Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Corporate Communications 103

Stakeholders and the Organisation

As stated in my earlier post 'Communications 102' - Corporate Communications, is the art and science of how an organisation interacts with its stakeholders. It is the method of communicating and aligning perceptionsof stakeholders with the actuality of the organisation's activities and views.

There are numerous stakeholders in an organisation, and include - 
1)  The Shareholders
2)  The Board of Directors
3)  The Management
4)  Employees
5)  Employees' families and extended social network (explained later)
5)  Suppliers & Contractors
6)  Customers, Buyers & Clients
7)  Government Agencies (For eg. Tax Departments)
8)  NGOs & Action Groups
9)  Professional Bodies 
10) Education & Research Institutes
11) The National Public
12) The Global Community & General Public
13) The Media

It is the task of Corporate Communications to align all these various groups' perceptions with the actuality of the organisation and its activities.

Each stakeholder has a different agenda, a separate Point of View (POV) and distinct expectations  - from the organisation, the Art of Corporate Communications stems from its ability to serve all these .

For illustration, Shareholders are interested in the bottom line, employees are interested in HR policies and career growth, Suppliers are interested in the business they can get from the organisation, The customer is interested in the Product or Service, etc.

So how does Corporate Communication deal with all these divergent interests, That is the Science of Corporate Communications. Corporate Communications has an arsenal of weaponry at its disposal to deal with these stakeholders and their concerns. A well thought out and planned communication strategy uses various facilities such as Internal Communications, External Communications, PR, Public Relations, Media Relations, etc.

However, Corporate Communications cannot function solo  - without a sound Management Strategy & Inter-departmental Support. Corporate Communication is the culmination of all an organisation's activities, that result in a positive impact amongst its stakeholders.

For instance, Corporate Communications Cannot simply communicate great bottom lines without organisational results and finance inputs, or great HR initiatives without HR backing, or amazing products and services without Production & Marketing support.

A diagram to illustrate – 

As is evident, each and every facet of an organisation affects the "Image of the Organisation" amongst its stakeholders. Corporate Communication is not panacea but a function and tool that - 
1) Prioritises,
2) Organises,
3) Disseminates information, and
4) Creates Dialogue 
between the Stakeholder/s and the Organisation
in order to modify, improve and enhance the Image of the Organisation and its initiatives and offerings.

We delve deeper into these Corporate Communication Processes in my next post - 
'Corporate Communications 104'

Keep Smiling!

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