, helps get an entry into the field. Also, language skills and the ability to see opportunities are important qualities.

A degree would not give you the strategic thinking and the ability to make and maintain contacts that matter a lot in corporate communication. You also need an ability to understand the business, ability to network within and outside the organisation and the ability to make people believe you as well as believe in you. It is only after that your audiences trust you.


What are the responsibilities assigned?

· Supervise the status of the organization

· Develop, execute and evaluate communications strategies

· Ensuring effective two-way internal communications

· Taking the lead on media handling, proactively placing good news stories, dealing with enquiries and producing media releases

· Developing links with other departments, which enhances the smooth functioning.

· Planning proactive communications

· Leading public relations, including customer services

· Playing a key role in issue management and planning

· Ensuring that other health organizations are kept fully briefed on developments, plans and any incidents in your organization

· Producing high quality information service

· Advising senior colleagues on strategic communications and related issues

· Engaging in business promotion campaigns

· Typically, the following skills would be necessary for a communications role

· Ability to work equally well both on your own and within a team

· Ability to write, speak and brief others clearly

· Ability to assess and select appropriate communications routes for different messages and audiences

· Ability to remain calm under pressure

· Ability to recognize sensitive situations and act appropriately

· Negotiating and influencing skills

· Ability to work well with others at all levels both within and outside your company

· Ability to gain the trust and respect of senior colleagues

· Ability to provide creative input to projects

· Ability to think strategically

Why is corporate communication important?

It is important because it helps to:

· Facilitate Transparency Through Corporate Communication

· Build a Sense of Teamwork

· Reduce Miscommunication

· Protect the Company Branding

· Improve Customer Service


How is PR and Corporate Communications different?

Public relations promote goodwill and communication between the company and consumer. Good public relations build relationships with your customers. Public relations boost an organization's credibility, because it operates through numerous trusted intermediaries.

Corporate communication is a set of activities involved in managing internal and external communications aimed at creating favorable point of view among stakeholders on which the company depends. It is also responsible for the reputation of the corporation and its management, relationships with potential and existing investors, government affairs, and often communications in marketing also.

One is responsible for consumer-company relation other with all relations in corporate world, where company has to be represented not only a single product.

What do corporate communications professionals do?

Corporate communications managers are the primary sources of communication at a corporation. These individuals create press releases, engage in media outreach, and set up product announcements. By with a team of public relations and customer service specialists, they create a unifying voice for the company.

Is Corporate Communications a good career?

Corporate communications professional. Ample communication is vital today, especially for organizations wanting to project a positive image in the market. Good corporate communications professionals are always in demand, particularly if they have been in a particular industry for at least three to five years.


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