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Corporate Communications: Final Exam

by: Aria Notetaker

Corporate Communications: Final Exam STCM 21100 01

Marketplace > Ithaca College > STCM 21100 01 > Corporate Communications Final Exam
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About this Document

Covers information from Chapters 1 through 10! From the textbook, to lectures, to Powerpoints. This document took hours to complete but includes everything. Diagrams and highlights for an easy read.
Corporate Communication: Strategy and Design
Professor Sterbenk
Study Guide
Corporate, Communications, Strategic, final, ithacacollege, Government, relations, Social Responsibility, investors, internal, external
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This 17 page Study Guide was uploaded by Aria Notetaker on Sunday May 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to STCM 21100 01 at Ithaca College taught by Professor Sterbenk in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 83 views.


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Date Created: 05/08/16
Chapter 1: The Changing Environment for Business Main focus question: How to compete in a changing business environment How To Compete in a Changing Environment: ● Recognize the Changing Environment - managers need to realize the business environment is constantly changing. ● Adapt to the Environment without Compromising Principles - companies must adapt to the changing environment without changing what they stand for or compromising their principles. ● Don’t assume problems will magically disappear - assume things will get worse in this complex environment, especially the ever growing media and online communication platforms. ● Keep Corporate Communication Connect to Strategy - corporate communication must be closely linked to a company’s overall vision and strategy. A Lot don’t hire the high quality staff that they need in this department. Success - is based on the companies that have structure - communication directly to the CEO - advantage being this kind of reporting relationship is that the communications professional can get the company’s strategy directly from those at the top of the organization. POWERPOINT: Biggest challenges corporate communicators today? Uncertainty – constantly changing landscape – technology, competitors, industry standards, consumer whims Globalization – how do you “target” global audiences 24/7 communications – resourcing to monitor and respond Government policies – privacy, copyright/intellectual property Information overload – how to break through the clutter (internally + externally) Executive counsel – getting a seat at the table + keeping it so you have a voice in organizational decisions Consumers desire for transparency + authenticity- takes a lot of work + a lot of convincing Work/Life balance- competitive environments, 24/7 communications Trust issues – Many people don’t trust organizations Conclusion - the business environment is constantly changing. Everyone in the business today, whether at a large corporation with a national union to deal with or a small business looking to make its mark in the international arena, needs to communicate strategically. The way organizations adapt and modify their behavior, as manifested through their communications, will determine the success of American business in the 21st century Chapter 2 - Communicating Strategically Main focus: Figure 2.2 - Expanded Corp Communication Strategy Framework (page 43) Corporate Messaging - Make your core messages relevant, concise, clear, credible POWERPOINT AND NOTES: What is Strategic communication: “communication aligned with the company’s overall strategy to enhance its strategic positioning” An effective strategy should encourage a company to send messages that are clear and understable , true and communication with passion, strategically repetitive and repeated and consistent. Communication Theory: Aristotle - three parts. 1. speaker - corporation 2. subject - message to be conveyed 3. person - group the message is being delivered to Figure 2.1 - Corporate Communication Strategy Framework (page 31) The corporation → communicates through messages → to its constituencies → who then respond to → the corporation. Effective Organization Strategy 1. Diagnose reputation and credibility (constantly) 2. Determine objectives based on research 3. Determine resources (money, people, and time) Individual credibility : rank, goodwill, expertise, image and common ground Business credibility: reputation, strong/ethical leadership, financial performance, community presence and goodwill, etc. Chapter 3 - Overview of the Corporate Communication Function Main focus: centralization, decentralization, function report, external consultants, subfunctions. Centralization: keeps all communications under one senior officer. Decentralization: allows individual business units to handle communications Where should the function report? (page 53) ● A high percentage of the average CEO’s time is spent communicating ● CEOs generally devote their time to communicating their company’s strategic plan, mission, operating initiatives, and community involvement both internally and externally. ● The CEO should be the person most involved with both developing the overall strategy for communications and delivering consistent messages to constituencies. ● Overall - Direct line to the CEO. CEO/Chief Executive Officer → Vice President (Marketing, Production, Finance, Corp Comm, HR, Counsel) → Director (Media Relations, Investor Relations, Internal Communication, Corporate Responsibility). Working with external consultants? External PR and Communication Agencies: ● provide additional arms and legs ● complement internal capabilities ● provide strategic and/or market insight and experience ● offer unique expertise ● objective point of view ● Resources in geographies or markets where needed ● Limit on internal head count ● Cheaper than adding staff ● Provide expertise in digital/social media ● Ability to quantify results Subfunctions/Practice Areas of Corp Communications “Corporate communications departments play a key role in how investors, employees and the general public perceive a company. They often report directly to a company’s chief executive officer and serve as advisers in managing a company’s reputation” Corporate Communication is made up of any or all of these functions, all working together to support the business goals and mission of the organization. Often also called PR. Chapter 4 - Identity, Image, Reputation and Corp Advertising Main focus: definitions, importance of reputation Identity - Physical manifestation of a company through logos, mottos, brands, messages, services and other tangibles. Best if used consistently. Identity is created by the organization and it is completely controlled by the organization. Image - How a customer views a company and its products or services, looking at things like quality, value, variety and the shopping experience. From the potential buyer’s perspective: “What’s in it for me?” Reputation - Built over time. Public opinion about the company’s actions, such as, CSR, community building, corporate culture, policy, job creation, and citizenship. What do they think of the company vs. its products? Factors contributing to an image: Word-of-mouth, Interactions with employees, Quality of products/services, Personal understanding of the product or service, and Perception or reception of logo and other parts of identity * Image is a brand differentiator. Importance of Reputation: ● Customer retention ● Financial investment ● Employee retention ● Benefit of doubt in crisis “Reputation is based on the perceptions of all of an organization’s constituencies. Thus reputation is an outcome, and as a result, cannot really be ‘managed’ in any way.” -Argenti Side note: - In assessing its reputation, an organization must examine the perceptions of all its constituencies - Employees can be a good starting point - to understand the company’s mission and values - Customer perceptions of an organization also must align with the organization's identity, vision, and values. Reputation is built: through positive public relations, thought leadership, and corporate advertising. Chapter 5 - Corporate Social Responsibility Main focus: CSR, makes up CSR Program, NGOs What is a CSR? Corporate Social Responsibility - are companies effort to win the trust and loyalty of constituents around the world. Describes an organization’s respect for society interests, as demonstrated by taking ownership of the effect its activities have on key constituencies, including customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and the environment, in all parts of its operations. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means operating a business in a manner that accounts for the social and environmental impact created by the business. ● Environment & sustainability issues ● Community service ● Treatment of employees ● Donations ● Ethical sourcing of product What makes up a CSR Program? Why do companies practice 1. Business- based social CSR? purpose - Good csr is good 2. Clear theory of change business 3. Quality and depth of info - Make investors happy 4. Concentrated effort - Trust building 5. Partnering with experts - Employee attraction and retention - Strong government relations - Brand differentiation What are NGOs? Nongovernmental Organizations Any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Usually set up by ordinary citizens,NGOs may be funded by governments, foundations, schools, businesses, or private people. How can NGOs affect corporations? (according to text, page 110) - they are implementing community programs and partnerships with NGOs and most innovatively, are adapting their own business models to be more responsible and sustainable. - Promote socially responsible activities and partner with corporate communications - They have expertise in the number of csr areas. Chapter 6 - Media Relations Main focus: paid, earned, owned, shared media, how to work with media The media - investors, employees, customers, and community members receive information about and form images of a company. Earned - media relations, blogger relations, influencer relations Paid - advertising, banner ads, google adwords Owned - website, blog, content Shared - social media word of mouth referrals Who is the media? Journalists, bloggers, social media influencer, 10 year old with a smartphone. How to work with media? - Be respectful and expect respect - Act quickly - Give them a story and information they can use - Do your research and know what they want - Prep your interviewees Corporate Spokespeople: Start with an institutional message platform, Media train your spokespeople, and Prep them for each interview w/info about the journalist + w/key messages Storytelling & Thought Leadership - Non chapter What is corporate storytelling? - is the process of using business narrative to make your message memorable. Humans are wired to communicate using stories and have for centuries. - (see the umbrella statement image) - basic story arc of exposition → rising action → climax → resolution. - Content is king - storytelling is one aspect of content marketing - Kind of stories to tell - reason for being, main characters, giving back, story behind prodcuts, trends you take advantage off Example: employees, corp comm dept, and customers can tell your story What is thought Leadership? - Positioning yourself or your company as a leading expert on a specific topic, with the ultimate goal of supporting your brand, your mission, your corporate narrative Example: Michelle Obama/FLOTUS- healthy eating and exercise. How can you effectively use both for your organization? - Make media/social media impact - Engage employees and/or customers - Launch a product or a company - Increase brand awareness - Demonstrate the organization commitment to a cause Chapter 7 - Internal Communications Main focus: change management, internal comm manager, tools, employee engagement Change Management - leadership, branding, strategy, new processes or tools, new policies, restructuring and/or layoffs, mergers, anything that disrupts the status quo. Reg. definition - the management of change and development within a business or similar organization. Additive change: less drastic, an addition or update of old ways Substitive change: more drastic, departure from old ways What happens when you don’t manage change well? Rumors, miscommunication, employee dissatisfaction or brand confusion, and fear Internal Communication: Tools: ● Provides relevant ● –Informal discussions with information to employees employees and supervisors ● Build the internal brand ● –Intranet ● Communicate ● –Internal social networks changesto the company (esp. like Yammer ● –Project management As they affect the employee) software like Basecamp ● Make employees feel ● –Printed newsletters valued ● –Staff meetings/town hall ● Addresses issues ● –Email ● Develop employment ● –Video engagement strategies postersigital signage or ● Manage change *this is typically a separate department with a close connection with HR - Internal Comm Manager* Employee Engagement: - Employee engagement is important - There’s a strong correlation b/n a company employee engagement rating and financial performance. Engaged employees are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. Gallup categorizes workers as "engaged" based on their ratings of key workplace such as productivity, profitability and customer engagement. revenue that their companies need.tion, growth and attitude about the job which will have an impact on consumers.performance and Chapter 8 - Investor Relations Main focus: definition of and related to investor relations, reg FD, public and private company What is Investor relations? A strategic management responsibility that integrates finance, communication, marketing and securities law compliance to enable the most effective two-way communication between a company, the financial community, and other constituencies, which ultimately contributes to a company’s securities achieving fair valuation. What do Investor relation professionals do? Position the company to compete effectively for investors capital - Explain company’s visions and potential to investors and intermediaries - Ensure the expectation of a company’s stock price are appropriate - Reduce stock price volatility Definitions related to investor relations: Regular fair disclosure - prohibits companies from disclosing material nonpublic information to the investment community that has not already been disclosed to the general public. Basically - “The rule mandates that all publicly traded companies must disclose material information to all investors at the same time”. Institutional investor - pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, endowment funds, and banks. Retail investor - individual shareholders Sell-side analysts - experts who cover stocks with certain industries and generate “buy”, “sell”, or “hold” recommendations. Rating agencies - organizations that analyze companies with a specific focus on creditworthiness Buy- side analysts - experts who work for money management firms and research companies for their institutions investment portfolios. Private company Privately held by individual or group of private investors. Uber is a private company. ■No individual investors, not publicly traded ■Not required to have a board of directors (though some, like Uber, do) ■Not subject to Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD) or Securities and Exchange (SEC) oversight Public company A company that has sold a portion of itself to the public via an initial public offering (IPO) of some of its stock, meaning shareholders have claim to part of the company's assets and profits. ■Has institutional and individual investors, publicly traded ■Must have a board of directors ■Subject to SEC oversight and Reg FD Chapter 9 - Government Relations Main focus: definitions related, what do Government relations professionals do? Government Relations aka Public Affairs: ● Government influences business activities primarily through regulation. ● Government relations is a way of influencing government about issues important to business or other constituencies and about the potential consequences of legislation. ● Corporate government relations executives also provide recommendations to business and industry leaders about the governmental process and recommendations on how to interact with politicians. (Often a Public Affairs function) ● Organizes public and political support around key issues, maintains corporate relationships with politicians, applying business and marketing techniques to politics to influence policymakers In Corp Comm: can be a separate department, outsourced to a public affairs firm, combination of both, one person or a whole department. Regulations: rules enacted by regulatory agencies to carry out the purposes of specific laws enacted by the legislature. Can come from all levels of government, federal, state, and local. Regulatory agency: governmental body created by a legislature to implement and enforce these specific laws. Coalition building: working together with like companies to influence politicians. Can be ad hoc or established industry associations, like Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). CEO influence: personal relationships built + maintained by company leadership Lobbying: any activity aimed at promoting or securing the passage of specific legislation through coordinated communications with lawmakers. Often involves $ donations. Political Action Committees (PACS): a political committee organized by industries or companies for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. Customer Petitions: engaging consumers in the discussion Examples: Federal regulatory agency - EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) State “ “ - Board of Education Local “ “ - Taxi Commission Federal govt regulations - 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Chapter 10 - Crisis Communication Main focus: characteristics, issue, types, prioritize crisis planning A crisis - a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. You can’t predict it but you can prepare for it. Crisis Characteristics: - The element of surprise (leads to loss of control) - Insufficient information - Quick pace of events - Intense scrutiny How an issue turns into a crisis: An issue: an unsettled matter which is ready for a decision Issues management: strategic process of detecting and responding appropriately to emerging trends of changes. *when an issue remains unsettled, it can become a crisis* Diagram shows the development of a crisis → Types of Crisis: Prioritize for crisis planning: - Who will lead during a fast unfolding crisis? Who will be part of the team? - Set your ‘credo” for crisis and ensure all parties are committed (legal and senior execs) - How will you communicate internally? Crisis team and staff - “ “ “ “ externally? Cusomers, investors, media, govt. - Channels for communcating each audience, quickly! - Central location for digital and hard copy crisis plans and docs Managing during a crisis: - Contral what you can - Be transparents without giving out false or personal info - Monitor everything, all the time - Be responsive and correct false info - Tell your own story, but only the facts you know Post Crisis: - Set a date to “return to normal” - Continue to monitor and responds - Make plans to avoid another crisis - Be sensitive - people have long memories about large scale tragedies.


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