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The field of corporate communication becoming the key strategy factor for the CEO where modern business success mostly depends on its communication strategy. The term corporate communication started to make sense when public relations converted into accumulating different specialized area of communication relations; tied into a common applicable structure that promotes the company in a positive way. (Cornelissen, 2011).
Corporate communication, in other words, can be characterized as a management function that is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the work done by communication practitioners in different specialist disciplines, such as media relations, public affairs and internal communication.
Van Riel defines corporate communication as 'an instrument of management by means of which all consciously used forms of internal and external communication are harmonized as effectively and efficiently as possible', with the overall objective of creating 'a favorable basis for relationships with groups upon which the company is dependent'
Overall, if a definition of corporate communication is required, these characteristics can provide a basis for one:
Corporate communication is a management function that offers a framework for the effective
Coordination of all internal and external communication with the overall purpose of establishing
And maintaining favorable reputations with stakeholder groups upon which the organization is
This paper study the role and whole process of corporate communication strategy of Coca-Cola , conducting an Communication audit throughout the organization's communication process and the impact of corporate communications upon the strategic planning process.
1.Corporate communication Strategy (Task-1)
In corporate communication, corporate is the key term that carries focus. 'Corporate' derives from Latin words for 'body' (corpus) and for 'forming into a body' (corporare), that indicates aa simple path to understand 'internal' and 'external' communication disciplines. (Cornelissen,2011).
Van Riel defines corporatecommunication as
'an instrument of management by means of which all consciously used forms of internal and external communication are harmonized as effectively and efficiently as possible', with the overall objective of creating 'a favorable basis for relationships with groups upon which the company is dependant'.
Corporate communication is an expression formally used to understand a wide variety of management activity related to an organization's both inner and outer communications. (Goodman: 1994). So, it can be said that, a managerial activity that provides a structure for the efficient synchronization of all inner and outer communication with the general purpose of introducing, and maintaining positive character with all interactive team upon which the corporation relies on.
Goodman (1994) treated corporate communication as an art rather than marking at science. According to Goodman, studying corporate communication got it shape as a part of knowledge from the time of Greek & Roman with rhetoric. It deals with a multi disciplinary aspects consist of Anthropology, Psychology, Communication, Sociology, Management, Ethics and of course marketing.
1.1 Purpose of Corporate Communication Strategy
Sustainability and development of a business depends on the integrity, alignment and focus given by the employee to uphold the business. Corporate communication is an effective management tool that ties all employees to do respective job in a positive direction with integrity, alignment and focus. Corporate Communication efforts to provide a clear and consistent message than puzzled and inconsistent one.
By sequencing theplanned messages to someone who involved in organizational process, communications can motivate by offering a logical structure of reference. When all employee exercise the same structure of reference, communication has straight uphold the culture of an organization. The culture of effective communication can support management effectively with knowledge and create impulsion to do the respective job uniquely.
Corporate communication strategy indicates a strategy that promotes an effective corporate customs, a soundidentity, a suitable and skilled relationship with all communication channel, and swift, accountable ways of communicating in all situations. An effective corporatecommunication strategy developed on the basis of overall business objectives and strategies. It is the way for an organization that used to communicate all its messages to vital stakeholder. It instructs and influencesthe framework of communication to organizations with all sort of key stakeholders to achieve the corporation's business objectives.
CocaCola Great Britain is accountable for promoting 21 brands (over 100 products) to clients in Great Britain, upward the new brands, extending presented brands and shielding CocaCola brand in Great Britain. It employs around 130 people at its headquarters in west London. (Cited: http://www.coca-cola.co.uk).)
An enclosure of Coca-cola (Passionately refreshing the thirsty world: 2011 Annual report) says that-
"We are a 125-year- old brand and business defined by our youth, not our age"
This is not just a line published in Coca-Cola's Hand book. It indicates the way how a company survives thoroughly in the market while there is lots of competitor who is playing crucially in the market place. In this situation, Coca-Cola becomes best brand for 12 successive years.
It's a matter of fact that a company witnessed it 125thbirthday by holding its leading position. The success story lies in it's integrate working environment, but the communication policy make the company unique. The communication strategy of Coca- cola perceive the way to communicate with customer very passionately and it sustain the business.
The communication strategy of Coca- Cola is much diversified because it operates its business whole over the world, most probably in every country. So communicating with every single entity demands a well organized strategy and Coca- Cola managed it properly.
There is the beauty lies in Coca-Cola's Corporate Communication strategy, while one company ties the diversified world in a rope.
1.2 Link between corporate communications and corporate objectives
The communication strategy of any corporationperformsanimportant play in achieving corporate objectives of the corporation. Communication turns into trickier in the world where there is lots of participant drawing attention of same set of customers. Today's customer valuesthe way of communication to them .Therefore severalÂ communication strategies are inÂ action to promote product.Â (kotler:2009)
1.2.1 The CocaCola Company's Corporate Objective
In the website of Coca-Cola, UK (http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/about-us/coca-cola-mission-vision-statement.html) described their corporate objectives as below:
"To achieve our mission, we have developed a set of goals, which we will work with our bottlers to deliver:
Profit:Â Maximizing return to shareholders, while being mindful of our overall responsibilities
People:Â Being a great place to work, where people are inspired to be the best they can be
Portfolio:Â Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy people's desires and needs
Partners:Â Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty
Planet:Â Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference
Productivity:Â Be a highly effective, lean and fast-moving organization. "
Now, the fact is to examine whether this corporate objectives are achievable by the corporate communication strategy undertaken by the corporation. In depth look reveals some features of this strategy success
1.2.2. Starting "Diet coke": Targeting Female
The most recent policy of coca-colawhich is restricted from 5thto 30thJune only for summers 2010. Diet coke isallowing gratis ensign of nails Inc for free of charge on buy of two 500ml cans. This sort of communication is a exclusive mishmash as two diverse sectors like-Beverage business and Beauty business (nail Inc)coming together to promote their ownitem for consumption.This kind of communication policy is usually used when a corporation iscounting on certain group ofÂ audience.Here, diet drink targeted to females who are calorieaware.Also attach with Nail Inc allows target to the gorgeous ladies who make use of this type of products inÂ their daily lives.
1.2.3. "GRAB THE TASTE OF FRIDAY"
This strategywas mainly customized for "Fannta", another brand of coca-cola. Thiswas to celebrate the Friday which is the less serious or theÂ most enjoyable day of the week.
The motto of this sponsorship is to make a platform for moms and teens. They wear team dress in "Fanta"handling 150 ml cans in places like Thorpe Park and The O2 to grab attention.
1.2.4. Sponsorship in sport: Targeting Male
In FIFA 2010 the company promotes its product based on three story- History of Celebration, Quest, and Boarder Crossing. These three programs focused on the point of celebration and that lead to the thinking -To celebrate needs Coca-cola. By this the company promotes happiness program. This communication is covered almost 150 countries bymusic, displays etc. (http://presscentre.cocacola.co.uk/viewnews/coca_cola_captures_passion_for_celebration_in_new_global_commercials_for_2010_fifa_world_cuptm)
1.2.5. Children policy
Coca-cola restricted their marketing policy for the child of below 12 years. This strategy was to satisfy the parents who are curious about their child becoming addicted to the product of Coca-Cola. This strategy just not only values the customer's view but also shows the responsibility towards younger generation. This sort of thinking brings reliability to coca-cola. (http://www.thecocacolacompany.com/contactus/faq/advertising_marketing_children.html
1.2.6. Communication tools of Coca-Col
Communication tools are important for corporate communication. It is treated as the most imperative aspect to develop brand equityÂ and increase sales.(Kotler ,2009).
There are mainly seven major modes of marketing communication mix, which are asfollows:
TVcommercials are the main promoter of Coca-Cola's advertisement. By advertisement Coca-cola intends to build up a relationship among the group of consumer. Most of the competitive firm also depends on this strategy.
To promote sales Coca cola arranges acontest like if a consumer buys a certain product , it leads to chance of winning a prize. PEPSI in Londonthey use mobile phone codes and customer clicks the picture, which redirectsthem to the linked
Events and Experience
Coca-cola is famous for "event lead" promotion. Evenits competitors cannot have the same coverage of communication as coca-cola.
Public relation and publicity
Where to develop brand image a corporation has to depend on public relations. To build PR Coca-Cola works on building home to the poor where PEPSI's, center of attention are onÂ the nature and its protection.
Coca-Cola is a corporation with super brand image which does notneed to use direct marketing tools.
Coca-cola always relies on new concepts and different media to promote their product. When they needed tointroduce OASIS, they used radio for the coverage. Before this coca -cola never bring into play radio to promote their products.
While thinking of beverage, Coca- cola comes first because it rules over the market. So it earns any advantage of mouth promotion, which is yet to gain by the other market player.(Kotler,2009)
With this variety of communication strategy Coca-Cola communicate with their customer very effectively and those boosts up the sales and also meet the corporate objective that the company intends to.
1.3 Relationship between corporate communication and corporate branding
The 21st century marketing strategy is more focused on branding through the identity. Corporate branding is an organizational tool whose successfulapplication in the aspect of communicational context can lead the company to meet its corporate objectives. Branding helps manager to analyze communication strategy to build up the corporate image in a positive manner.
Corporate Branding promote corporate communication by -
1.3.1. Creating difference
Branding promote a product in a very distinct way. Effective branding helps to identify a productas "one" among many. This typical character of branding can make a product unique and that lead to a product as customers main choice to buy the product. Different portfolio of coke, are distinct from each other by the different brand components such as bottling, color, taste etc. For this reason this products are treated differently and customer don't confuse with one another and that lead the corporation to meet the corporate objective.
1.3.2. Adding Value
It's a common phenomenon that branded product earn more than unbranded. And a brand can be extended through a whole range of offers too.This obviously adds value to the business that promotes the organization in a particular way.
1.3.3. Communicating with people
Communicating with consumer is important for all type of organization, basically an organization survive upon the positive view of customer. Branding of certain products make a relationship with the customer that the customer used to buy the product. Coca-Cola Brand always tends to hold a group of certain customer because of their brand loyalty.
1.3.4. Link among strategy
The interrelationship between brandand known to allÂ the units is crucial. And in Coca-Cola's commercial strategy we see that, there is a linkage among the point of the advertisement, target audience and the time it is published. Strategy is a broader concept up on which, the viability of an organization depends. It n this discussion, it is shown that effective communication strategy can lead an organization to success and branding is an effective tool that allow organization to meet its corporate objective.
2.Corporation Communication Audit: (Task-2)
Communication audit is not a new concept, which was first established by the scholar Odirone (1954:235). By this he means to examine whatthe level of accuracyandway ofcommunication in a certainbusiness.However, overthetime itbecomesaproper researchmethodof examining thecommunicationsystemofacorporation(Wallace1993:129). Before thecommunicationaudititselfisdefineditisimportanttounderstandsomeofthe theoretical foundations on which communication audits have been based.
AccordingtoHamilton (1987:3),Communication auditpermitauthority to seekthechancetodevelopthewayinwhichtheinformation necessary for its actionandspecially addressespoint such astheclarity,suitabilityandcompetenceofintraorganisational communication. Where asHolsenbeck(1975)provides center of attentiononstructuralissues,butadd theconceptofthe volatile environmentwhen itisdefinedas
"An evaluationofexistingcommunicationpatternstoassesstheextenttowhichtheymeetthecurrentneeds of the organization as it interacts with itschanging environment".
Thecommunicationauditcanbesaidas anevaluationprocessthat givesanfairsituationalstudyof the positionofintraorganizationalcommunication,withthemotive ofgiving informationaboutcertain communicationproblems.
2.1.Planning an internal & external corporate communications audit
Now a day's communication expert prefer communication audit to examine the effectiveness of communication strategy and process. A communication audit is most likely to get a details idea of specific arena of communication process. A person who plans to audit any organization's communication strategy he has to bear in mind the some items that can affect the audit process. By considering these things an audit should be performed.
2.1.1 Ensure financial affluence:
Auditing is not merely a job; it is rather a way out to build up proper strategy. There are many costs involved in any assessment, such as telephone bill, Fax cost. Stationary cost, travel costs etc. These costs can be assessed by the experienced communication auditor. So a budget should made before conducting any communication audit, and this budget should approved by the responsible person.
2.1.2 Decide the nature of the report
Communication audit is not perfectly practiced in much organization. The nature of the report indicates that how a corporation wants to see the overall communication process. A report might be written, oral or adhoc basis. Most of time the report presented in written format.
2.1.3. Clarify the auditor- client relationship
Auditor- client relationship is the one of the important thing that can affect the audit report. Auditor -Client relationship indicates the basic communication flow between auditor and client. The relationship needs to focus earlier because while doing the work how they are getting support from management is one of the most important things. After completing the work the analysis and evolution of the report by management is also crucial.
2.1.4. Determine focal Area
Communication audit not only focuses the strength and weakness of the communication process but also focuses on the whole communication process. But it needs to determine some focal area that need to examine. A vast area cannot be organized properly by a single written report. So, before conducting the audit, it is essential to focus on a specific area.
2.1.5. Proper Assessment Techniques
Auditing is one sort of research. So, regular research techniques are used to be a reliable form of auditing communication. There are a lot research techniques. Such as-
Focus group Discussion
Critical Incident Analysis
2.1.6. Forecast the time sequence
Most audits are conducted over a long time period, so it's tough to co-ordinate between the processes. A target checklist should be identifiedagainst time and it should maintain properly in time, otherwise the report become obsolete.
Planning a communication audit sets the variety of steps for its successful completion. Both the management and the auditor need to realize the importance, focusedarea techniques of the audit report. It should not rush through or gloss over the planning stage. A proper balanced planning stage can lead the communication audit very much successful.
2.2 Conducting an internal & external communication audit
The aim of internal communication audit is to find facts as well as to look at inside of the company. Coca- cola, UK is a company where more than 5,000 employees are engaged through the work process. So to understand the inner communication of the corporation, an rigorous internal communication audit is essential.
Initial Fact investigate
A series of interviews with senior managers, communication executives and different unit staff had taken for internal audit. That reveals what the employee thinks about the communication strategy. For external purposes to find a fact interview had taken from different vendor, media and other stakeholder.
The main tool of audit is extensive survey. A rigorous survey completed by providing a questionnaire. The vast amount of data reveals the whole scenario.
Qualitative follow up.Â
Quantitative survey lacks of incident that need to added in the audit follow up. By group discussion experience sharing on communication process employee reveals the qualitative data.
Report and recommendations
Upon analyzing the data gained from the survey, this data will be sum up and they published as a report and proper recommendations will be added there.
2.3 Effectiveness of current internal communication practice
Changing with the business environment, there might be a rapid change in the arena of communication. Effective internal communication can be said as a communication policy that helps to meet the corporative objectives by representing the time.
In Coca-cola, the staff enjoys frank, straight, welcoming, and comfortable conversation. The widespread computer unit promotes visibility, easy access to the display area and a free communication flow. CEO's remains separate from the general work area, but his door remains open unless circumstance dictates privacy (customers, business meetings, etc) Communication flows horizontally, bypassing unnecessary conduits in order to complete job tasks.
In Coca-cola, latest trends of internal communications demands a horizontal feature. The communication feature has changed a lot.Mouth- of -word, social networks and 'water cooler conversations' are applying as communication process that can express and decide how they sense and act. The creepy thing is that management has very little ability to control this type of communication.
2. 4. Effectiveness of current external communication practice
External communication deals with the information that relates with associates, the news-media and other stakeholders. The prompt and regular communication of information to external stakeholder leads to leadership, skill, support and resource mobilization efforts.
In, Coca-cola, External communications are based on carefully planned and implemented. Reliability and trustworthy with the external are maintained from the very beginning.
External communication of Coca-Cola is aÂ skillÂ that cannot be improvised. It implanted by the expertise and dedicatedÂ resourcesfrom the start of a response.
3. Developing a communication strategy (Task-3)
Knowledge in communication is required for corporate communication executive for developing Communication strategy. The main issue is the function of strategy for corporate communication (public relations) issues. A proper policy could ensure that inner message of communication is perceived by your intended audience.
Developing a corporate communication strategy for an organization is not an easy work to do and it requires a step wise process. It's a strategic policy that can affect the organization as a whole. It is important to familiar with the organization's(internal and external) environment thoroughly.
3.1. Analysis of the internal environment:
To develop a corporate communication strategy the internal environment has to analyze by-
To make communication realistic, the corporate communication manager need to operate an analysis of the corporation's internal environment.
3.2. Analysis of External Environment:
When business makes decisions, the business tries to move on some conceptual framework. Different scholar argued to give more attention on the view point of external factor to build up a proper and realistic communication strategy. Some give their attention on Politics, culture, economic, social and other external factor in both micro and macro level.(Pearce & Robinson, 1997).
3.1. Objectives of corporate communication strategy
Corporate communication strategy focuses to meet the corporate objective and to tie the entire stakeholder in a common policy. The objectives of the communication strategy are to:
To ensure communication is a connected part of strategic planning skeleton.
Look after the build public confidence and customer satisfaction.
Facilitate greater community engagement and access to services to all connected stakeholder.
Improve stakeholder understandingand achieving success against shared objectives..
Manage an internal communication structure that makes the personnel feel esteemed, knowledgeable and motivated.
The strategy holdsadvance information about the goal,which are important to gain the vision of the Service.
3.2 Audience influence on corporate communication strategies
In Coca-Cola, Communication strategiesare based on their target audience, whom are connected with them in every sphere. Communication strategies are better when it convey the concerned message with its audience perfectly.
The Communication strategy of Coca-Cola addressesthe appropriate messages to the potential audience. Successful communication can be gained by communicating properly with the audiences.The bottom lines is that, with a well delivered message and received are well worth the time and theendeavor and that concentrates to meet communication strategies.Stating a proper leadership in market can be achieved by engaging discourse with audiences, compose their message like symphonies, and use the personal liveliness to radiateenthusiasm about their plans. Coca-Cola meets their target audience by making phenomena that lead the corporation to sustain and support their all stake holders.
3.3 Measures for monitoring corporate communication strategies
Monitoring worth most when the communication strategy are linked with the company's corporate objectives. Efficient monitoringon communication strategy update companies the overall status regarding target audience.
Corporate communication strategies can be measured by underpinning some policy
3.3.1. Making objectives SMART
3.3.2. Focus on qualitative, not just quantitative
Measures of both quantitative and qualitative are important for communication strategy. Some incident might be in hindsight if just thinks about quantitative data. Qualitative data can express any incidents that are empirical.
3.2.3. Focus on Outcomes and Impacts, not just Outputs
Many companies provide focal point on monitoring inputs and outputs. But the overall scenario can be measured by outcomes and impacts. Outcome and impacts can provide a wider concept on evaluating communication strategy
3.2.4. Integrating communication to the broader monitoring system
Communication strategy will examined properly, if it is observed against overall monitoring policy. Individually an organ like communication policy can provide more information if it has a cohesion with the overall strategy. The monitoring process not only measures the strategy but also measure the application of it.
3.2.5. Participatory based measurement
Participatory monitoring is the better way for companies to produce faith, construct capability, and encourage mutual erudition. Such policy enhances reliability and develops skill among stakeholders.
This study has discussed the historical development of communication in organizations, the emergence and significance of corporate communication and the ways in which communication is organized in contemporary corporate organizations. This discussion provides a context for understanding why corporate communication emerged and how it is useful for today's organizations. The study also described the variety of factors that triggered the emergence of corporate communication and continue to drive its widespread use within companies around the globe. Corporate communication has brought a more strategic and integrated perspective on managing communication for the benefit of the entire organization. To give this shape, many corporate organizations have consolidated communication activities into a single department with ready access to the executive decision-making team.