What is corporate communications?

    In the public relations industry, people ask ‘how to write a media release?’ and ‘how to prepare for an interview?’ to ‘what is corporate communications?’.

    Corporate communications is defined as activities involved in managing both internal and external communications in a workplace – this can include internal presentations, staff newsletters, media releases for journalists, investor correspondence, social media and more. The aim of corporate communications is to create a favourable perception amongst stakeholders the business depends on, such as investors, employees or the general public.

    What is corporate communications?

    Areas of corporate communications

    In corporate communications, there are typically three principal areas. These include:

    • Management communication – This form of communication takes place between management and both internal and external audiences. To ensure successful external and internal business communication, management relies on specialists to deliver their messaging effectively. These specialists often work in marketing communication and organisational communication.
    • Marketing communication – As marketing communication can include advertising, direct mail, sponsorship and selling, it’s quite common for businesses to allocate the bulk of their budget to corporate and marketing communications.
    • Organisational communication – Those in the public relations industry working in business will likely be involved in organisational communication. This consists of specialists in areas including public affairs, corporate advertising, employee communication, investor relations and public relations.

    These three principal clusters work together to achieve effective business communication. Most organisations will even devise a business communication plan (also known as a corporate communications plan) to ensure their company successfully communicates with all stakeholders.

    Responsibilities of corporate communications

    A corporate communications department plays a key role in how stakeholders perceive a business. So, it’s imperative to make sure all persons involved, whether it be in management, marketing or organisational communication are across all responsibilities.

    These responsibilities include:

    • Corporate branding
    • Delegating and coordinating tasks to internal and external stakeholders
    • Executing effective procedures
    • Mobilising support for corporate objectives.

    Our Communications Director Clare Christensen says the responsibilities really depend on the organisation.

    “Often corporate communications is spilt into internal and external communications teams,” she says.

    “Internal is about informing staff and key stakeholders about any news and events happening in the organisation.

    “External really reflects the PR team and media liaisons, who perform duties such as writing media releases, monitoring social media and mainstream media, while also planning media events.”

    Many people in corporate communications will find there are plenty of effective techniques for businesses. This of course, depends on the company and its employees, investors and audience.

    It’s important to understand your organisation and not only what your target audience wants, but also what your employees want to achieve via effective corporate internal communications.

    Qualities of a person in corporate communications

    If you’re considering working in corporate communications, there are specific skills many employers will look for when hiring. These include:

    • An eye for detail
    • Punctuality
    • Strong communication skills
    • Leadership
    • Teamwork (and team spirit)
    • Coordination skills
    • Organisational skills
    • Ability to remain calm under pressure.

    Clare says the essential qualities a corporate communications officer should have is being organised and having great multitasking skills.

    “You should excel in communicating with both external and internal stakeholders,” she says.

    “You should also be aware of the messaging and brand at all times.”

    A piece of advice to anyone looking into corporate communications is to start building relationships – because your stakeholders are the key to a company’s perception management. Good luck!