Corporate Communication an Essential Tool in an Organization
A company resident reviews a feasibility study for an environment protection project in a small community where the company’s headquarters building is located. A personnel manager discusses with union leaders the forthcoming collective bargaining agreement. A marketing manager reviews videos of proposed media campaigns. A group of employees discuss the latest changes in the top management over coffee at the cafeteria.
What do each of these activities share? They all involve corporate communication. Some have this notion that corporate communication is the same as organizational communication. Others think it is a mere “rehash” of public relations. Still there are those who equate it with advertising, company publications, and management information systems.
If corporate communication is not generally well understood, it may be because corporate communication is still evolving. The concept is an offshoot of the growing recognition by top management of communication as a strategic resource in achieving corporate goals and objectives.
As the term implies, corporate communication encompasses all the communication activities undertaken within the corporate context, whether formal or informal, regardless of direction or flow of information (i.e. top-down, bottom-up, horizontal).
What corporate communication aims to achieve is to integrate the various communication activities within the corporate organization and recognize them as key management functions. It seeks to upgrade public relations. It seeks to upgrade public relations, organizational communication, and advertising into the level of scientific discipline quite removed from the level of gut feel. As the International Management Magazine (June 1985) noted, corporate communication-related activities a common direction or framework.
The growth of corporate communication can be attributed to the trend among progressive companies to appoint a communication man to top managerial positions (and even in the executive board). Corporate Executive Officers (CEOs) are beginning to realize that the success or failure of corporate strategies depends on how communication resources are harnessed.
Communication: The Nervous System of Organizations
A review of definitions of the term organization indicates how critical communication is the very existence of an organization. Koontz and O’Donnel define organization as a communication decision-making network. Peter Drucker states, “The organization is above all, an information decision-making system.” Communication is not a secondary or derived aspect of an organization, but rather the essence of organized activity and is the basic process out of which all functions derive.
It is quite clear then that communication links the various parts of an organization; it is the principal tool of managers. Through communication, the manager receives the information needed in making the right decision, and once the decision is made, manager must communicate it to others.
Perhaps you often hear managers saying, “Our problem is communication.” Indeed, many managers use communication as an excuse if they are not able to achieve their goal or objective. While it is true that communication as an excuse if they are not able to achieve their goal or objective. While it is true that communication is a vital skill of managers, it would be wrong to conclude that an effective communicator alone makes a good manager. An effective communication for a wrong decision will not do any good to the company. Conversely, for a manager to be an effective planner and decision-maker is not enough. A good decision (or action plan) must be translated into action.