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The CEO’s view: role of corporate communication in adding value to the ICRC 1 September 2011, Lausanne. Role of corporate communication. ICRC’s mission to protect & to assist people affected by war & armed violence to prevent suffering by promoting respect for IHL Red Cross Movement

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Role of corporate communication

The CEO’s view:role of corporate communication in adding value to the ICRC1 September 2011, Lausanne


Role of corporate communication

Role of corporate communication

  • ICRC’s mission

    • to protect & to assist people affected by war & armed violence

    • to prevent suffering by promoting respect for IHL

    • Red Cross Movement

  • modus operandi

    • impartial, neutral & independent

    • dialogue with all sides

      • military & civilian authorities, non-state armed groups

    • strategy -> win support & trust

      • face-to-face

  • organisation

    • HQ & 80 delegations

      • HQ : global, support & mobilisation

      • delegations: local/national, operational (security)

      • 12’500 staff; 1.2 billion CHF

        • humanitarian ‘sector’


Role of corporate communication1

Role of corporate communication

  • changes in our working environment

    • high degree of unpredictability

  • shift from "trust me" to "prove me"

    • humanitarian workers are no longer heros

    • high expectations

      • from donors, public, ‘victims’

      • under scrutiny & real time

        • Libya, Syria, Pakistan/Afghanistan

    • blogging, social networks, mobile phones

  • competition & control

    • local factor

      • assertive states

    • economic & financial crises

      • humanitarian needs


Role of corporate communication2

Role of corporate communication

  • corporate communication adding value to organization ?

    Q: the vue of your top leadership

  • If you would ask top leadership in your organization, how would they describe role of corporate communication in adding value to your organization ?

    • response: 1 (no role) to 5 (essential)

  • Have their perceptions changed over the last 6 months?

    • response: 1 negatively 2. positively 3. no change


  • Role of corporate communication3

    Role of corporate communication

    corporate communication adding value to organisation ?

    -> vital for ICRC

    life & death

    top leadership as well people in 'front line'

    1. to generate support

    access & acceptance

    from a broad range of audiences

    local & global

    ‘new’ actors and networks

    gangs- > mega-cities

    demonstrators -> no leader

    ‘assertive’ States


    Role of corporate communication vital

    Role of corporate communication -> vital

    2. to manage our reputation

    • as a strategic element of the ICRC

      • perceptions

      • local, regional, global

    • importance of research & monitoring

      3. it puts people at the centre

    • integrated into decision making

    • complementary with but different from HR

  • constantly being aware of the human factor

    • our staff -> ambassadors of our brand

      • ownership, behavior

    • internal communication -> key

      • -> autonomous & mature relationships

        • direct relations between CEO & staff


  • Role of corporate communication vital1

    Role of corporate communication -> vital

    • align our services with perceptions

      • stakeholders

        • eg: medical

      • try to close the gap

        • competences

        • back to basics

          • first aid, wounded -> Tripoli, Abidjan, Damas, Kaboul

    • real question for CEO is how to capitalize ?

      • on value added by corporate communication

      • readiness of organization ?


    Role of corporate communication4

    Role of corporate communication

    Lessons learned (so far)

    1. it’s never ‘only’ a communication issue

    • issue affecting the entire organisation

    • every indivudual

      • behaviour, ambassador

      • their networks

        2. integration is key

    • well balanced attitude

      • servant -------- arrogant

    • strategic AND simple

    • processes of validation

      • fight for it


    Role of corporate communication5

    Role of corporate communication

    3. communication at the ‘decision table’

    • management team, including SMT

      • ICRC – HQ, field

  • Q: and you ?

    • are you member of the senior management team in your organization ? -> yes/no

      4. hard facts

    • indicators

      • quaterly review

      • benchmarking

    • reputation has a value

      5. on/off -> constant


  • Role of corporate communication6

    Role of corporate communication

    6. relevance

    • timely

    • being prepared

      • scenarios -> priorities

        7. learning journey

    • entire organisation need to evolve

      • from dissemination to corporate communication

    • scope, direct association & new concept

      • from media to information management

      • from CSR to CSV

        • -> creating shared value (economic & social values)

  • you & your team


  • Role of corporate communication

    The CEO’s view:role of corporate communication in adding value to the ICRC1 September 2011, Lausanne


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