Don’t Drop that Hat! Tips for Today’s Corporate Communicator

Corporate communications is the area of expertise that is concerned with creating, curating and disseminating key communications collateral between a company and all its diverse stakeholders. This field has a two-pronged approach, and is concerned with both the internal and external functioning of a successful organisation. In an arena of over-saturated content, how can corporate communications professionals ensure they do not drop any of the many hats they wear?

Be crisis-ready
The Corporate Communications function used to consist primarily of ensuring press releases were published in newspapers and employees received their newsletters on time. The advent of personal computing and the Internet ensured that the bulk of corporate communications activities were transferred onto the World Wide Web, where they could be accessed by hundreds of millions of viewers.

The rapid proliferation of social media sites in the 2010s brought a new edge to these developments, as communicating power shifted from large organisations to individuals and grassroots communities. It has become easier than ever before for any one person – customer or employee for instance – to voice their opinion, create and edit content, and reach a target audience that has now come to encompass billions of netizens worldwide. Corporate communicators must learn how to intelligently utilise relevant modes of communication while also cultivating a sound understanding of how to rectify any mis-steps that may occur. A corporate communicator must have the ability to foresee the short and long-term consequences of each and every move they make, especially on social media. In case they face a challenging situation, all processes should be in place as a corporate communicator has to be always crisis-ready!

Be change-ready
If you thought the Internet was immune to change, think again. Social media disrupts itself as well, in an interestingly complicated cycle. Pioneers such as MySpace were quickly replaced by the content-hungry giant of Facebook. Content gave way to the simplicity of photos, and Instagram was born. It didn’t take long for a team of savvy young entrepreneurs to realise that the notion of permanent photos seemed outdated, and the new paradigm of disappearing media came through with Snapchat.

Given such trends, a corporate communications professional realises that blogging does not suffice. The intricacies of different social media networks need to be understood, and correspondingly matched to their target audience. Similarly, new technology has also brought improved analytics into the market, and this needs to be capitalised on, if an organisation is keen on boosting its views on a particular platform.

Be a storyteller
Every organisation has its own journey to portray, and its own wisdom to impart to readers. A savvy professional will realise that strategic storytelling, coupled with a sound grasp of tech-specifics, such as Search Engine Optimisation, is the way forward. Authenticity is also a must online. Finally, it is ever-so-important to build up a network of ‘content sharers’ within your organisation and a community of followers to ensure your time-honoured content reaches the maximum possible audience.

Grant power to the people
As stated previously, it is important to understand the impact of social media on current times. A consumer is now the new PR agency, and often holds the power to make or break a company with their insightful reviews. Social media is also invaluable in developing product ambassadors, who armed with their millions of re-tweeters, followers and influencers, could be your golden ticket to recognition and success.

Last but not least, it is important to highlight the necessity of transparency and sound risk management in the Internet Age which are driving tools for a corporate’s success. We learn from your experiences as well. Share and discuss your experiences with us by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

© Copyright July 2017
The ideas discussed here may be used, adapted or built upon for academic or commercial purposes provided due credit is given to Smart Media The Annual Report Company as the originator of this work.

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