Investing in Corporate Communication

Corporate communication refers to ways and strategies that are employed by organizations in order to spread information within its operations and the environment. Through corporate communication, organizations are able to transform their identities into image (Karaosmanoglu, 2006). An image is an important aspect of organization in respect to commanding customer base and loyalty (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). Customer loyalty is an epicenter in ensuring high or increased sales. Through customer loyalty, organizations are usually in a position to attract other customers (Martin & Frank, 2009). Such customers are attracted by the loyalty of the existing customers. Corporate image is an important aspect of any business organizations.

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Most business entities and other organizations use corporate communication to communicate their vision and corporate culture (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). It is through corporate communication that organizations are able to build relationships with their clients as well as the environments whilst gaining considerable support from the stakeholders (Yamauchi, 2001). Business environment is an important part of organizations (Karaosmanoglu, 2006). Organizational operations are affected by business environment. Therefore, through building relationships and gaining support from the stakeholders, organizations are able to achieve their missions, visions, and objectives.

Organizations use components of corporate communication to enhance the communication between the firm and the environment (Korver & Betteke, 2003). Some of the components of corporate communication mix include corporate advertising, sponsorship, public relations, and crisis communications. These four main mixes may include corporate responsibility, corporate branding, promotional activities, and relations with investors (Goodman, 2000). Other components include internal communications, corporate identity, corporate reputations, and public relations (Karaosmanoglu, 2006). All these components are aimed at enhancing the image and identity of the organization in question.

Corporate advertising mix used in enhancing identity and image of a firm includes advertisements and promotions. Advertisements and promotions are other methods that organizations can use to enhance corporate communications. Advertisements and promotions may portray organizations’ image and identity (Annette et. al, 2006). Through advertisements and promotional services, clients are able to communicate with their organizations (Radford & Goldstein, 2002). Effective advertisements and promotions are therefore better ways of communicating vision, mission, and objectives of the organization (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). Commercials of organizations are shown on a daily basis hence continuously provide information regarding such organizations. Such commercials are capable of attracting the attention of clients (Dortok, 2006). If an organization uses an ineffective commercial then it is likely to make wrong impressions about the organization (Melewar & Karaosmanoglu, 2006). On the other hand, if an organization uses better commercials then they are likely to make good impression to the clients.

Notably, corporate advertising is a corporate communication mix that can be obtained through websites of organizations. Organizations use websites to effectively communicate the visions, mission, and objectives (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). Organizations can communicate with clients through their websites (Law & Verville, 2011). Good websites will provide positive images and impressions of an organization (Annette et. al, 2006). On the other hand, poorly developed websites are likely to create negative images of organizations (Karaosmanoglu, 2006). It is therefore important for organizations to ensure that their websites create a positive impression to the clients. Indeed, there are numerous methods which organizations can use to corporately communicate within the business environment.

Sponsorships, personal relations, and corporate social responsibility are other important and effective ways through which organizations can enhance their identities and images (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). It is evident that products and brands of organizations are necessary for development of every market segment. Proliferation of organizational products and brands helps them to be different from their existing rivals (Khanfar, 2007). Through sponsorship, corporations create positive images of brand affinity. Brand affinity refers to how every individual consumer thinks about the company’s image (John, Balmer & Gray, 2000). Such affinities are vital for differentiations hence increase customer’s loyalty to the image, identity, products, and services of the organization in question.

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Personal relations (PR) and corporate social responsibility are also important for organizations to increase their affinity towards customers. Whereas PR is a practice of managing the existing relationships between organizations, individuals and the public, corporate social responsibility, also known as corporate conscience and social performance, suggests that the interests of stakeholders, clients, as well as employees and environment are not in conflict (Karaosmanoglu, 2006). Unlike sponsorships where organizations enter into contracts with other organizations to provide some basics or fundamental resources, corporate social responsibilities may be done once in a while (Annette et. al, 2006). Nonetheless, both corporate social responsibility and sponsorship play a role in making an organization come into contact with consumers, hence influence their decisions or gain their (consumers) affinity (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). PR also aims at showing an identity or image of the organization to the public.

Another way of enhancing corporate communication is through products and services. Organizations may use products and services to pass an important message to the clients (Annette et. al, 2006). Products and services of an organization will portray image and identity of the firm in question (Otubanjo, 2008). In most cases, organizations that have good reputation, image, and identity produce high quality products and services (Balmer & Dinnie, 1999). Efficient and high quality products and services provide the organization with a good way to effectively communicate its vision, mission, and objectives (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). Notably, products and services of low quality usually portray negative aspects, identity, or image of the organization (Otubanjo, Olusanmi, & Cornelius, 2010). Consequently, products and services are methods that can be used by organizations to enhance corporate communication.

Lastly, crisis management has been used by many organizations as a corporate communication mix in order to enhance identity and image. Crisis management is a corporate communication mix that aims at providing advice to customers regarding specific incidences (Karaosmanoglu, 2006). There are instances when organizations find out that the products or services do not meet the needs and demands of consumers. In some cases, such products may be faulty (Stuart, 1999). Faulty products from organizations are likely to erode the reputations of involved firms. When an organization comes out and apologizes to the consumers in public, it is referred to as a crisis management move, which helps in maintaining the reputation of the firm (Khanfar, 2007). During crisis management activities, managers of responsible organizations should explain occurrences that led to faulty products or inferior services, provide an explanation on what the company is doing to minimize the damage as well as prevent any further occurrences (Bartholm, & Melewar, 2011). Through crisis management activities, firms are able to win the confidence of their consumers hence retaining their reputation, identity, or image.

Theoretical Concept of Corporate Communication Mix

Definitions of the Corporate Communication Mixes

Theoretical Concept Corporate Advertising Sponsorships Public relations Crisis Management
Definition Any form of non-personal presentation as well as promotion of ideas and products through identifiable sponsors Financial or material investment by an organization in any activity, person, or event Planned and sustained effort by an organization to establish and maintain goodwill as well as mutual understanding existing between firms and the public The reactive response to a crisis in order to pre-empt or limit damage to the reputation, identity, and image of the organization in question

Comparative Factors across the mixes

Comparative Factors Corporate Advertising Sponsorships Public relations Crisis Management
Interest Selfish Beneficial Selfish Beneficial
Objective Direct/forced Indirect/suggested Indirect Indirect
Persuading intention Open Disguised Open Disguised
Defense Mechanism High Low Moderate Low

Other theoretical Comparisons

Theoretical Concepts Corporate Advertising Sponsorships Public relations Crisis Management
Advantages
  • Corporate brand forms represents face of the firm
  • Enhances simplicity
  • Cost efficient
  • Excellent tool for positioning a firm or organization
  • Effectively reaches a selected target market
  • Quick creation of notoriety given the numerous press coverage
  • Positive effects on the image
  • Increased contacts with other students
  • Credible
  • Low Cost
  • Avoidance of clutter
  • Lead generation
  • Ability to reach specific groups
  • Image building
  • Equipping management to withstand threats
  • Awareness of potential threats
  • Maintains consumers’ confidence
  • Identifying the relationship between core values and beliefs
Disadvantages
  • Costly function
  • Misleading claims
  • Encourages monopoly
  • High prices
  • Disconnection of business
  • Influences purchasing power
  • Misuse of advertising
  • Buying problems
  • Promotion of social evil
  • Actions are never long enough to sustain the vision of the firm
  • Difficulty in measuring effects that cannot be managed
  • Potential for not completing communication process
  • Mis-firing due to mis management
  • Lack of coordination
  • Very expensive sometimes
  • Attempts to plan exhaustively for every
  • Potential threats of diverting management’s focus

References

Annette LM van, d.B., Wim J.L. Elving & Menno DT, d.J. 2006, “The impact of organisational characteristics on corporate visual identity”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40, no. 7, pp. 870-885.

Bartholm, R.H. & Melewar, T.C. 2011, “Remodelling the corporate visual identity construct”, Corporate Communications, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 53-64.

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Dortok, A. 2006, “A Managerial Look at the Interaction between Internal Communication and Corporate Reputation”, Corporate Reputation Review, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 322-338,265.

Goodman, M.B. 2000, “Corporate communication: the American picture”, Corporate Communications, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 69-74.

John, M.T. Balmer & Dinnie, K. 1999, “Corporate identity and corporate communications: the antidote to merger madness”, Corporate Communications, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 182-192.

John, M.T. Balmer & Gray, E.R. 2000, “Corporate identity and corporate communications: creating a competitive advantage”, Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 32, no. 7, pp. 256-261.

Karaosmanoglu, E. & T, C.M. 2006, “Corporate communications, identity and image: A research agenda”, Journal of Brand Management, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 196-206.

Khanfar, M. 2007, “Visionary Approaches to Management of Corporate Communication Strategy and Its Implications”, The Business Review, Cambridge, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 198-207.

Korver, F. & Betteke, v.R. 2003, “The relationship between corporate identity structures and communication structures”, Journal of Communication Management, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 197-197.

Law, S. & Verville, J. 2011, “Human Roles and Communication Strategies of Corporate Identity Performance: Enhancing Global Image, Leadership, and Legacy of a High-Tech Leader”, Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, vol. 15, pp. 17-32.

Martin, G. & Frank, T., 2009, Corporate Communication, Ethics, and Operational Identity: A Case Study of Benetton, Rochester, Rochester.

Melewar, T.C & Karaosmanoglu, E. 2006, “Seven dimensions of corporate identity”, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40, no. 7, pp. 846-869.

Otubanjo, O., Olusanmi, C.A. & Cornelius, N. 2010, “The Informal Corporate Identity Communication Process”, Corporate Reputation Review, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 157-171.

Otubanjo., T. 2008, The Informal Corporate Identity Communication Process, Rochester, Rochester.

Radford, G.P. & Goldstein, S.Z. 2002, “The role of research methods in corporate communication”, Corporate Communications, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 252-256.

Stuart, H. 1999, “Towards a definitive model of the corporate identity management process”, Corporate Communications, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 200-207.

Yamauchi, K. 2001, “Corporate communication: A powerful tool for stating corporate missions”, Corporate Communications, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 131-137.

Investing in Corporate Communication
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