Business Communication Assignment: Corporate Interaction Strategies Of Future Enterprises Ltd
You are working for an organisation called Future Enterprises Ltd which has over recent years, grown its market both nationally and internationally. It now wishes to promote the right person from within the company to head up its Corporate Communications Department. In today’s business world, this is a very important role.
You have applied for the post and as part of the selection process the senior management team are keen to hear your ideas on corporate communication strategies for a growing national and international organisation.
This is a great chance for you to demonstrate your knowledge of this important function, which is essential for business success and you wish to showcase your understanding of best practice principles.
This is an exciting opportunity for you to shine, make your mark and demonstrate your suitability for the role of Head of Corporate Communications. An opportunity not to be missed!
Note: Throughout this business communication assignment learners can relate their answers to an organisation that they are familiar with, where they are employed or the centre where they are studying.
The first part of the selection process requires you to prepare a document for submission to the interview panel in which you:
- explain the purpose of corporate communications
- assess how corporate communications link to corporate objectives
- analyse the relationship between corporate communications and corporate branding
- analyse the reasons why business organisations conduct internal and external corporate communication audits.
To gain a distinction grade you must add to your document a section which:
- reviews the importance of corporate communications to the success of a named organisation,
You know that at the interview questions will be asked on corporate communication audits. You need to be fully prepared and decide to
- plan an internal corporate communications audit for a named organisation
- plan an external corporate communications audit for a named organisation,
To gain a merit grade you must also demonstrate that you have:
- conducted an internal corporate communications audit for the named organisation, To gain a distinction grade you must in addition demonstrate that you have:
- conducted an external corporate communications audit for the named organisation
You have been invited to take part in the next stage of the selection process. You have been asked to send a report to the selection panel that:
- explains the strategic objectives of a corporate communications strategy
- assesses the desired impact of a corporate communications strategy on different audiences
To gain a merit grade you must have a further section in the management report which:
- develops appropriate measures to monitor the effects of a planned corporate communication strategy.
To gain a distinction grade you must add another section in the management report which:
- evaluates the effectiveness of current levels of organisational corporate communications for a named organisation.
1.1. Purpose of corporate communications
Corporate communications are the view of the company by forming brand recognition and maintaining communication with the common public. Hence, it is mentioned herein business communication assignment that the team of corporate communication creates the image of the company, communicates with internal and external target audiences to balance a positive status in the industry, and fulfil the gap between the organisational management and employees. Thus, the key purpose of corporate communications is multifaceted wherein it delivers a strategic message to all the audiences of the company, such as customers, employees, shareholders, and regulators. These communications build and maintain the brand of the company and help every individual be in motion in performance with the mission of the company (Roy, 2018). Therefore, corporate communications are crucial for Future Enterprise Ltd to build strong and healthy relationships within the organisational management and the stakeholders as it shares values, builds trust and integrity.
1.2. Assessment on how corporate communications are related to corporate objectives
Corporate communication helps to meet those objectives that are linked with corporate practices. The objective of corporate communication is to make the regular flow of operational information meet the corporate objectives. Here, corporate objectives are organisational targets for the short term, and those targets can be met if there is a strong system of communication. Corporate communication and objectives are both incorporated part of each other (Mihai, 2017). In case the objectives need to be attained, then it is mandatory to use efficient corporate communication in any business organisation like Future
Enterprises Ltd. However, there are some objectives of the corporate that are as follows:
Information- It is the base of all corporate communication and information about any business project that is related to corporate communications. Indeed, it helps to avoid duplication of study and encourages the thought process of the users that mainly focuses on the market demand and the needs of the consumers within the industry that the company operates, whether it is in the national or international business platform. On the other hand, it helps to make an easy decision-making process and simplifies the process of providing the needed information and hence, helps in making better decisions at once.
Publicity- When the communication is related to the press releases, direct advertising, and executive interviews, it is termed publicity. It helps to increase visibility and awareness of the company when building it as a meaningful business to buy goods or services from (Balmer & Illia, 2012).
Collaboration- The key objectives of the organisational team is to work in collaboration in order to complete the given assignment and to meet the set organisational as well as departmental goals. Working collaboratively helps to improve productivity and shows employees an objective in the organisation as it becomes easier to brainstorm ideas to resolve the current issue or deliver the needed work on time. Printed measures- Accuracy is said to be an important factor in all communication, wherein corporate communication mostly includes a written element to make sure transparency among the team members. Transparency and accuracy in a team are about building trust, openness, and honesty that encourage the overall member to understand and follow the same directions towards corporate goals.
The overall evaluation of the corporate objectives makes it clear that to meet these objectives, it is of the essence to have an effective corporate communications strategy. This is because if a company wants to market its brand in a national and international business context is important for the organisation to gather information of the market or the industry, they are about to expand its business, make public announcements through direct advertising, must have strong team members and transparency amongst them. Therefore, it can be said that corporate communications are directly linked with the corporate objectives wherein the company needs to emphasise while making corporate communication strategies for the sustainable accomplishment of the company in future endeavours.
1.3. Relationship between corporate communications and corporate branding
Corporate communications and branding are two different aspects wherein an organisation has to implement for better business operation and to boost productivity, but holds a strong relationship. Here, the corporate brand is an important factor of a company as it describes an organisation as a whole and intends to make a consistent corporate image by the interplay of business activity, corporate strategy, and brand stylistics (Balmer, 2017). Corporate branding is about helping the business to meet a wide range of customers and make them help to find out the varieties of products that the business recommends over time. Effectual branding reduces the need for huge marketing that instigates for every new product as the purchaser has a pre-set indulgent of the product's reliability, quality, and use. Hence, it can be said that brands help to advertise a product, to make a strong image, personality and to build brand loyalty as well as differentiate the products of the firms from the products or services of the competitors. Concerning this, the relationship between corporate communication and branding is about how the business will be communicated amongst the target audience. It integrates the understanding of the people and interacts with the brand, wherein corporate communications show what corporate branding intends to circulate as it is about the images and logos, the media relations, and social interactions (Wahyu et al., 2017).
However, it can be said that in order to prosper and survive, organizations need to interact properly with many and wider different audiences. Thus, getting the right message and communicating it efficiently and in a persistent manner is a key task. When a customer gets the wrong message and has negative perceptions, which can have a severe impact on the internal and external image. Here, it can be said that while making a decision for corporate communications, it is important to focus on branding as well as it helps to pass the message to a wider and different audience. Therefore, the objective must also be persistently unbreakable throughout brand communications to internal and external customers and stakeholders. Concerning this, brand communication is the skill of bridging the gap in the insights the target audiences have about the brand. Hence, after analyzing the relationship between corporate communications and brand, it can be said that corporate communication is very important to meet the set objectives of any business organization.
1.4. Reasons for conducting internal and external corporate communication audits
A communication audit determines how effective current communication tools are wherein it emphasises their strengths and weaknesses and provides recommendations and suggestions on how to advance. Internal and external communication audits are conducted to converse to the organisational management as it facilitates to figure out the major apparent concerns that the company faces while communicating and thus gives the prospect to make considered clarification of communication. Communication audits facilitate for a business to evaluate and assess the value of information that are conversed internally and externally. Hence, it guides to how it impacts the quality of communications associations within the organization and externally based on the level of supportiveness, interpersonal conviction, amiability, and overall contentment of job.
By conducting internal and external communications audits, precious information is gathered to be used for restructuring and developing the purpose of communication that can be used to assist mid-way rectifications to communication plans if needed (Shalala, 2019). It facilitates concrete and possible barriers, blockages, and misinterpretations to be discerned and controlled properly.
1D1. Importance of corporate communications to the success of Coca Cola
Corporate communications are said to be important to the success of Coca-Cola as it helps to share information related to the business. In order to create strong brand recognition and optimize organizational productivity, the internal and external communications need to be aligned as helps to get success in the business (Dimitrova, 2016). Coca-Cola is a multinational beverage retailer, marketer, manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverage syrups and concentrates. The flagship of the company is Coca-Cola, but it offers more than 499 brands in 200 nations and serves more than 1 billion servings every day (Guardian, 2010).
Hence, corporate communications are important for the following reasons:
Brand awareness- A far more effective method to attract the attention of the audience is with valuable content that inspires them, and that is where the advocacy of the employee comes from. Here, external communication in the employee advocacy form is one of the most effective techniques to improve brand awareness (Mohamad et al., 2014). Here, it can be said that the higher brand awareness interprets more leads and maximum revenues. Thus, corporate communication has a clear and direct impact on the financial growth of the company.
Employee engagement- More than 89 percent of executive leaders know the fact that employee engagement is a significant element in business success. Here, internal communications need to be improved for employee engagement by communicating a clear vision and goals and boosting employee advocacy (Budriene & Diskiene, 2020).
Attracting top talent- Showcasing the work environment and culture helps to attract more talent. For instance, the employees of the company can share the videos of the event about team collaboration, birthday celebrations, progressive HR policies posts, CSR initiatives, and so on. Moreover, it can be said that all these factors generally help the company to move towards business success in a national and international business context. Additionally, it can be said that corporate communication facilitates the overall workforce to make a combined and immense contribution to the business's success.
2.2. Internal corporate communications audit plan of Coca Cola
This audit plan is generally linked with the organisational members as it highly relies on the strategy of corporate communication. There are several questionnaires while planning the strategy, such as:
Company’s message- Communication strategy relies on the message that the company is trying to convey wherein the messages need to be delivered appropriately. Target audience- Identifying the target audience is crucial as it is imperative as it facilitates to demonstrate how to build the message and the form wherein the message will take. Hence, the information should be delivered in a different way concerning the gender, age, qualifications of the organizational members.
Needs of the audience- The communication within the members needs to be short, understanding, clear, and necessary information to avoid confusion and rumours.
Message deliverance- Different communication media such as staff meetings, notice boards, emails, conferences are appropriate to deliver the message amongst the internal organisational members.
Measuring the success- Performance measurements need to be done to get the information about the mistakes and failures as they can progress in the future.
2M1. Conducting an internal corporate communications audit
In order to conduct the internal corporate communications audit, some steps need to be followed:
Determine the audited areas- The identity of internal standards such as logo, business cards, online system, letterhead, website, and signage are the different forms to conduct this audit.
Choose the research methods- In order to conduct this audit, it is important to do different methods of research such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, and media analysis to gather reliable information. Gather and assess the past communications- Collecting the employees’ views with reference to the communication during the previous year, whether they were efficient or not, how can they be progressed, did the internal resources provide their requirements, if all employees are happy and have a precise, persistent voice about the organisation.
Evaluation of findings
The findings can be evaluated by conducting the SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
- Employee job satisfaction and contentment
- Maintaining positive relationships, mutual trust, and building credibility with the employees.
- Negative findings of internal corporate communication audit wherein the message was not delivered appropriately.
- Poor deliverance of the message in the organisation
- Improvement of communication and understanding to build more strong and diverse cultural attributes by hiring more global employees
- If the audit plan is improving than the previous audit, it means the organisation has an effective culture of open collaboration, credibility, and communication.
- Confusions and conflicts are one of the threats of this plan as it affects the internal corporate communication among them.
2.3. External corporate communication audit plan of Coca Cola
Step 1-Evaluate the communications vehicles dealt out to the audiences
Gather samples of all communications vehicles such as press releases, social media strategy, newsletters, websites, blogs, etc., that they deliver to the target audiences. Assess them for accessibility, effectiveness, and timing and review the social media strategy to decide the value of several topics and vehicles of communications.
Step 2- Get reviews from all internal audiences.
This step will focus on the top management by interviewing and gathering reviews from staff and employees. Interviews with top management should reveal:
- A vision of ultimate communication strategies
- An insight into internal communications
- Alternatives on employee roles in the process of internal communications
Step 3- Gather data about how external audiences observe the organisation
Review and assess conventional coverage of media and how the organisation is apparent on social media to decide what the community thinks and knows about the company.
Step 4- SWOT analysis
- Methods of communications that work effectively for the firm
- Communications practices that do not work and need to be shifted to meet the objectives
- Provides an opportunity to evaluate the communication plan and strategy
- Enables for a regular inflection of review by subject issue practiced and legal
2D1. Conducting an external corporate communications audit
Conducting the external audit in Coca Cola Company after planning the audit plan, there are some points that can be helpful to conduct the plan: Objectivity- The foundation of external audit needs to be strong in order to identify the audit objectivity.
Availability of time- Accuracy and transparency should be there while communicating, and that can rate the overall corporate communication based on the findings with less consumption of time.
Credibility- When the audit is conducted, the corporate communication leader needs to focus on credibility to get more impression of the corporate communication. This helps to get positive reviews as well as points concerning the communiqué.
3.1. Strategic objectives of a corporate communications strategy
Corporate communications are the mixture of honesty and alignment as communications follow the management and initiatives of the chain of HR in equipping the employee with enthusiasm and acquaintance to implement their roles efficiently in Coca-Cola. The objectives of Coca-Cola campaigns are to create awareness of the company and its products or services by educating and informing the buyers and consumers (Prafull, 2018). In addition to this, the company encourages a liking for the products of the company over those of the competitors and encourages the trial of the product among potential new consumers. Hence, corporate communications strategy is an important part of any successful business organisation as it leads to concrete strategies concerning how they will interact with its stakeholders that include internal management, investors, customers, and more (Mohamed, 2021). Thus, Coca-Cola holds a clear vision of how to interact with all of its stakeholders. For instance, and as for their customers, they understand exactly which segmentations of targets they are most interested in. Coca-Cola communicates its brand in an effective way and by a pertinent medium of agreement.
3.2. Impact of a corporate communications strategy on different audiences
Audiences are said to be the major part of the company as well as the success of corporate communication, and there are four types of audience of Coca Cola Company, and they are as follows:
Shareholders- Shareholders of the company provide financial security for the company, which generally means any information needs to be communicated with them. Hence, shareholders are said to be one of the most important audiences of corporate communication. Employees- Corporate communication is related to the organisational employees as, without the support of the employees, the organisation cannot assign or interact the information to other employees.
Management partners- Management partners need to be informed as they are one of the corporate communications. Thus, it is important to assign the information to the other corporate sectors to improve effective corporate relations.
Sales forces- It is also an important factor of corporate communication as the information needs to be very efficiently communicated towards them a reason to make the profit.
3M1. Appropriate measures to examine the effects of planned corporate communication strategy
Some of the suitable measures to examine the effects of planned corporate communication strategy are as follows:
Employee awareness and feedback- A survey needs to be conducted quarterly wherein detailed communication needs to be done with every employee and know their awareness of the company's operations and gets feedback for the same. Hence, by measuring the interest and awareness, the company will get an understanding of where the communications may be lacking.
Employee advocacy- The power of changing employees into impassioned brand supports cannot be overstated. Thus, measuring the content that is being circulated by the employee is a powerful interpreter of how they feel the brand and familiar within the communication platforms. Views of corporate video Collecting feedback and other i9nformation at regular intervals that are on a quarterly basis will facilitate to spot any trends and respond to these in a proper fashion to secure the return of investment of the company (Buhmann & Likely, 2019).
3D1. Effectiveness of current levels of organisational corporate communications for Coca Cola
The current levels of organisational corporate communications for Coca Cola are as follows:
Promotes crisis management- Both internal and external corporate communications are mainly significant in the period of crisis. Here, internal factors make certain that every individual is on a similar page concerning the crisis event, while external communications can help communicate proper deliverance of messages to the public.
Builds company culture- Collaboration between and in teams helps to build a strong culture of the company. This is because problematic internal communications can have caustic effects on the company's culture. Hence, corporate communications strategies help to build a strong cultural working environment and diversities. Growth on the audience- External corporate communications involves all press releases, campaigns, and PR effects that help the company to grow its reach and progress a voice in the public area.
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