Corporate Communications Types and Their Importance Explained

Business communication is a process that is essential for everyone involved in a project. Whether we are talking about messages sent between team members or an email sent to a potential customer, people need to know how to phrase what they have to say and how to convey a message in a certain manner. That’s why today we are going to look at two communication types and see why they are important.

Corporate Communication Types

If you look it up, you will see that there are a lot of different types of corporate communication. People divided them according to various criteria, and so we have internal/ external, formal/ informal, etc. However, today we will focus on the internal/ external division since this is one of the clearest criteria. First, we will analyze what does each of them refer to, and then see why are they so important.

Internal Communication

This type of corporate communications refers to the messages that are sent to employees or between stakeholders that are interested in the production phase. Here you have some examples:

  • Messages sent to shareholders (who can be consumers as well);
  • Employee handbooks and manuals;
  • The mission statement of the company;
  • Employee newsletters, e-mails, and e-newsletters;
  • Trainings and seminars;
  • Information found on the company’s intranet;
  • Unwritten communication (e.g., the corporate cultural norms), etc.
corporate communications structure

Chart of a corporate communications team structure. Image courtesy of Moazzam Ayaz

The Importance of Internal Communication

The evolution of internal communication affects various aspects of the business life. Let’s have a look at what needs this type addresses:

1. Resource Libraries

All the employees need to have some procedures, policies, or bodies of work and other reference materials to work with. For this reason, there should be one place where they can go and find everything they need. All the internal communications need to be regulated and this must be written down in an organized manner.

2. Small Group or Individual Chats

The simplicity of the informal communication affects the way in which people relate to one another. Instilling a relaxed climate can help people work easier together. It’s recommended that the communication between team members or all the colleagues be made simply, without any effort. Any difficulty that arises in this process translates to further problems and delays with the project, which is why this type of communication is essential. Don’t forget to work on the cross-cultural communication as well.

3. Team Work and Collaboration

Besides the good rendering of information between co-workers, it’s important to take care of the organization of projects and teams as well. In general, people need simple ways to organize themselves and to get things done. Complicating the process will, of course, lead to other problems. That’s why it’s not recommended to rely on streams and updates.

4. Peer to Peer Sharing

Any team members need to engage with one another, to share at least a minimal number of things outside of work and to feel comfortable enough to ask questions and to support each other. Setting the atmosphere right from the start is an imperative thing to do.

5. Leadership

We can’t talk about strategy, wins, losses, celebrations, feedback, etc., without including leadership and communication. A leadership voice can make people feel they belong to something big and important, which further motivates them. Sadly or not, social networks aren’t that good in compensating for this need of leadership communication.

External Communication

External communications refer to the messages sent outward by the company, or the ones received from possible customers, partners, etc. It includes the processes of spreading the news about the company to the public and stakeholders. Some external corporate communication examples are:

  • Websites;
  • Mass media ads;
  • Direct mail;
  • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.);
  • Annual reports;
  • Case studies, white papers;
  • Blogs;
  • Promotional items;
  • Financial records;
  • Brochures and other printed sales materials, etc.

External Communications Importance

Just like with the first type of corporate communications, there are various areas affected by its quality. Let’s have a look at them:

1. Public Relations

This is perhaps the first element you think about when you say ‘external communication’. Public perception is just as important as sales when it comes to measuring a company’s success. Newsletters, press releases, and media stories need to be coherent to inform people correctly about your business. Many business owners try to improve their image by talking about philanthropic and environmental efforts, for example.

2. Technology

It’s essential to convey a proper image of your business over social media. however, with the present technology, there is a huge risk of facing a public backlash in case of a miscommunication. There are countless examples of bad marketing decisions made by a big brand in the last years, so you can learn from there. However, there is a huge benefit to technology as well: you can reach people worldwide. You are no longer limited to a geographical area, so you can create a huge fan base.

3. Branding

The entire effort of creating a good image, offering good PR and reaching a huge number of people has its risks as well. Everything you post online can have consequences, and you can’t escape them. You need to have a great PR team since just one wrong quote, a wrong answer to a customer or a badly-worded piece of news can completely ruin your image. In this case, you need a coherent corporate communications strategy, both internal and external, that relies on the values of your company. Which leads us to…

Rules of Corporate Communications

To leave you with something useful after reading about the division of corporate communications, we should have a brief look at some rules:

  1. Hire senior executives that know your company well;
  2. Trust and understand the communication processes;
  3. Allow communication leaders to educate other managers on this topic;
  4. Eliminate opaque communications and be transparent;
  5. Take advantage of your employees using social media and encourage them to post good things about the company.

Here you have a brief clip that explains more about the importance of corporate communications:

To draw a conclusion, corporate communications can be a delicate topic if they are not handled properly. As you have seen, they can be divided into internal and external, each of the types having its own specifics and requirements. However, by following some simple rules and hiring a great PR team, your business can take advantage of this aspect to the maximum.

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