Corporate communications, according to the latest crowd-sourced definition on Wikipedia, ”is a set of activities involved in managing and orchestrating all internal and external communications aimed at creating favorable point of view among stakeholders on which the company depends.”
Wrong. If this is your definition of corporate communications, you are failing as a communicator.
The notion that communications is “orchestrated” and aimed at “creating a favorable point of view” is antiquated and undermines the concept of synchronous communications. That is to say, two-way communications (dialogue) between one or more individuals. Face-to-face dialogue is one example; instant messaging is another. Though not instantaneous, discussion forums and “user commenting” also provide tools that allow the communicator and the audience to exchange communications (comments, questions, dialogue).
The definition for internal communications (employee communications) is far more precise, “the function responsible for effective communications among participants within an organization. The scope of the function varies by organization and practitioner, from producing and delivering messages and campaigns on behalf of management, to facilitating two-way dialogue…”
The key to the modern communications equation is “two-way dialogue.” Modern communicators must not only be a mouth-piece for their organization, they must promote and facilitate dialogue (including soliciting and responding to feedback). To be a successful communicator, you must learn and understand the topical issues, concerns, and hopes of all involved – including frontline employees AND senior executives.
Top-down, one-way messaging from the executive suite, command-and-control communications best exemplified by armed forces and military organizations in times of war, is as antiquated as the fax machine. Would you like to create a war-like mentality at your company or organization? Does any communicator plan their communications strategy and execution around the fax machine?
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