In Assignment 1 We examined the changing environment for business and factors impacting on communication in today's workplace. In Assignment 4 we explore how these changes have affected corporate communications and why it has become imperative for modern organisations to communicating strategically. Against this backdrop the focus of the assignment is on the corporate communications function itself.
Although not every organisation can include all the sub functions and responsibilities, to operate most effectively, a majority of these functions must be included in the overall communications function.
Your boss, the CEO of MnM Company, has asked you to prepare a report investigating the question: ‘Why and how should managers master the corporate communication function’? In so doing she expects you to examine the following foui sub-functions within the function:
1. Identity, image, and reputation:
The purpose of this part of the report is to identify how corporate communication strategy assignment can improve the identity, image and reputation of an organization. By identifying it, this part will demonstrate that it would be important for managers of MnM to master corporate communication.
1.1 Issue 1: Lack of customer engagement
Corporate communication is defined as a set of activities that are included in managing and orchestrating internal and external communications aimed at developing a positive point of view among stakeholders on which an organization highly depends. Corporate communication is also described as the messages that corporate organizations issue to its audiences such as customers, media partners, suppliers and channel partners. According to Doorley and Garcia (2015), corporate communication is considered as a link of an organization with the outside world. Now, strategically it is important for all the organizations to engage with the customers in a sense that the customers can understand that organization’s image identify and reputation (Van den Bogaert et al. 2017). In this scenario, identity means the visual manifestation of an organization's reality as conveyed through the name, logo, motto, products, services, stationery, uniforms and other tangible pieces (Wheeler 2017). In order to develop a strong brand identity, it is important for an organization to tap into the mind of the customers. Besides, names and logos also play a major role in developing brand identity (Hemsley-Brown et al. 2016). For example, whenever customer thinks about buying Pizza, the name and logo of Dominos or Pizza Hut come into their mind in the sense that these companies provide best quality pizzas. Now, this is the brand identity of Dominos and Pizza Hut and this brand identity is developed through their corporate communication. These organizations have implemented several different techniques to communicate with their external stakeholders, mainly the consumers.
As mentioned by Pansari and Kumar (2017) customer engagement is one of the major components of organizational success. In simple words, customer engagement is defined as an emotional connection between a customer and a brand. Highly engaged customers tend to buy more and promote more and show greater loyalty to an organization (Harmeling et al. 2017). Now, providing quality products is not enough to ensure customer loyalty as customer engagement through communication with customers and through providing superior customer services are also important (Kaura et al. 2015). Now, this customer engagement through communication and quality customer services are not possible without the presence of a sound corporate communication strategy. If after sales services of an organization is poor then the consumers will never buy again from that organization. On the other hand, depending on existing customers will never help an organization to acquire growth and to increase profits. For gaining growth and more profitability it would be important to gain new customers and this can be done only through customer engagement and customer engagement is possible through corporate communication. By showcasing existing or new products and elaborating why this product is better than the products of other companies, an organization can easily gain new customers. Now, this presentation of products and their benefits is mainly done on the website of an organization, its social media site, in newspapers and other marketing channels (Lerch and Gotsch 2015). Social media sites and websites where such presentation is done, customers are highly motivated to provide comments and suggestions about what they think about the product or what improvements can be added to the product. This is not only customer engagement but this is also corporate communication strategy assignment. Through this strategy, an organization helps customers to create a mindset that the organization values their suggestions that in turn improved brand identity, reputation and image of the organization.
In terms of MnM, corporate communication would be important if the organization wants to increase its sales, profitability and customer base. Now, implementing a corporate communication strategy will not be enough as implementing such a strategy without having ample amount of knowledge will actually affect and hamper the brand image and reputation (Zerfass et al. 2016). Today, most common and effective corporate communication strategy is communication through social media which is not an easy task to do. There are methods such as the selection of right platform, metrics, evaluation process and response time that ensure the success of social media communication. Therefore, in this scenario, it can be stated that it would be important for the managers of MnM to master corporate communication to ensure the development of the positive organizational image, reputation and identity.
1.2 Issue 2: Lack of competitive advantage
Due to globalization, now business organizations can easily expand into an international country for acquiring new customers and to increase their sales. As a result, competition in every business industry around the world has increased significantly. In this condition, every business organizations are trying to display its products as a more superior product than the products sold by other companies in this field (Namada 2018). This process is called as gaining a competitive advantage over rivals (Weerawardena and Salunke 2017). There are several methods of gaining competitive advantage however; two most effective methods are product differentiation and new product development. Competitive advantage can easily be gained when an organization develops new product superior to the products of its competitors (Kumar and Pansari 2016). For example, Apple Inc. is considered the most famous smartphone brand around the world due to the fact that its products are better than the products of others such as Samsung or Nokia. MnM being a business organization must also have to do the same in order to survive in this highly competitive business atmosphere. Now, the question is how MnM can acquire competitive advantages (Liu and Atuahene-Gima 2018). MnM can develop new products and services and can increase its brand image, brand reputation and brand identity to gain the trust of its potential customers and to ensure retention of its existing customers.
Now, corporate communication plays a major role in developing the brand identity, reputation and image which is already mentioned previously (Kim and Ji 2017). In this section how corporate communication can help develop new products will be mentioned. It is already found that corporate communication means implementing strong and effective internal and external communication where internal communication is done with employees and external communication is done with the consumers. Now, developing new products without consulting with the customers will always be a disaster and Nokia is the biggest example of that. Nokia without implementing corporate communication strategy assignment just decided that they should manufacture windows smartphones with Microsoft and everyone knows what happened after that. Before developing a new product or a service it would be important to engage with the customers through social media, emails, direct communication and surveys. Through methods, an organization can understand what the customers are expecting in the future products and based on their demands new products can be developed that those customers will definitely buy. Communication with frontline employees that is also a part of corporate communication also plays a major role in it (West et al. 2015). Frontline employees are the employees who directly communicate with customers and these consumers know about customer expectations and requirements (Falola et al. 2018). Therefore, by implementing corporate communication strategy assignment on an organization can manufacture products that will attract the customers, both recent and potential customers. On the other hand, if an organization develops exactly the products that are expected or required by customers then the customers will definitely think that the organization thinks about the preferences of the customers. This thinking will automatically increase the brand image, identity and reputation of an organization among its customers which means, the customers will, again and again, buy from that organization (Awadzi-Calloway 2016).
From the above discussion, it is clear that through corporate communications MnM will be able to manufacture products that will be aligned with the demands and expectations of its current and potential customers. If its products are exactly what the customers want then the customers will buy from MnM only which will help the organization to acquire competitive advantage over its rivals. If corporate communication is not implemented by MnM then it would be impossible for the organization to suppress its competitions and to acquire a leading market position in the industry where it is operating. Now, corporate communication strategy assignment does not end with just collecting information from customers or employees as the next part is to analyze the data and to identify new product development opportunities in a proper manner. If managers of MnM are not experts in this process then MnM will end up developing a product that the consumers did not want. It will not only waste a lot of resources of the company but will also prevent the organization from acquiring competitive advantage over its rivals. Therefore, in order to eliminate these issues, it would be highly important for the managers of MnM to become masters of corporate communication.
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