Corporate communications is the means through which company leadership shares news, updates and future plans for the organisation. Messages are aimed at internal groups, including employees and shareholders, and external groups which may include the media or the market in which the company does business. Strong corporate communication leads to flourishing companies, while bad communication can have a devastating effect on the bottom line.
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Corporate Communication Writers
Many people in a corporation are responsible for writing corporate communications. Messages which are aimed at shareholders or investors are typically written by the staff of the Investor Relations Department, while messages aimed at the general public are written by Public Relations staff members.
Internal communications are almost always written by employee relations staff. Each message is tailored to fit the audience it addresses, however the goal of corporate communication is to ensure consistency in all messages for the purpose of maintaining company image and culture.
Bad Corporate Communication
Bad corporate communication is the result of not having a communication plan in place prior to significant events or changes. It is also the result when a company makes the conscious choice not to share information about an event because it may appear controversial to the public or internally.
In each of these instances, information eventually leaks into the organisation or to the public and creates negative impressions about the company. Bad corporate communication can also be the result of a message sent from a leader who does not sensor his emotions appropriately when he is communicating.
Examples of Bad Corporate Communication
One example of bad corporate communication is the company that is in discussions with another company about a potential merger. The corporate leadership has decided not to inform their public about the discussions because of the questions it would raise. Eventually, bad information leaks into the organisation.
Another example is a senior manager who is angry about rising office supply costs. In an effort to cut costs, the manager accuses employees of being wasteful and threatens to start counting the numbers of pens in each person's desk.
Results of Bad Corporate Communication
Bad corporate communication can lead to poor workplace morale, shareholder distress and financial loss. When news about an upcoming change leaks into an organisation because it was not shared properly, employees begin to feel devalued and employee morale drops. Overtime, poor morale leads to turnover and eventually poor performance by the company. Additionally, shareholders who begin to hear rumours about an upcoming change prior to being told by the corporation may begin to lose trust in the organisation. Overtime, lack of trust can cause these investors to withdraw their assets.
How to Avoid Bad Corporate Communication
It is essential to have a standard communication plan in place and refer to it regularly to avoid bad corporate communication. When a change is about to occur, communicate as quickly as possible rather than waiting for small pieces or inaccurate information to leak. Be sure to explain why the change was important and the benefit it creates for the organisation.
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