Successful companies are strategic with the way they communicate. Developing a corporate communications strategy can be one of the most important ways to build a stronger brand.
Trust is created by how businesses share authentically about themselves and how they respond to challenging situations.
Communications teams benefit from putting a lot of effort into crafting messaging and telling stories about their brand. And those that are most equipped to handle challenges and adapt to change are the ones that have plans in place.
At Koukash Consultancy, we’ve shortlisted what successful corporate communications plans include and have in common and how they can benefit your organisation.
What is a Corporate Communications Plan?
A corporate communications plan is the framework for how a business shares messages internally and externally. You can think of it as the roadmap for how a company communicates with their stakeholders, employees, customers, the media, and regulators.
Part of the plan includes what information to share, who the target audience is, how frequently to provide updates, and what channels are the best to relay these messages.
Having a plan in place shapes how a company will handle communications during a crisis, change, and launches of campaigns and new products.
What Are the Types of Corporate Communications?
The two main types of corporate communications are:
Internal Communications: How a business shares information with its employees, leadership teams, managers, and board members.
The interactions can be formal modes of communications such as all-hands meetings to discuss strategic initiatives and performance, updates about organisational changes, company newsletters, and internal memos about policy changes.
They can also include more informal communication like messaging apps to collaborate, welcome new hires, celebrate work anniversaries, or share details on winning new business.
External Communications: Any information shared outside of the organisation.
Whether it is a formal press release or branded content on social media, these communications build the company’s public image and impact the perception of a brand and its products or services.
The company’s marketing, content, and advertising to promote it are included as external communication methods.
Press releases and financial reporting are another way companies share messaging about the organisation with the outside world.
Why is Having a Corporate Communications Plan Important?
Corporate communications plans lead to sharing more explicit and better messages with your target audience.
Whether that audience includes your employees or potential customers, you want to be heard in the right place and at the right time. Setting up a framework to achieve that is essential.
Sometimes you might be thrown a curveball, and a communications plan will help your business prepare for any unexpected changes or crises that come your way.
Surprisingly, a JOTW Communications Survey showed that 59% of communicators say they have a communications strategy drafted, but only 45% admit to having a documented crisis communications plan.
Having a plan in place will also allow for speedier recovery to any public relations issues. For example, responding to negative feedback and being open about mistakes can build trust with your brand and get you back on the right track in the eyes of customers and potential clients.
Communicating effectively and transparently shows that your brand values engagement by taking a proactive approach to conversations about your brand or industry.
A corporate communications plan for internal communications will also help define and build a transparent company culture. This plan can improve employee engagement by keeping team members included in conversations about where the company is heading and its values.
Suppose there are sudden changes on a team. In that case, you’ll be better able to communicate the changes in a way that makes employees feel comfortable and cared for if you have a plan for how to share that information first for those immediately affected and then across the company.
What Should A Corporate Communications Plan Include?
An effective corporate communications plan will include details for your messaging goals’ objectives, approach, and tracking measures.
In simple terms, you’ll want to include the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Here are the elements your corporate communications plan needs:
- Target Audiences – these are the groups of stakeholders that will be receiving the messages. They could be employees, customers, media members, investors, leadership teams, and managers. Age, location, job level, interests, and lifestyle are all helpful to know about the receivers of your messaging.
- Objectives – most communications are created with a call to action or a desired outcome in mind — these are your ultimate objectives or goals. They should be tied to your overall organisational goals to drive business outcomes.
- Message content – what you want to say and what you are trying to help your readers understand. Tone and personality are essential to formulate in your message to get your reader’s attention.
- Distribution strategy – the channels and venues that your communications will deliver are an essential aspect of the communications plan. Paid, earned, owned, and shared media channels have different benefits for reaching audiences.
- Frequency – how often you will be sharing or updating content to reach your target audience. This will depend on your team’s budget and resources and an understanding of your target audience, and being mindful of attention fatigue.
- Measures of evaluation – how you’ll know if your communications were successful. These should be highly attached to your objectives and goals to track progress and understand areas for improvement.
By including these 5 elements in your corporate communication strategy, you are ensuring that your plan is cohesive and aligned with your organisational objectives.
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