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Integrated Communication. Aspects of Corporate, Management, Business and Marketing Communications Hans Rämö, May 9, 2007. Presentation based on e.g:. Joep Cornelissen Corporate Communications Bertrand Moingeon & Guillaume Soenen ( eds .) Corporate and Organizational Identities

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Integrated Communication

Aspects of Corporate, Management, Business and Marketing Communications

Hans Rämö, May 9, 2007

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Presentation based on e.g:

  • Joep Cornelissen Corporate Communications

  • Bertrand Moingeon & Guillaume Soenen (eds.) Corporate and Organizational Identities

  • Majken Schultz, Mary Jo Hatch & Mogens Holt Larsen (eds.) The Expressive Organization

  • And other material…

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Corporate Communications

  • Is an area of both professional practice and theoretical inquiry

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Corporate Communications

  • Different theoretical perspectives from communications and management theory have been brought to bear upon the field of corporate communications through reflections and research

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Corporate Communications

  • Seemingly in contrast with theoretical perspectives, practitioners views on the corporate communications field place an emphasis on the vocational skills and management competencies needed for the corporate communications job

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Corporate Communications

  • The strategic management view of corporate communications is the most relevant and useful perspective for advancing understanding of corporate communications as a professional area of practice

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Corporate Communications

  • Can be distinguished from other forms of professional communications (including business communications and management communications) by the corporate perspective on which is it based, the stakeholders it addresses, and the management activities that fall within its domain

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Corporate Communications

  • Focuses on the organization as a whole and the important task of how an organization is presented to all its key stakeholders, both internal and external

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Management Communications

  • Is more applied than Corporate communications – focusing on writing, presentational and other communications skills – and is largely restricted to interpersonal situations, such as groups within the organization

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Addendum: MMC or CMC?

  • Why naming the course Marketing and Management Communication (MMC), instead of Corporate and Marketing Communication (CMC)?

    • The term Management characterizes the process of and/or the personnel leading and directing all or part of an organization through the deployment and manipulation of resources (human, financial, material, intellectual or intangible).

    • According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “manage” comes from the Italian maneggiare (to handle – especially a horse), which in turn derives from the Latin manus (hand). (source: Wikipedia, Dec.13, 2006)

    • Marketing and Management are “twin concepts”…

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Business Communications

  • Tends to focus almost exclusively on skills, especially writing, and looks towards the communicator herself or himself for its focus

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Corporate Communication is…

  • Broader than vocational, technical skills alone because of the concepts, principles and management approaches that fall under it

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Corporate Communications…

  • Central concepts cannot be understood, approached, let alone managed, by mastering communications skills alone.

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Corporate Communicators

  • Need management competencies to:

    • Analyze the position and reputation of their own organization with all of its stakeholders

    • Determine the corporate profile and identity(e.g. values, messages, images and stories)

    • Develop and plan communications programs

    • Evaluate the results that these programs have achieved

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The Background of Corporate Communications

  • The task of managing communications between an organization and the general public and consumers, was for the majority of the 20th century defined by the public relations and marketing functions

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The Background of Corporate Communications

  • Through socio-economic developments (e.g. computerized global communication systems), and the practical need to coordinate and draw communications disciplines together, disciplines previously falling under marketing and public relations have increasingly been integrated into the corporate communications function

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The Background of Corporate Communications

  • A shift from markets characterized by rigid systems of mass production and mass consumption to more flexible and increasingly competitive marketplaces.

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The Background of Corporate Communications

  • Corporate communications is the management function that has come to fruition in this stakeholder era, and caters for the need to build and manage relationships with stakeholder groups upon which the organization is economically and socially dependent

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Stakeholders, Identity and Reputation

  • Three concepts form the cornerstone of corporate communications

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Stakeholders, Identity and Reputation

  • Understanding stakeholder management facilitates the ability of organizations to manage within the current business environment

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Stakeholders, Identity and Reputation

  • An organization needs to attend to a rich variety of claims and interests of stakeholder groups in the environment, yet at all times needs to profile a coherent corporate identity of itself to each and every one of these groups

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Stakeholders, Identity and Reputation

  • Corporate identity involves the self-representation of an organization through communication, products and services, and employee behavior

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Stakeholders, Identity and Reputation

  • The ways in which stakeholder groups regard and value the organization is defined as corporate reputation

    Ideally, from a corporate perspective, such a corporate reputation is in line with the communicated corporate identity and thus broadly consistent with the way in which the organization wants itself to be understood

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Communications Strategies

  • Strategy is essentially concerned with general maneuvers taken by managers for managing the interaction between an organization and its external environment

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Communications Strategies

  • Corporate communications operates at the interface between the organization and its environment, to help gather, relay and interpret information from the environment as well as representing the organization to the outside world

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Communications Strategies

  • Corporate communications strategy needs to be linked to the general corporate and market strategies of the organization, to which it must contribute if it is to be seen to have a genuine strategic role

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Communications Strategies

  • The process of strategy making in corporate communications can be seen to consist of a number of stages: strategic analysis, strategic intent, strategic action and evaluation

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Stages of Strategy:analysis, intent, action, evaluation

  • Strategic analysis is concerned with:

    • understanding the strategic position

    • changes in environment and its affect on the organization

    • Resources, values, and competencies of the organization

    • What are stakeholder groups associated to the organization aspiring to, and its affect for the future development of the organization

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Stages of Strategy:analysis, intent, action, evaluation

  • Is concerned with understanding the position of the organization in its environment

  • Strategic intent proceeds from this analysis and involves the formulation of a strategic vision, around which possible courses of action are formulated, evaluated and eventually chosen

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Stages of Strategy:analysis, intent, action, evaluation

  • Strategic action is concerned with the translation of the strategic intent into action. It creates an overall strategic program and successful implementation is dependent on the extent to which the various components work together to effectuate the program

  • 3 steps are important:

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Stages of Strategy:analysis, intent, action, evaluation

  • 3 steps in planning communications strategy implementation:

  • Specifying the role of communications and defining communications objectives,e.g. strategic choice, objectives, tactics

  • Planning communications, e.g. the audience to address, message, channel

  • Organizational arrangements, e.g. budget, staff (training, support)

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Stages of Strategy:analysis, intent, action, evaluation

  • Provision for effective evaluation of the results of the communication strategy

    – in terms of achievement of the objectives, which can be evaluated and assessed on the basis of: Process effects: the quality of the communication

    Communications effect: cognitive and behavioral effect on audiences

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Five Facets of Organization’ Identities

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Organizations’ Identities

  • 1. The professed identity: what an organization professes about itself

    • Self-attributed identity expressed by members of the organization – but not necessarily communicated to outsiders (i.e. not projected), e.g. our organization is strict, conservative, rigid, like a family, open-minded

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Organizations’ Identities

  • 2. The projected identity: elements used by the organization to present itself to specific audiences

    • Mediated communications, behaviors, symbols, e.g. way of talking, dressing

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Organizations’ Identities

  • 3. The experienced identity: what organizational members experience with regard to their organization

    • Collective representations of shared cognitive beliefs, maps or unconscious structures, e.g. what organizational members believe to be its central, enduring and distinctive character

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Organizations’ Identities

  • 4. The manifested identity: elements that have characterized the organization over a period of time

    • E.g. routines, structures, performance level, market positioning, as well as symbolic manifestations such as rites, myths, taboos that span the organization’s internal and external boundaries

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Organizations’ Identities

  • 5. The attributed identity: attributes ascribed to the organization by its various audiences

    • Corporate image, reputation, corporate brand

      …which leads to the book of Schultz, Hatch & Holten Larsen: The Expressive Organization

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The Expressive Organization

  • It is a rather ‘heavy’ going book and not always an easy read, probably due to the differing academic and practitioner backgrounds and perspectives that have been included

  • The book gives a glimpse of the research works produced by some scholars in the field of marketing and management studies

  • It is neither a textbook nor a handbook, it is a research anthology, hence the complexity…

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Structure of the Book

The book has six parts / sections:

  • Rethinking Identity

  • The Symbolic Marketplace

  • Reputation as a Strategy

  • Organizations as Brands

  • The Value of Storytelling

  • Communicating in Organizations

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Part 1: Rethinking Identity I

  • The first section is the most fundamental, and presents an attempt at explaining the conceptual similarities and differences between culture, identity, image and reputation

  • It does so using such dichotomies:

    • the external and internal perspective

    • other and self

    • multiplicity and singularity

    • the textual and the contextual

    • the explicit and the tacit

    • the instrumental and the emergent.

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Part 1: Rethinking Identity II

  • Image: is the perception of the organization held by others and is multiple in nature (since several disparate groups of 'perceivers' are possible)

  • Identity, on the other hand, is more singular.

    It is something projected by the organization itself. While organizational culture is more closely allied with terms such as tacit, 'below the surface' (basic assumptions), emergent and context, identity is associated with terms such as explicit, above-the-surface, textual and instrumental

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Part 1: Rethinking Identity III

  • The book covers issues such as how organizations discover their identities,

  • How a growing organization’s’ identity can be broaden, the processes involved in changing an organization’s identity

  • How a strong reputation can be created

  • What organizations should communicate about themselves and what they can do if their reputation is threatened

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Part 1: Rethinking Identity IV

  • The first chapter in Part one looks at different approaches to identity within various fields. It is an attempt to capture the issues from an academic perspective (not always easy)

  • Chapter 2 looks at how organizational identity can be a competitive advantage for companies

  • Chapter 3 raises aspects of moral philosophy to questions of organizational identity

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Part 2: The Symbolic Marketplace I

  • Part 2, The Symbolic Marketplace, is about the symbolic dimensions of the new market place

  • Chapter 4 takes a historical perspective, and looks at how the roles of brands and branding changed in the last part of the 20th century, and how brands are becoming the company’s most critical source of distinctiveness and value

  • The next chapter, chapter 5, looks at organizational life and argues that the boundaries between consumers and organizational members are becoming blurred

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Part 3: Reputation as Strategy

  • Part 3, comprises two chapters

  • Chapter 6 analyses the transformation of Royal Dutch Shell

  • The following chapter 7, looks at how damaged corporate reputations can be repaired

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Part 4: Organizations as Brands

  • Looks at the implications of branding organizations

  • Chapter 8 looks at how different kinds of images can be associated with corporate brands and different ways corporate identity can be expressed. It also looks at issued relating to building and managing brand equity

  • Chapter 9 argues that many brand tools are dated and do not create value for the customer. It expands the marketing mix to include reputation and suggests an integrative framework and methodology for organizational brand building

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Part 5: The Value of Storytelling I

  • The chapters in this part look at corporate stories and include empirical illustrations of how storytelling can be used in organizations

  • Chapter 10 addressed questions of “sustainable corporate stories”, which should be realistic and relevant descriptions of an organization, and also created in a “open dialogue” with stakeholders

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Part 5: The Value of Storytelling II

  • Chapter 11 introduces storytelling as a communicative tool In contrast to functional diagrams and presentations with bullets – such as this PowerPoint presentation – a strategic story takes advantage of what stories do best:

    • Being more believable (?)

    • More memorable

    • Generating enthusiasm

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Part 5: The Value of Storytelling III

  • Chapter 12, on “core corporate story building”, looks at narratives about the whole organization, incorporating e.g.

    • Visions

    • Mission statements

    • Competencies

    • Fundamental beliefs

  • To guide everyone’s behavior in the org.

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Part 5: The Value of Storytelling IV

  • Chapter 13 addresses questions of intellectual capital statements – as a mostly non-numerical alternative to financial accounting statements (and other numerical reports), in creating credible, cohesive and “true-and-fair” accounts

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Part 6: Communicating Organizations

  • Part 6 deals with the communication of the expressive organization. It covers issues such as the self-absorption and self- seduction in corporate branding, and questions whether the public really cares about the expressions generated by companies.

  • Part 6 (Ch.14,15,16) is (very?) difficult and can be excluded

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An Integrated Approach to Communication…


  • Strategy: plans, positioning, vision, and reputation management

  • Accounting: financial and intellectual capital

  • Organization Studies: culture, identity, image

  • Marketing: product brands, corporate branding

  • Communications: Internal communication (business and management communication), external communication (press releases etc), corporate communications