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Corporate Communications

Companies who market high-value products or services, are tightly organised, have intensive marketing operations and position themselves strongly against competitors have had no guarantee of market success for some time now. In our society, success also requires the creation of acceptance and credibility. To gain these qualities, anchor them firmly and maintain them sustainably requires a serious willingness for dialogue and professional PR technicians. For public opinion decides whether a company is trustworthy, and therefore, successful. And every point of communicative contact, from the call centre to personal talks with management, is relevant to this process. This means that corporate communications is more than media management and publicity work. In our consultancy work we pursue a unified approach and support our clients in all issues of internal and external communication, including corporate identity, corporate culture, corporate design and corporate behaviour.

Five Topics in Using Corporate Communications

Fame and image are important prerequisites for success. And you can’t achieve them by keeping quiet. Silence is only important when we’re listening to others. For active listening bears witness to acceptance of differing opinions and democratic understanding—primarily on a political level. General silence, on the other hand, is a failure to act. And a risky one. In our fast-paced era of advanced digitalisation, the increasing power of the consumer and a growing interest from the population in social and economic correlations, neglecting the public spells suicide for a company. To be sure, professional PR work cannot guarantee a conflict-free relationship with public opinion, but doing nothing or proceeding unprofessionally are hardly promising alternatives!

Seventy percent of PR success comes from volition and a positive attitude about opening up inwardly and outwardly; thirty percent consists of know-how and plain hard work. Studies from the USA already show that top managers often invest more than fifty percent of their time in PR activities. The public scrutinises a company or institution rigorously, paying attention to its dealings with all stakeholders as with the authorities, its employees, and its suppliers—even the environment. At the end of the day, whoever uses PR to gloss over irresponsible behaviour, distract from poor production quality, sweep a heavy environmental footprint under the rug or as a replacement for advertising, will reap the opposite: loss of image, loss of trust, and economic failure. Successful communication is based on conviction, openness, honesty, continuity, professionalism, objectivity, fairness and authenticity.

When a company opens up, they must accept in their own organisation judgements made from the outside. Internally, PR has the task of creating the awareness of problems and responsibility toward the public, and to support a culture of dealing actively with the public’s challenges and expectations. This does not mean that they must fulfil all of society’s expectations, but a readiness for dialogue presupposes the acknowledgement of divergent opinions and points of view. Therefore, internal PR work is an essential foundation for outside effectiveness, and PR leaders must have patience, perseverance and tact. An organisation’s relationships to its environment requires them to maintain stable and reliable contacts and to build trust. Whoever wishes to act successfully in public must be recognised and accepted—especially if the highest discretion must be kept. ROSAM.GRÜNBERGER | Change Communications acts both as a sparring partner for corporate heads of communication and as a “single point of contact” for the media or citizens.

Firms invest much time and money to position the corporate brand among external target groups, through advertising campaigns, famous testimonials and charitable contributions. Such efforts are in vain, however, if employees are not made part of the brand communication process, for they bear strong joint responsibility for the perception of the company and must therefore know what it stands for and what values it represents. Brand behaviour will be possible only if employees are enthused about the company’s brand and have an emotional attachment to it. To this end, a coordinated internal branding process is demanded of executives, PR leaders and HR managers alike. This will let the brand radiate with success from the inside to the outside!

Image is generated by two factors: objective ones which are rationally perceived (quality and price) and subjective ones which are mostly determined by feelings. Therefore, a company is judged not only from facts, but whether the right idea can be planted in the public and potential clients. This means that image requires fame, and it is formed and influenced only by appealing to the intellect and emotions. This goes for companies just as it does for products and people. Important: “Being” and “appearing” must line up, no matter whether this involves implementing opinion-related content or an organisation’s entire orientation. The latter involves a complete brand process and establishing a clear brand identity. This includes the self-perception of all participants, appearance, and a united stance.