Companies are increasing dedicating the majority of their marcom budget to digital. While it is clear that marketing is communications aimed at generating leads and driving sales, corporate communications itself is often misunderstand as “public relations”, as if the general public cares to establish any relationship with you.
Corporate communications targets all the stakeholders that are touched by the business of the organisation. It indirectly support marketing, because it works on generating good reputation and clear and meaningful engagements. Below are the key components of digital corporate communications:
Are you invisible online? Most likely not. How are you perceived online? Today, your online presence is the most immediate way someone gets to know you, either by typing your name into the search engine or looking at your social profiles. To know where you stand, you need an online reputation audit, so that you know where you stand, vis à vis your competitors, your stakeholders, your clients and the community in which you are active.
By using scrapping tools, that go through the major social channels on which your community is active, you are able to hear what people are saying about your brand. While the sentiment analysis of these tools are still not ideal, with the advancement of AI, these tools will be more and more accurate in helping you assessing people’s opinions about you at any given moment. The trick is to listening, and rectify by engaging and correcting negative perceptions. Furthermore, any crisis will most likely spring from social channels and you have to act fast to contain the crisis before it gets bigger.
10 years ago, most organisations thought their product catalogue was the most content marketing they needed to do. Today, content comes and goes, they get consumed, digested and very quickly forgotten. As an organisation fighting to stay relevant and influential, you need to be generating content on the fly (hence the saying “Content is King“), so as to engage your community, your audience and successfully compete in the digital space. Do not think of long articles. Think relevance. Think quality. Think engagement.
Do not embark on any digital strategy without determining who you are talking “with” (not “to”). Your target audience is not a target but people whom you should consider as your family in the business sense or sectoral sense. Which is why mapping should be the first thing you do in any sort of strategy building. What do they talk about? Why do they like to talk about these subjects? How to engage them on your input? Remember, online strategy works best when it is combined with offline strategy. People do not interact exclusively online. The spark needs to first come from personal interactions.
Both unfortunately and fortunately, the media is not as influential as before as the self-publishing space increased dramatically with the rise of platforms. Yet the internet has in the same way empowered journalists, so that they now interact directly with readers. Your organisation needs to engage with the media in a completely different way than 10 years ago. No more long press releases. Interact on social media with journalists. Participate in chats about your future plans and company goals. Invite them to the production of your videos and get them to ask the difficult questions. Journalists have replaced their outlets as the influencers. It is something you have to bear in mind when you craft your media engagement strategy.
Public affairs outreach
In many organisations, public affairs are completely segregated from communications and marketing. Yet little do they know, public affairs is communications with the goal of convincing decision makers. It is communications with another set of audience. Yet by bringing public relations, public affairs and marketing under one roof, you will soon realise there is so much synergy among them. Read why everything is communications. A strong positive reputation will also influence the perception of policymakers. A strong satisfied client base is likewise a non-neglieable element in any kind of negotiations with government officials. The tools that you use for social listening and online reputation can also be used for advocacy purposes.
Drop me a note, or comment on my Twitter account @HaroldTor, should you like to know more about digital corporate communications.
Eureka Moments are not so much moments of sudden realisation or enlightenment like Archimedes. They are moments while I am in my commute when I get to reflect on things that someone mentioned to me, things that I am confronted with, things that I or others have sought a solution for. They are more ‘oh I get it’ rather than ‘I have discovered it’.