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Empower Your Business Communication Strategy with a Zero-Cost Chat GPT Solution
In today’s fast-paced digital world, effective communication plays a crucial role in the success of any business. With the rise of chatbots and AI-powered solutions, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance their communication strategies. One such solution that has gained significant attention is the Chat GPT version gratuite. This free chatbot tool offers businesses an opportunity to revolutionize their customer support and engagement processes without incurring any financial investment. In this article, we will explore how this zero-cost Chat GPT solution can empower your business communication strategy.
Enhanced Customer Support
Customer support is a vital aspect of any business, and providing prompt assistance to customer queries can significantly impact customer satisfaction levels. With the Chat GPT version gratuite, businesses can automate their customer support process while still maintaining a personalized touch. This AI-powered chatbot is capable of understanding user queries and providing relevant responses in real-time. By leveraging natural language processing capabilities, it can accurately comprehend complex questions and deliver precise answers.
Moreover, the Chat GPT version gratuite can handle multiple conversations simultaneously, ensuring that no customer query goes unanswered. This scalability allows businesses to cater to an increasing number of customers without compromising on quality or response time. By integrating this free chatbot solution into your customer support strategy, you can improve efficiency, reduce response times, and ultimately enhance overall customer satisfaction.
Streamlined Lead Generation
Lead generation is a critical component of every business’s marketing strategy. However, it often involves extensive manual effort and resources to capture potential leads effectively. The Chat GPT version gratuite offers a cost-effective way to streamline lead generation processes by automating initial interactions with potential customers.
With its advanced conversational abilities, this free chatbot tool can engage website visitors in meaningful conversations that help identify their needs and preferences accurately. By asking relevant questions and offering personalized recommendations or solutions based on user responses, the Chat GPT version gratuite can effectively qualify leads and provide valuable insights to your sales team.
Additionally, this chatbot solution seamlessly integrates with existing CRM systems, allowing for easy lead capture and nurturing. By harnessing the power of AI-driven conversations, businesses can efficiently convert website visitors into qualified leads, saving time and resources in the process.
Personalized Marketing Campaigns
In today’s era of personalized marketing, delivering tailored content to individual customers is crucial for driving engagement and conversions. The Chat GPT version gratuite enables businesses to create personalized marketing campaigns at scale. With its ability to gather user data and preferences during conversations, this chatbot tool can provide valuable insights that can be used to deliver targeted content.
By leveraging the data collected by the Chat GPT version gratuite, businesses can segment their audience based on specific criteria such as demographics or interests. This segmentation allows for the creation of highly targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with individual customers on a deeper level. From personalized product recommendations to tailored promotional offers, businesses can leverage this free chatbot solution to deliver hyper-relevant content that drives customer engagement and boosts conversion rates.
Continuous Improvement through Machine Learning
The Chat GPT version gratuite is built on state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms that continuously learn and improve over time. As more conversations are processed by the chatbot tool, it becomes increasingly adept at understanding user queries and providing accurate responses.
This continuous improvement ensures that your business communication strategy remains up-to-date with evolving customer needs and preferences. The machine learning capabilities of the Chat GPT version gratuite enable it to adapt its conversational style based on user feedback, resulting in a more natural and engaging interaction.
By leveraging this zero-cost chatbot solution’s machine learning capabilities, businesses can stay ahead of their competitors by providing superior customer experiences through improved communication strategies.
In conclusion, incorporating a zero-cost Chat GPT solution into your business communication strategy opens up a world of possibilities. From enhancing customer support and streamlining lead generation to delivering personalized marketing campaigns and continuous improvement through machine learning, the Chat GPT version gratuite empowers businesses to communicate effectively with their audience without incurring any financial investment. Embrace this AI-powered chatbot tool and unlock the potential for growth and success in your business.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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5 successful business communication strategies
Organizations had to rethink their business communication strategies when people started working remotely during lockdown. now, as some people begin returning to the workplace, businesses need to think again. learn how to untangle your return to work..
As countries went into lockdown, many companies enabled widespread remote working - often for the first time. This meant sweeping changes to how people talked, worked and engaged with each other.
As some people begin the slow return to work, organizations now have to grapple with a mix of hybrid working arrangements, business communication , and combinations of digital and face-to-face interactions.
So, why is this important, and how can organizations make sure their business communication strategies are simple, precise, and effectively communicated? In short, how do you simplify and untangle the new world of work?
To find answers, it’s essential to define what we mean when we talk about business communication strategies, and how they’re changing in the wake of the pandemic.
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Download a free guide to discover post-COVID strategies from world-class communication leaders.
What are business communication strategies?
If you want an organization that’s productive, that meets its goals, and that provides a positive Employee Experience – a successful business, in other words – then seamless communication is essential.
Business communication comes in many forms. There’s internal corporate communication – the flow of information, news and conversation between different parts of the business, and up and down hierarchies. And then there’s external communication, with customers, partners and clients.
A business communication strategy takes all these various avenues into account and offers a single vision to set out what, how, when and why people should communicate.
There’s no one way to put a strategy together, but you’ll want to define:
- Messaging : what do you want to say and who in your organization can say it?
- Content : how can you frame goals for each piece of content you produce?
- Channels : how do you understand the channel mix? How do you know the right content to put on the right channel?
What a business communication strategy shouldn’t be is a list of tools and pieces of equipment designed to enable communication. Instead, it should guide everyone in the organization to understand what you expect to achieve through communication.
In other words, an organization might change the channels it uses to communicate, but the communication vision will stay constant.
How do you develop a business communication strategy?
A good communication strategy needs to line up with the overall business strategy. If you're focused on your primary goals, it’s much easier to understand how communication fits into the big picture and how you can use it to achieve your objectives.
A strategy doesn’t have to be the size of a dissertation. In some cases, it won’t be longer than a page or two. It should start by setting out a clear vision in one or two sentences. The rest of the strategy should then offer directions for how managers and employees can help achieve this vision. But it needn’t go into granular detail – getting too specific and piling on the rules can feel like micromanaging and create more problems than it solves.
In the past, communication strategies have been very top-down. But they’re now moving towards a more employee-driven model of a two-way, networked conversation rather than something static and siloed.
Bearing this in mind, it’s a good idea to get everyone involved from the start. You can do this by taking stock of the current state of communications in your organization.
Do an employee survey asking what is and isn’t working about your communication and the platforms you use. The information you gather will give an employee-led steer on where you need to make improvements.
Once you’re confident of the direction of your business communication strategy, you can start to get more specific about the types of communication you expect.
- Should teams start their own internal newsfeeds?
- Does the business need a new or revised policy to help employees escalate issues?
- Do managers need more support when it comes to reaching employees who are working remotely?
- Is your current approach to sales and marketing effective, or is a change of direction needed?
- Is the customer services department achieving its goal of keeping customers on the side of the brand. If not, how can you fix it?
When you can answer these questions, you can start to look more clearly at communication mechanics. In other words, which channels you should be using.
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How should you choose communication channels?
People expect the way they communicate at work to be consistent with how they like to talk to friends and family in their day-to-day lives. This is especially important for younger employees – Millennials are 1.4 times more likely than their Baby Boomer colleagues to say it’s important for them to work for a company that uses the latest tools and technologies.
That’s one reason why instant messaging apps and mobile tech are becoming essentials in so many workplaces – especially with widespread remote working. One of their most significant advantages is that they enable communication with people both inside and outside the workplace.
But it’s not just defining the channel and hardware that’s important. You should also use the data and insights you’ve gathered to shape your policies. And these, in turn, should help to influence the types of messages people send.
Good communication policies will set boundaries to make sure people keep their communications respectful, reducing the risk of harassment and bullying. Everyone needs to know the rules and you should also have policies that set out what happens if someone breaks them.
Business communication strategy and change management
Organizational change is a big test of your business communication strategy. Change means uncertainty, and employees will look to the business for answers. It’s a challenge organizations faced when employees moved to remote working. Now it’s happening again as the cautious return to work begins.
This new phase is further putting the spotlight on employee experience (EX) , which became so important during the move to mass remote working. The majority of organizations report that their business culture has actually improved since the pandemic, and want to capitalize on this in the future. That means the spotlight is on comms to smooth the transition. So how can you do it?
To communicate effectively through a period of change, it’s important to understand people’s mindsets: change is uncomfortable – 73% of employees affected by change report experiencing stress . Those suffering from change-related anxiety perform 5% worse than average. So your communications must be human and reassuring while being realistic.
- Decide on your key messaging and make sure it aligns with your wider business strategy
- Define who is being affected by the change and how? What will the changes mean for people in different roles?
- Think about how you’re going to communicate. What channels will you use, for which employees, and for which messages?
- Be clear about exactly what is going to change
- Set out the organization’s hopes for what things will look like in the future
- Answer questions and ally fears where you can – share the answers widely for reassurance
- Address rumors by giving the facts
- Make communication a conversation by giving people a forum to ask questions, give feedback and express anxieties. Act on feedback and publicize your actions
Above, all keep talking. You can’t over-communicate during a period of change. Message frequently and through a mix of channels to make sure you keep people in the loop so they can ask and get answers to their questions.
5 ways to improve your business communication strategies
Implementing your business communication strategy is only the beginning. Monitoring, updating and refining it is a continuous process that needs to sit at the core of your business operations moving forward. Here are 5 ways to make sure your strategy stays relevant:
1. Be clear about your goals
The company’s mission is the cornerstone of your communications as well as everything else, so it shouldn’t be a mystery to the people who work for it. Making sure everyone is aware of what you’re trying to achieve will help more people buy into the organization’s vision.
2. Monitor how you’re doing
Make sure you’re constantly gathering data and feedback on your comms approach. One way to do this is to host an always-on survey, asking staff to rate their experiences of using the company’s communication tools and policies at regular intervals. This way, you’ll be able to identify trends or, if you’re making changes, the immediate impact of them.
3. Lead by example
Communicate in the way you want your team to, using the channels you want them to use – for example, if you want to cut down on email, use instant messaging instead. This will empower team members to lead by example too.
4. Give people a voice
Create forums where people can contribute feedback and ideas. Acknowledge their contributions and act on them if you can.
5. Provide ongoing training
This is especially important if your system is routinely changing but is also essential for new starters or people unfamiliar with the types of systems or procedures your business is using. Aim to provide training sessions at least once a year for all employees to ensure they’re using your communication system to its fullest potential and have regular clinics and drop-in sessions for all staff who need to refresh their skills or ask questions.
The current global situation is stress-testing your communications in a time of rapid change. Making them more employee-centered, more human, easier and more efficient is the key to success, and it's vital in making sure employees remain productive and engaged.
Implementing a new business communication strategy needn’t be complicated. With a simple mission statement that connects to the wider needs of your business, you can guide your organization towards clearer, quicker, better communications. Put an employee-centered strategy together with the help of the Workplace EX Comms Handbook .
You might also be interested in :
- Business communication explained
- 7 ways to stay connected during organizational change
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Business communication explained.
Your business depends on the successful sharing of information — and so do your employees. Yet 66% of companies lack a long-term business communication plan. Why is this such a critical mistake? What are the most common communication challenges? And how can you avoid them?
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More From Forbes
Five components of a successful strategic communications plan.
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Director of Marketing at haseebtariq.com. I help fix large revenue retention & growth issues.
Communication is a critical part of any organization's success. Once, I was working closely with the senior leadership to create an email that addressed late deliveries. I remember that when we first started, there were so many ideas swirling in our heads about how to approach this project and what tone of voice would be best for our company. I wished I had someone with a communications strategy plan who could tell me the "best" way to approach this project in order to be successful.
I started reading and researching, looking for what I felt was a good strategy to communicate with our target audience. Luckily, after some research and conversations with others who had more experience than myself on the topic at hand, what finally developed was a communications strategy plan that we used over and over again for all of our marketing and communication efforts.
What Is A Communications Strategy Plan?
A communications strategy is a plan for communicating with your target audience. It includes who you are talking to, why you are talking to them, how and when you will talk to them, what form of communication the content should take and what channels you should use to share it.
1. What Is The Purpose Of Your Communications Plan?
A clear purpose helps keep everyone on board. Make sure the right people hear your message when they are ready and in a way that you want them to hear it. Your communication objectives should be to answer these questions: Who do I need to reach? Why do I need to reach them? What will my communications say? How will I deliver this message at the time that will have the best impact on my audience (and for me)? And what channels am I using or can I use for delivery?
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2. Who Are You Communicating With (Or Who Is Your Target Audience) And What Message Do They Need To Hear?
Target audiences can vary from one time to another and may include your customers, employees or the media. Define who needs to hear what is happening in your organization. Every communications plan is different, but they should never be one-size-fits-all. It's a good idea to create an audience map that identifies key audiences and the messages they need to hear about your organization or cause in order for them to take action.
3. How Will This Message Be Communicated?
Your communications strategy provides the framework for the company's outreach activities, including what needs to get out there through communication channels like social media, email marketing, blog posts, video content on YouTube or Vimeo and so on. In my experience, the more specific you are with your messaging (and visuals) — even if it seems repetitive — the better your chances of getting people engaged and taking action are.
4. When Should This Communication Happen — Right Now Or Later On?
Organizations have to use their communications wisely and strategically in order to be successful with them. But the importance of timing is also important for communicating effectively. Your communications strategy should specify when the message should be communicated, including whether that's right now or later on. Your communications team should take these considerations into account as they develop your messaging and timing plan. In addition, I recommend developing two equally effective strategies: one for "now" and another that can be deployed in anticipation of events that might happen later down the road. A crisis communication plan helps cushion against unexpected turns of events, no matter what happens.
5. Who Will Be Responsible For The Communication?
Communications professionals should be the ones responsible for communicating with external audiences, and they should do so often during a crisis. However, human resources departments may also need to communicate internally about any changes that may affect employees. Define key messages, and then decide who will deliver them. Define the audience and focus on what they need to know about this change. Be sure to provide information in a timely way, but also keep the message concise so that employees can digest it easily.
A strategic communications plan can help you communicate your message to the right people at the most opportune time. By considering these five components, you can put together a solid strategy that could drive more success for your business and bring about your desired results in less time.
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Effective Business Communication Skills
Business communication principles, secret to effective communication in organizations.
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Effective business communication is critical in today's workforce--more than ever before. Business communicators have a variety of tools to choose from and must use those tools strategically, and with consideration of their audience and their intended communication goals. Effective business communicators will find that their efforts pay off in better relationships and also in terms of business success.
Take Responsibility for Communication
When communication fails, it can be easy to blame "the other person." But taking responsibility for communication is important and can help to ensure positive communications in the workplace. If a message doesn't get across, take responsibility and try a different method. If the other person "doesn't understand," take responsibility and consider that you may not have been clear enough.
Set Up Regular Times for Connecting
It may seem artificial, but setting up a schedule for making important connections can be a good way to avoid falling prey to the "nose to the grindstone" syndrome. Although being productive is important, so is establishing good connections and building relationships with colleagues. A best practice for staying connected to ensure effective business communications is to set up regular times to connect. That may mean once a day--perhaps at the beginning or the end of the day--or it might mean once a week. It could mean a phone call, a videoconference or an email.
Be Professional And Accurate
When using today's electronic communication tools it can become easy to forget about some of the formalities of face-to-face communication--or the formalities of old-fashioned communication! It is important though to remember that you will be judged by the interactions they may have through other means. Be professional, proofread messages and read them twice to make sure your meaning is clear.
Although developing strong relationships in the work setting can be a good thing, there is work to be done. It is important to establish appropriate boundaries to avoid being pulled into too many social interactions at the cost of productivity.
- Online LLearning Center: Communicating at Work
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- "Employee Management for Small Business"; Lin Grensing-Pophal; 2010
Leigh Richards has been a writer since 1980. Her work has been published in "Entrepreneur," "Complete Woman" and "Toastmaster," among many other trade and professional publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.
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How to Create an Effective Business Communication Strategy
By Ann Smarty , May 05, 2022
Are you struggling with creating an effective business communication strategy within or outside your company?
Or would you like to improve the way information is shared within your organization?
You are not alone.
The overwhelming majority ( 92% ) of people feel the communication within their company needs to be improved. Additionally, the new report from 2022 claims that following the pandemic, over a third of people admit that communication has become more of a challenge.
Business communication is something most companies are continuously struggling with.
So here’s how to set up an effective business communication strategy for your organization:
What is business communication?
The importance of business communication, what are types of business communication, internal business communication, external business communication, how to improve business communication.
Business communication is a broad concept that describes all methods employees are using to share information with one another inside or outside of a company.
Business communication is crucial on many levels. Effective communication in business helps keep your employees motivated and driven to be able to efficiently cope with any kind of crisis.
Amidst the COVID pandemic, companies have found a well-defined business communication flow to be crucial for promptly adjusting strategic direction and implementing tactical decisions.
As year-long lockdowns have proved, improving internal communication and collaboration should become companies’ priority as it helps expedite decision-making and cope with crises.
Related : 10+ Crisis Communication Plan Templates for Leaders + Managers
Technology-driven company communication has also become the only way to cope with isolation after lots of organizations have switched to remote operating. According to a recent survey from McKinsey & Company, companies have been encouraging their employees to communicate more to make up for in-person encounters.
On a large scale, lack of communication within a business causes silos.
What are silos in organizations?
Organizational silos refer to the isolation of one or more teams within a company. This means that instead of working as a whole, this company consists of multiple almost independent (and often efficient) departments.
But if those departments may be efficient, why is silos a problem?
Silos create confusion and make it harder to ensure everyone is on the same page. The average team in the United States wastes about 7 hours per week due to organizational silos caused by poor collaboration and communication.
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On the highest level, there are two types of communication in the workplace:
- Internal (among the employees)
- External (with customers, partners, niche influencers, other companies, etc.)
Both of these types are equally important for the well-being of a company and can also be further categorized into subtypes:
- Written communication (often via email, but also via IM, Slack and even Trello)
- In-person communication (also referred to as face-to-face communication)
- Virtual communication (through video chats)
Meetings (in-group communication)
Related : 17 Communication Tools for Seamless Collaboration and Better Marketing
There’s a lot to discuss here, so let’s take a look at each of these business communication types:
Written communication is my favorite form of business communication, whether it is with the client or a co-worker.
- Written communication is productive (you have to type words, so you are forced to make all of them count)
- It is easy to keep a record of (most business email clients and providers offer a handy search feature allowing you to bring up old messages)
Apart from email, written communication can be powered by:
- Private blogs ( here’s how to set them up )
- Trello (all of the three methods above are perfect for well-organized communication and keeping everyone on the same page)
- Instant messaging (which is great for quick and urgent exchange)
- Employee Communication Tool
Written communication can cause delays but it is great for removing barriers and giving voice to the shiest employees.
Visual communication refers to the process of applying visual methods (infographics, charts, etc.) to communicate your message.
The beauty of visual business communication is the ability to make complicated concepts and processes easy to understand and remember.
Adding data visualizations to a financial report, for example, makes it a lot easier to scan and understand the information:
CREATE THIS REPORT TEMPLATE
Some common types of visual communications in the workplace include:
- Process diagrams
- Flow charts
- Charts and graphs
- Visual reports
Here’s an example of how mind maps can be used for internal business communication. Mind maps are perfect for collaboration: You can build them while brainstorming in a group meeting or during the call. They provide a visual representation of a task, steps or the flow:
CREATE THIS MIND MAP TEMPLATE
In-person / face-to-face communication
In-person and face-to-face communication is almost a thing of the past now that most meetings have become virtual. This is actually a sad trend, considering how psychological studies show that face-to-face communication is more satisfying and fosters higher-quality interaction.
That being said, when it is safe, business executives should strive to revive face-to-face communication on a regular basis.
Virtual communication became a preferred business communication method in 2020 when lots of big and small organizations moved to remote working (or introduced virtual operations for some departments).
Meeting virtually has replaced face-to-face meetings for lots of businesses across the world. Tools like Zoom and alternatives became widely popular. When our company moved to remote working, we started using Dialpad Meetings for two reasons:
- There’s nothing to download and install
- You can register rooms for the whole company to use when they need them. No need to generate a new code every time you want people to join. You just enter your team’s URL and you are done.
How do you improve your virtual business communication? You can read our blog on the 10 tips for effective remote team communication , or save the infographic below:
Virtual meetings have proved to be better for productivity and less costly, while face-to-face meetings are better for developing friendships and deeper knowledge sharing.
With that in mind, when we finally get back to normal, both virtual and face-to-face communication is important for a company’s well-being.
When it comes to internal company meetings, the problem is lots of the times businesses hold meetings just for the sake of having it without considering how ineffective that can be:
Yes, internal meetings are important for maintaining a friendly environment and getting to know one another. But they can also be extremely time-consuming and unproductive.
That being said, a monthly meeting is always great but replace your weekly and daily meetings with virtual communication, if possible.
While being a helpful way to reach anyone quickly, phone communication can easily ruin a company’s productivity. It is too easy to call someone to ask a quick question and 30 minutes later find yourself discussing your weekend plans with your co-worker.
Phone communication is also not something easily avoidable as mobile phones have made phone calls and text messages an integral part of our lives.
It is important to create strict guidelines to minimize phone calls within a company and encourage employees to use other methods of communication, when possible.
When it comes to written business communication outside of a company, it can take two major forms:
- Private (email, chat, etc.)
- Public ( verified social media )
Here’s the golden rule for written communications for just about any company: Your goal is to move public communication into a private environment, especially when it comes to customers.
You never know when your customer may feel annoyed or threatened and go viral with their anger. To keep your reputation more secure, invite your customers to email or call.
Your marketing strategy should reflect your written communication policy on many levels, including ad creation , email outreach, PR, SEO and content creation , etc. If you outsource any parts of your marketing, ask questions and make sure your agency knows where you are coming from.
Enhance your customer communication experience by setting up automated reminder messages with tools like Goldie .
Luckily, email is still a preferred method of customer service communication with over 80% of customers choosing an email over any other methods to get in touch with a company.
Visual business communication is widely used in the B2B sales process because visuals are able to illustrate the selling point like no other medium can.
If you’ve ever sat through a sales call or a demo, you may have seen lots of powerful visual communication assets that made you think “I need this!”
This mind map lists the tips for effective B2B communication and negotiation, but you can easily customize it to use for your external visual communication needs:
Related : 9 Sales Infographics to Guide Strategy and Increase Sales
Obviously, visual communication is applied on a broader scope than just B2B sales.
Here’s an example of an infographic you can send to your clients to explain a process:
CREATE THIS INFOGRAPHIC TEMPLATE
Even posting videos and images on social media may be considered a form of external business communication. This includes communicating through video content, which according to statistics , has been growing exponentially recently.
With visual communication being such an important part of your company’s public image, it is important to maintain a consistent look and feel of your visual assets.
It starts with a domain. Your name needs to match your niche, create positive associations and make it easy to remember your brand. It should also be consistent with your other channels (social media channels, your blog, etc.) and align with your logo. Namify is a handy tool to handle of these aspects:
From there you need to keep your visual marketing consistent.
This is where Venngage’s My Brand Kit can turn into a lifesaver. It allows you to create, save and share your visual identity within your company for all the teams to create well-branded and consistently looking visual brand assets (like videos, social media graphics, blog images, etc.):
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When it comes to external business communication, in-person communication often happens when your company representatives visit conferences, industry shows and summits.
It is very important to develop a clear external communication policy for your employees to know what they can and cannot do when representing your company in in-person meetings. Here’s a solid example from Marvell .
Technology has made companies closer to their customers. These days any brand can directly talk to their customers via social media, and even interact with them using video or voice.
External virtual communication include:
- Live video (which can also help you establish a stronger brand presence on social media)
- Clubhouse, in which brands or their representatives can talk to clients or niche influencers
- Webinars , which can be used to educate and engage your audience
Like with any public business communication, it is important to ensure that your representatives are aware of and follow your external communication policy.
Group meetings are not a very popular type of external business communication unless it’s for market research purposes (a focus group, for example).
Phone communication is an essential form of customer support but it is also very time-consuming. More and more companies are seeking ways to minimize phone communication with customers, especially through call center outsourcing . To make your customer service more productive, consider:
- Making other external communication methods (email, chat , push notifications , etc.) more obvious on your site
- Using solutions like UCaaS and Call Centers that make phone communication easier to organize
- Get a Voip number so they can receive calls on their computer
Phone communication is also widely used in B2B when businesses provide voice coaching or consulting. In these business models, businesses are paid based on how many phone conversations they were able to sell.
There are a few strategic and long-term ways to improve just about any business communication strategy, including:
Build a detailed knowledge base
A knowledge base is a well-organized collection of documentation addressing all kinds of issues, questions and resources that can help in both internal and external communication easier.
The knowledge base can help on many levels, including:
- Make new employees’ lives easier by eliminating the need to ask their new managers lots of questions
- Enable customer support team to quickly refer customers to further reading or instructions on any topic
- Eliminate the need of turning to outside resources, and keep everyone within and outside the company on the same page
An effective knowledge base organizes all kinds of resources from detailed tutorials on how to perform a task to a concise FAQ covering popular questions.
Creating a knowledge base is an ongoing project, as more and more questions will come up as you start working on it.
A good place to start is to look at niche questions that will turn helpful in organizing your knowledge base. Text Optimizer is a quick and easy way to do that:
Create a business dashboard
Another effective way to keep your whole company updated on the key metrics is using a business dashboard. A dashboard aims at aggregating and organizing several data points which are regularly updated. These data points may include:
- Traffic and conversions
- ROI goals and predictions
- Web analytics and ecommerce metrics
- Customer reviews and online sentiment
- Key marketing achievements
- Ad tracking , etc.
Being able to see recent stats and metrics will help each employee part of a whole and give context for transparent business communication.
Cyfe is a good way to put a business dashboard together.
You can also create a custom and self-hosted business dashboard for your company using these dashboard templates .
Create consistent communication policies
I’ve mentioned creating an external communication policy above but it is so important, it deserves a separate section.
Create one single document detailing what people representing your brand can or cannot say in public. This will make your company’s external communication strategy more predictable and safer.
These guidelines should also include your brand’s ambassadors, affiliates, and contributors. Your communication policies should also include how to recruit software developers or PR professionals , your communication needs to remain consistent.
It is a good idea to set up a business assessment survey to regularly check if the whole company is on the same page.
Lots of companies are reluctant to make organizational changes because they are worried that those changes may reduce productivity.
In fact, “the less we talk, the better we work” concept is not completely wrong.
The problem occurs when no team or single person knows what is going on with the company.
To create an effective business communication flow, try several methods before you know which ones work better. Encourage your employees to share knowledge and data with team members as well as to use different communication methods.
Creating a business communication strategy is an ongoing process. Things that seemed to work first may stop working quite quickly. Keep using different methods while working on long-term assets to make communication easier. Good luck!
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Building an Effective Corporate Communication Strategy
Emily Barr September 21, 2020 Alignment & Direction , Board Management , Leaders
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Communication issues in businesses are not an uncommon problem. For US businesses alone, Inadequate communication to and between employees can cost up to $4 billion annually . The cost of poor communication may be high, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t effective strategies you can implement into your corporation to reduce its risk. By beginning each project with a clear understanding of what your Corporate Communication Strategy is, you can integrate effective time management into your businesses processes seamlessly.
What Is A Corporate Communication Strategy?
A Corporate Communication Strategy is the framework used by organizations to plan out communication with employees, customers, suppliers, and investors. When leveraged properly, a Corporate Communication Strategy can be the key to better understanding your company and enhancing its reputation with the people whose attitudes and actions influence your success the most.
Building a Corporate Communication Strategy
When it comes to constructing your own Corporate Communication Strategy, there is no in-depth one-size-fits-all solution. While you can probably find countless quick-fixes on the internet, creating an effective strategy is not a simple process. If you want your CCS to best suit your organization, and address and solve the communication issues unique to your business, you will need to invest research and time into the process.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing Your Core Strategy
Regardless of your industry, there are several aspects that remain universal in core corporate communication strategies. Generally speaking, it comes in three phases: pre-drafting information and research, formulating the strategy, and then examining examples of other communication strategies for further inspiration. This process can be broken down as follows to help you construct your core Corporate Communication Strategy:
1. Identify and Prioritize Your Executives’ Key Goals
Aim to first understand what each of your business executives sees for the future of the company, and what areas they are truly invested in. In order to collect this information, one of the most useful methods is to conduct individual interviews with as many of your top-level management employees as possible. In the interviews, ask them to clearly outline their top priorities for the upcoming year, and ensure everyone agrees on what message they want to put out for the company.
2. Conduct In-Depth Employee Surveys
Your employee insight doesn’t stop at high-level management. Employees are at the forefront of your business and are the both the backbone and driving forces for your organization . Understanding how your own employees perceive your company and brand is critical to understanding how others perceive it as well. This is how brand ambassadors come to be – while you construct your Corporate Communication Strategy, you need to ensure their voices are heard. How they respond will help you uncover the best way to go about communicating with your team as a whole. Leverage employee surveys to get them involved in the process and gain valuable feedback and insight into what’s working, and what isn’t.
3. Research Your Stakeholders’ Input
Stakeholders are one of the most vital parts of your organization, so if you notice that they are communicating something that isn’t confident for the success of your business, you need to adjust your communications strategy to address and fix that perception as quickly as possible. Communicating with stakeholders, shareholders, and investors in a way that is most effective for their own interests in critical for sustaining success and alignment with long-term plans.
4. Review Your Customers’ Comments
The insight your customers have to offer when it comes to their perception of how your organization is delivering on its promises should not be overlooked. Leverage the countless online, and often free, measurement tools to not only take advantage of social researching methods, but also to learn how to start conversations that will get consumers and potential clients talking about your brand in a positive light.
4. Include Your Suppliers in Your Research
Suppliers and partners that work closely with your brand can also be great resources for gathering useful information about your strategic corporate communication strategy. Ideally, your suppliers and partners should firmly believe that affiliating themselves with your business is beneficial for their business as well. If this is the case, take note of what it is they say they enjoy most about working with your company. Utilize that feedback not only to add structure to your partner relationships, but also to help strengthen your corporate communication strategy.
Best Practices for An Effective Corporate Communication Strategy
Conducting the needed research and interviewing processes is critical to cultivating a successful and effective Corporate Communication Strategy for your business. By gaining valuable insight into how your employees, executives, suppliers, and stakeholders perceive your company, and what it is they prefer when it comes to communication, you will understand what it is your CCS needs to set out to accomplish. Once you have a clear understanding of where you should be aiming, and also how your new strategy will fit into the broader framework of your organization, you need to begin setting up an essential roadmap for its implementation.
However, before you can begin assessing the key diagnosis and guiding policies for your Corporate Communication Strategy, you first need to understand how it is your company will arrive at those ideal concepts. Consider the following tips while drafting your strategy:
Look at other corporate communication strategies from successful businesses.
Especially if you are new to the field of communications strategies, taking examples from successful businesses can be extremely beneficial. By looking at communication strategies that have worked extremely well for others, you can get inspired yourself, or even use their strategy as a starting template or jumping off point for your own planning. It is important to keep in mind that communication issues, and hence the strategies put in place to address those issues, will be unique to specific companies. Using a carbon copy of another company’s successful strategy will not necessarily work for your own, and additional research will need to be done to ensure its success for your business.
Identify your key metrics so you can track the best outcome for your strategy.
Your Corporate Communication Strategy will need to be analyzed for success throughout its use, so it is important to first father the basic key metrics that will be able to show you if it is working the way it should. In addition, statistics gathered from your corporate communications can also show you if your employees are actually using the communication tools being provided. If they are, you will be able to identify how they are using the tools, meaning you can pick apart your strategy and identify the aspects and areas that may need more strategic attention.
Set intuitive and realistic goals and timelines.
By setting goals for your company that make sense for your objectives and are also realistic in scope and expectation, you will be able to properly estimate the level of difficulty and projected time investment that will be required to integrate and establish your new Corporate Communication Strategy. With a clear picture of what will be required, you can plot out more efficient and worthwhile steps towards updating your strategy, leaning on the metrics you have gathered to identify the areas that will make the quickest impact through strategic change.
Keep in mind that any and all timelines set should be effective. A good way to accomplish this is to ask yourself questions that allow you to identify the information or data that is too excessive or unnecessary for business. Some examples of questions are:
- What do I want our Corporate Communication Strategy to do for business?
- Which areas are working efficiently and why, and what areas need immediate improvement?
- How quickly do I want to be able to reach my business goals for the company?
- Which communication tools, platforms, and existing strategies are available, given the organization’s size, needs, and goals for what employees should be accomplishing?
Regardless of your answers to these questions, they should aim to provide clarity into what your Corporate Communication Strategy is setting out to accomplish for your business.
Use collaboration tools.
Juggling several projects within a team can become complicated way too quickly. Often, organizations find strictly email communications between a large amount of team members to be ineffective in project completion. This is why it can be extremely beneficial to introduce collaboration tools that are useful and effective for project and team management. SpriggHR’s SpriggBoard is a great example of a streamlined collaboration tool you can implement into your strategy. While primarily utilized by Boards, it centralizes and manages all team tasks in one location, safely and securely organizing documents that need to be circulated throughout the team. Meeting agendas can be prepared and distributed, and Critical Paths and Action Plans for events can be shared instantly. By integrating real-time communication, it also eliminates the need for repetitive external email communications between your team members, reducing the time lost to sifting through email threads and allowing your team to focus on project development.
Actively participate in your teams.
While this practice is easier for smaller organizations where all team members know one another personally, larger companies can stand to benefit from this strategy as well. Part of your Corporate Communication Strategy should include your responsibility to communicate effectively with everyone in your company, and the best way to achieve the success rates you are aiming for is to be a part of the team yourself. Employees are much less likely to follow a leader locked away in an ivory tower, and by avoiding your employees and not engaging in rapport with them, your chances of effective communication dwindle rapidly. Aim to understand how your colleagues communicate with one another and make attempts to adapt to that preferred style of communication so you can reach them better. It is possible to maintain your authority amongst your employees and still communicate with your company at the same time.
Align your Corporate Communication Strategy to company goals and metrics.
When approaching your Corporate Communication Strategy, you need to ensure its implementation aligns well with your existing business goals. Target your communications to foundational employees, leveraging target audiences, managers, and key communicators. This will allow you to facilitate more thorough and engaging employee communications within your company. Similarly, implementing metrics and analytics into your corporate communication strategy that align with your organizational foundations is critical to evaluating the success of your strategy altogether. Methods such as employee surveys are useful, and should be included somewhere in your strategy, but your research should not rely only on them.
Aim for a company culture of communication.
If you want to improve corporate communications within your business, you first need to set out to create a culture of communication throughout the entirety of your company. This involves committing to transparency a t the Executive level and introduce systems and practices that will support continuous and open dialogue between employees and their management teams. Consistent dialogue and conversation can be transformative for your company culture and can produce tremendous financial results for business. When a workforce communicates effectively with one another, they produce better output, and improve the company overall.
Constructing a Corporate Communication Strategy that is right for your business does not have to be an impossible process. While it does require an investment of research, time, and thorough planning, once you have a complete understanding of where you strategy sits now, you can focus on how to scale your new strategy in the right ways to yield to greatest benefits from your communication efforts.
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5 Steps to Create an Effective Company Communication Strategy
A communication strategy can save your company from miscommunication. Whether it’s internal communications or connecting with users, here’s how to start.
Today, the business world is more competitive than it has ever been in the past. It is critical to make sure you have a strong business communication strategy in place if you want to put your company in a position to compete in the current environment.
There are plenty of reasons why it is important for you to focus on your internal communications, but the reality is that you will have a difficult time keeping your managers and employees on the same page if you do not think carefully about how you use your communication channels.
With successful communication strategies, you will have an easier time adjusting to changing market conditions before your competitors.
That way, you can stay one step ahead of them, maximizing the revenue you can generate. What do you need to do if you want to have a strong company communication strategy? There are a few key points to keep in mind.
What is a communication strategy?
A communication strategy refers to how you make sure all of your departments are working toward one common goal using cohesive, meaningful messaging.
In addition, your communication strategy has to cover how you will communicate with your customers. For example, if you want to get feedback from your customers, you need to incorporate this into your communication channels and business objectives as well.
As you put together your corporate communication strategy, you need to cover all of your potential communication outlets. For example, you need to focus on phone, email, text, and in-person communication. If you overlook anything, you risk leaving out certain parts of your business, and you may have a difficult time keeping all of your employees on the same page.
In addition, you need to think about what communication channels are going to be reserved for your customers and which ones will be reserved for your employees. That way, everyone understands who they should reach out to if they have a concern, but you keep private company information private. That way, you cannot only give key stakeholders the tools they need but also follow your customer’s journey .
Why does every business need a strong communication strategy?
There are several reasons why you need to put together a strong communication strategy for your business.
Your employees will have an easier time understanding how they fit in with the rest of your business if they understand your company's communication goals and business objectives.
Workplace communication strategies with clear communication goals make it easier for your employees to see the big picture, and if they understand how they fit as a part of your business machine, they will have an easier time doing their job.
If you want your business to be successful, you need to ensure your customers are satisfied with your products and services. The only way you will know this is if you collect feedback from them regularly.
With strong communication strategies, they will understand who to reach out to when they want to share feedback.
Save time and money
A strong communication strategy can also help you save a significant amount of time and money. If all of your employees are working toward the same goal, you can reduce inefficiencies and mistakes. You can complete projects more quickly, keep your customers happy, and avoid potential sanctions.
Stronger company culture
A strong communication strategy can also help you improve your company culture. If you don't have communication objectives in place, your employees may have a difficult time speaking up.
Furthermore, if your employees don't talk to one another, they won't get to know one another, so your teamwork will suffer. A successful communication strategy can foster better company culture, which could help you recruit stronger talent.
Address problems faster
If you have firm communication strategies in place, you will have an easier time identifying problems because your employees will talk to one another. Therefore, you can identify problems before they get out of hand, helping to keep the business on track.
These are a few of the biggest reasons why your company has to have a strong communication strategy in place. At the same time, the right communication objectives for one business might not necessarily be the right ones for yours. How can you create a strong strategy for your company?
5 steps to create your company communication strategy
There are several steps you need to follow if you want to create a strong communication strategy for your company. They include:
1. Thoroughly define your purpose
First, you need to think about the purpose of your communication strategy. What do you want to accomplish, and what will your key messages be?
Of course, your goal is to boost business revenue, but how are your communication objectives going to do that?
A few examples of your communication goals could include:
You want to collect more information from your customers about your products and services. You want to make it easier for your remote employees to feel like they are a part of the team. You would like to reduce the turnaround time for company projects. You would like to reduce the information that gets lost in translation.
Think carefully about the overall purpose of communication strategies.
2. Narrow down your target audience
The next step in building your communication strategy is to define your target audience. Who are you trying to formulate communication objectives for?
For example, if you want it to benefit your customers, you need to think carefully about audience segmentation . Even though you would probably like to make a customer out of everyone, that is simply not possible. A younger target audience prefers different communication methods when compared to an older target audience.
You can use behavioral targeting to make sure your customers get the most out of your communication strategy, but you need to think carefully about what will benefit them the most. This is critical for your external communication strategies.
On the other hand, if your communication strategy is meant for your employees, you need to make this clear. There are specific tools that can help you keep your employees on the same page, so you may want to talk to your employees to see what tools they might prefer. This will be a very important part of your internal communication strategies.
3. Decide the means of communication
You also need to think carefully about your means of communication. For example, you may want to create personalized content using your communication strategy if you want to reach out to your customers. For example, creating personalized content for blog posts and infographics for social media could help you build your brand identity.
Or, if you have a slightly longer sales cycle, you might be using an email drip campaign to help you. In that situation, you need to think carefully about the subject lines that get opened if you want to maximize the results of your email marketing strategy. How do you think your emails will evolve as you move your leads down the sales funnel?
Keep in mind that there you need to pick your speakers carefully. Who do you want to produce content for social media, email marketing, and customer outreach? Will it be your executive team, your employees, or the company as a whole? Your speaker can have a significant impact on how your key messages are perceived.
4. Set a timeline
Timing is very important when communicating with your target audience. This is important for internal and external communications. You need to make sure that your customers see your marketing materials.
Some of the factors to consider include:
How often do you want to share a post or send an email? What time do you want to send out that information? What days of the week do you want to distribute your marketing materials?
You need to maximize your visibility, so you may want to do some A/B testing to see which options get the best results.
5. Collect feedback
Finally, you have to collect feedback from your employees and customers on your communication strategy. Do you want to provide an opportunity for anonymous feedback? Or do you want people to attach their names to your feedback portals?
How are you going to process the feedback when you receive it? You need to make sure you collect feedback efficiently and use it to improve your communication strategy.
Send your key messages effectively
In the end, it is important for you to think about how you can use your company communication strategy to separate yourself from the other businesses in your industry. You need to think about how your communication strategy can benefit not only your employees but your customers as well. If you find a way to keep everyone on the same page, you can work toward a common goal.
You can also use your communication strategy to increase your conversion rate, address customer concerns, and boost your brand loyalty. Remember that effective communication strategies could be a very important part of your brand identity, so you need to fine-tune it from time to time.
Fortunately, this is not something you have to do on your own. There are plenty of tools that can help you get the most out of your company's communication strategy. You may want to take a look at some of the tools from Mailchimp, which can help you identify the right tools for your internal and external communication strategies.
You might want to use a creative assistant to expedite the process, automating some of the tasks that you are used to doing by hand. You may even want to take advantage of custom sign-up forms that can help you expand your email list.
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How to Communicate Your Company’s Strategy Effectively
- David Lancefield
Ditch the lofty purpose statements and lengthy slide decks.
For too long, communicating strategy has been an afterthought. Executives have shared long, bombastic documents or withheld critical information and expected people to just “get it.” And it hasn’t worked. Greater external uncertainty, collaboration, employee anxiety, and organizational openness demands a change of approach. The author presents five actions that will improve the clarity and quality of communication, enabling stakeholders to make a more substantive and meaningful contribution to the strategy.
Most people can’t recall the strategy of the organization they work for. Even the executives and managers responsible for strategy struggle, with one study reporting that only 28% of them could list three strategic priorities.
- David Lancefield is a catalyst, strategist, and coach for leaders. He’s advised more than 40 CEOs and hundreds of executives, was a senior partner at Strategy&, and is a guest lecturer at the London Business School. Find him on LinkedIn (@davidclancefield) or at davidlancefield.com , where you can sign up for his free “Mastering Big Moments” workbook .
- May 8, 2023
- 10 minute read
The Essential Guide to Effective Business Communication
Good communication skills are an essential aspect of business success. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, businesses need to have effective communication strategies in place to interact with their employees, customers, and vendors successfully. In this article, I will provide an in-depth guide to effective business communication, covering everything you need to know to take your communication skills to the next level.
Understanding the Importance of Business Communication
Business communication is an essential aspect of any successful organization. It involves the exchange of information, ideas, and messages between individuals or groups within a business setting. Effective communication is critical in ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Effective communication fosters a positive working environment, promotes teamwork, and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals. It enables businesses to build strong relationships with their customers and vendors, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Additionally, clear communication is critical when it comes to decision-making, strategy formulation, and problem-solving.
Business communication can take many forms, including verbal, written, and nonverbal communication. Verbal communication involves the use of spoken words, while written communication involves the use of written words, such as emails, memos, and reports. Nonverbal communication includes body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
The Role of Communication in Business Success
Effective communication is essential for the success of any business. It helps to build strong relationships with customers, vendors, and employees. When communication is clear, concise, and consistent, it fosters trust and confidence in the organization. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity, improved morale, and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Effective communication also helps to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. It enables individuals and teams to understand their roles and responsibilities, and it helps to align their efforts with the overall objectives of the organization. This, in turn, leads to better decision-making, more effective problem-solving, and improved performance.
The Impact of Poor Communication on Business Performance
Poor communication can have significant negative repercussions on business performance. It can lead to misunderstandings, disagreements, and conflicts, which can result in decreased productivity and morale. Poor communication with customers can damage a company’s reputation, resulting in a loss of business and revenue.
When communication is unclear, inconsistent, or ineffective, it can lead to confusion and frustration among employees. This, in turn, can lead to decreased motivation and engagement, which can ultimately impact the bottom line. Poor communication can also lead to missed opportunities, as important information may not be communicated effectively or in a timely manner.
In conclusion, effective communication is essential for the success of any business. It helps to build strong relationships, promote teamwork, and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals. Poor communication , on the other hand, can have significant negative repercussions on business performance. It is, therefore, critical for organizations to invest in improving their communication skills and practices.
Types of Business Communication
Effective communication is essential for the success of any business. It involves the exchange of information and ideas between individuals or groups. There are several types of business communication, each with its own unique characteristics and requirements.
Verbal communication is the most common type of communication used in business settings. It involves the exchange of information through spoken words. Verbal communication can take place in face-to-face meetings, phone calls, or video conferences.
Effective verbal communication requires being clear and concise. It also involves active listening, as it is critical to understand the message being communicated to respond appropriately. Additionally, verbal communication should be adapted to the audience, with the use of appropriate tone, volume, and language to convey the intended message.
In a business setting, verbal communication is often used to negotiate deals, present ideas, and provide feedback. It is important to be confident and articulate when communicating verbally, as this can help to build trust and establish credibility.
Written communication includes any form of written message, such as emails, memos, letters, and reports. Effective written communication requires proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as well as clarity and brevity. It should also utilize appropriate formatting and design elements to convey the message effectively.
Written communication is often used to provide detailed information, document agreements, and communicate with individuals who are not physically present. It is important to be concise and organized when writing, as this can help to ensure that the message is received and understood.
Nonverbal communication involves the use of body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice to convey a message. Effective use of nonverbal communication can add emphasis and reinforce the intended message.
In a business setting, nonverbal communication can be used to convey confidence, sincerity, and interest. It is important to be aware of your body language and tone of voice when communicating nonverbally, as this can help to ensure that the message is received and understood.
Digital communication refers to any electronic communication medium, such as social media, texting, or video conferencing. Effective digital communication requires appropriate technology, internet connectivity, and proper etiquette.
In today’s business world, digital communication is becoming increasingly important. It allows individuals to communicate quickly and efficiently, regardless of their location. However, it is important to be aware of the potential pitfalls of digital communication, such as misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
Overall, effective communication is essential for the success of any business. By understanding the different types of communication and their unique requirements, individuals can improve their communication skills and build stronger relationships with colleagues, clients, and customers.
Key Principles of Effective Business Communication
Effective communication is essential to the success of any business. It’s the foundation of strong relationships, both internally and externally. In this article, we will explore some key principles of effective business communication and how they can be applied in different contexts.
Clarity and Conciseness
Clarity and conciseness are crucial in business communication. When conveying a message, it’s important to use simple language and avoid technical jargon or complicated expressions that might confuse or alienate the intended audience. One way to achieve clarity is to use concrete examples and avoid abstract concepts.
Conciseness is equally important. Long-winded messages can be tiresome and may cause the recipient to lose interest. By keeping your message brief and to the point, you can ensure that your audience remains engaged and understands your message.
Active listening is a critical component of effective communication. It involves giving the speaker your full attention and understanding their message by asking clarifying questions, summarizing their message, and demonstrating empathy. Active listening helps build rapport and mutual understanding between parties, which is essential in business communication.
One way to practice active listening is to repeat back what you’ve heard to ensure that you’ve understood the message correctly. This can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
Empathy and emotional intelligence are critical in business communication that involves people from differing backgrounds and cultures. Demonstrating empathy and recognizing emotional triggers can help overcome differences and foster cooperation and collaboration.
One way to practice empathy is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This can help you understand their perspective and respond in a way that is respectful and considerate.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Effective communication requires the ability to adapt and be flexible. It includes being open to new ideas, being willing to adjust your approach based on feedback, and being able to think on your feet when situations change unexpectedly.
Adaptability and flexibility are particularly important in today’s fast-paced business environment, where change is constant. By being adaptable and flexible, you can ensure that you’re able to communicate effectively in any situation.
In conclusion, effective business communication is essential to the success of any organization. By following these key principles, you can ensure that your messages are clear, concise, and well-received, leading to stronger relationships and better outcomes.
Improving Your Business Communication Skills
Effective communication skills are essential for success in the business world. Whether you are communicating with clients, colleagues, or employees, it is important to be able to convey your message accurately and effectively. Here are some ways to improve your business communication skills:
Developing Strong Writing Skills
Strong writing skills are key to effective business communication. Whether you are writing an email, a report, or a proposal, it is important to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely. Here are some tips for developing strong writing skills :
- Build a strong vocabulary by reading regularly and looking up unfamiliar words.
- Learn grammar and syntax rules to ensure your writing is clear and easy to understand.
- Practice writing different types of messages, such as emails, reports, and proposals.
- Edit your writing carefully to eliminate errors and ensure clarity.
Enhancing Your Presentation Skills
Presentations are a common form of business communication, and having strong presentation skills can make a significant difference in how your message is received. Here are some tips for enhancing your presentation skills :
- Utilize effective design elements, such as visual aids and slide layouts, to make your presentation visually appealing.
- Incorporate multimedia, such as videos and images, to engage your audience and reinforce your message.
- Practice your delivery and timing to ensure that you are confident and engaging during your presentation.
- Prepare for questions and feedback by anticipating potential concerns and having answers ready.
Mastering the Art of Negotiation
Negotiation is a critical component of effective business communication in situations such as contract negotiations or resolving a conflict. Here are some tips for mastering the art of negotiation :
- Practice active listening to ensure that you understand the other party’s perspective.
- Provide valid reasoning to support your position and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.
- Offer beneficial solutions for all parties involved to create a win-win outcome.
- Remain calm and professional, even in challenging situations.
Building Effective Team Communication
Effective teamwork relies on open communication and trust among team members. Here are some tips for building effective team communication :
- Establish clear expectations for communication, including how often and through what channels team members should communicate.
- Provide regular feedback to team members to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
- Offer support and positive reinforcement to team members to build trust and encourage collaboration.
- Address conflicts or misunderstandings promptly to prevent them from escalating and damaging team dynamics.
By improving your business communication skills, you can enhance your professional reputation, build stronger relationships with clients and colleagues, and achieve greater success in your career.
Conclusion: Business Communication Is Important for Career Progression
In conclusion, building effective business communication skills is a critical aspect of business success. Follow the essential guidelines mentioned here to enhance collaboration, productivity, and employee morale. Additionally, it is recommended to embrace modern technology and try using employee communication platforms , which provide efficient systems for seamless and transparent information exchange. By prioritizing effective strategies for employee communications , you can build a strong foundation for growth, innovation, and lasting success in today’s dynamic business landscape.
To do this without much ado, organizations can opt for an employee communication platform that does most of the work. Understanding the importance of effective communication, recognizing the different types of communication, and mastering the key principles can help businesses build strong relationships with employees, customers, and vendors. Improving communication skills should be an ongoing effort for businesses looking to remain competitive and thrive in today’s business environment.
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How to build a corporate communication strategy: a step-by-step process
By Raf Weverbergh LinkedIn Twitter / Kristien Vermoesen LinkedIn Twitter
Creating a true corporate communication strategy is still a challenge. Even in large companies, we regularly see communication departments without a documented corporate communication strategy.
That is surprising because CEOs invariably say that they expect their chief communications and public affairs officers to be true “strategic” partners.
As explained in a survey among CEOs by Egon Zehnder:
CEOs expect their chief communication officers to bring more than just a high level of specialist expertise to the table – they also expect management and strategic competencies, above all. Almost without exception the CEOs questioned say that they want their CCO to be a kind of sparring partner .
If strategic competencies are so important for CEOs, why don’t their strategic partners have a strategy?
In our work, we see that the problem stems from the corporate communication strategy process – or rather the lack of a good process.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: you are asked to come up with a corporate communication strategy. You make the rounds of several departments and management layers to get their input.
You schedule meetings with top management, HR and some business unit leaders. They all deliver you the shopping list of their “strategic” priorities. Next, they ask you to fit all this information into a strategy, but what they mean is a calendar which neatly includes all their priorities.
By the time you’re finished, you have a full workload for the year, but not a strategy. You created a calendar.
Here’s how you can build a true corporate communication strategy, by making a few smart changes in your process.
What strategy is – and what it isn’t
First, it helps to have a clear vision of what a strategy should do.
According to Richard Rumelt, the author of ‘Good Strategy, Bad Strategy and why it matters’ , a good strategy “honestly acknowledges the challenges being faced and provides an approach to overcoming them.”
A good strategy, says Rumelt, consists of three parts.
“Where are we today?” (the diagnosis)
It all starts with a cold, hard look at yourself. Where are you today? What goes well? What goes wrong? What opportunities are you missing?
The most important work in this stage is simplifying the many obstacles and opportunities into a consistent story about where you are.
You don’t want a simple list of challenges. You want a story that is easy to understand and at the same time covers the underlying complexities. Creating a strategy is always a storytelling challenge.
A diagnosis (…) defines or explains the nature of the challenge. A good diagnosis simplifies the often overwhelming complexity of reality by identifying certain aspects of the situation as critical.
“How can we get to where we want to be?” (approach)
Second, Rumelt advises defining an approach to overcome your challenges (and reap the benefits of any opportunities):
an overall approach chosen to cope with or overcome the obstacles identified in the diagnosis.
“What should we do to get there?” (actions)
Finally, a strategy includes the actions you will take to address your challenge.
From this simple description of strategy, we immediately see the difference with the “calendar” approach described above. It’s fine to ask for input from different departments, but the risk is that they will scatter the attention of the corporate communication department instead of focusing on it.
A scattershot approach to challenges is the biggest enemy of strategy, says Rumelt:
Most complex organizations spread rather than concentrate resources, acting to placate and pay off internal and external interests. (…) Thus, we are surprised when a complex organization, such as Apple or the U.S. Army, actually focuses its actions. Not because of secrecy, but because good strategy itself is unexpected . (…)
And then he adds this gem:
Strategy is at least as much about what an organization does not do as it is about what it does.
The place of corporate communication strategy
It also helps to have a clear grasp of where corporate communication strategy ranks in the order of things. Business literature distinguishes different types of business strategies:
- Enterprise strategy: defines what the organization wants to be on a societal level – what do we want to achieve for stakeholders? It’s the most aspirational level of the strategy, also known as Simon Sinek’s “why” or the purpose
- Corporate strategy: defines in what disciplines and segments we want to compete – where do we want to play? (A mostly financial level, dealing with acquisitions, divestments,…)
- Business strategy: what kind of business units do we have and how do they compete in the marketplace (a level that is mostly about marketing)
- Functional strategy: how can the business functions help realise the enterprise, corporate and business strategies? This is the level where HR, corporate communication, finance, legal,… come into play
- Operational strategy: how will we do all of the above? This is the level of planning and execution
The answer to our question is that corporate communication strategy should make it possible to achieve enterprise, corporate and business strategies.
At the same time, the role of corporate communication is to give input to the enterprise, corporate and business levels about what is going on in the outside world and how that affects the organization.
If the corporate communication department can achieve those things – if it can help support the enterprise and business strategy through communication and it can offer insights to refine those strategies – then it will be well on its way to becoming the “sparring partner” that the CEO is looking for.
Corporate communication strategy: a theoretical framework
Now the question is, how can we build such a corporate communication strategy that plugs into and supports the larger business strategy?
Joep Cornelissen offers a good framework, building on Mary Jo Hatch and Majken Schultz’s model for corporate brands.
Summarized, this is how Hatch and Schultz see the corporate communication strategy:
Everything starts with the vision , as formulated by the board and the C-level of the organization. It’s the purpose (the why) but also the how and the what of the strategy.
Unfortunately, this vision in itself will never define your corporate brand.
Because there are always “gaps” between what you want to achieve (your vision), how your team interprets and executes it (the culture ) and how your stakeholders experience it (your image ).
Example : Imagine a large bank.
The CEO and board might agree that they want to shift the bank’s strategy towards sustainability. But your local branch manager might still sell you funds that score very poorly on ESG metrics – and tell you that he doesn’t believe in “those woke funds from HQ”. What you experience is
- a vision-culture gap (the branch manager not believing in “woke funds”, and the vision established by the top management),
- a culture-image gap (the bank’s customer experiences confusion because there is a gap between what the employees of the bank deliver and what the bank states in its vision on sustainability)
- an image-vision gap (the customer and external stakeholders no longer trust the bank to deliver on sustainability promises)
Hatch-Schultz is a great mental model for understanding what a strategy needs to address.
But it’s not a process to build the corporate communication strategy. Which is why we need a more practical approach.
A corporate communication strategy process in seven steps
1. preparing the corporate communication strategy: input and research.
It’s not the role of the corporate communication department to single-handedly decide on the corporate communication strategy. You will co-create the strategy with C-level, board-level, and possibly other internal stakeholders (business unit directors).
Before you can do this, you need to help them by doing some research.
First of all, check with your management whether the vision of the organization is still up to date.
We use “vision” in the largest possible sense, including the “why” (purpose), the “what” (positioning, corporate strategy) and the “how” (values, culture, identity).
If small nuances have changed, update the vision immediately. If you need a big overhaul of the purpose, then this might become part of your strategy for the next year.
Next, check the existing culture and image.
Useful tools to understand where your corporate brand includes:
- Reputation tracker
- Media clippings (eg: a media reputation index)
- Brand tracker
- Issues & Stakeholder mapping
- Crises that the organization went through recently
- Social media interactions and reviews
- Regulatory reports
- Complaints, litigation
- Employee Surveys on engagement, culture, …
The output of this first phase is a document or a presentation. It allows your colleagues to have all the relevant information on the current situation at the company – the good, the bad and the ugly. This is necessary before you can go to the next part of the corporate communication strategy process: the workshop.
Ask your colleagues to read the document, or take them through the presentation. This way, the decision-makers have the same information as they go into the workshop.
In this workshop, members of management (Chief Executive Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer and other relevant members of management) work with members of the corporate communication team to give input on the strategy.
We found that the best way to organize this workshop is to use the ‘strategic communication frame’ as developed by Betteke van Ruler and Frank Körver .
The communication frame is a variation on the ‘Business Model Canvas’.
The left side half of the canvas describes where you are & want to go:
- Where you are today (“internal situation”, “external situation”)
- What you want to achieve (“vision” split up into “vision” and “ambition”)
The right-hand side of the canvas focuses on how you will get where you want to be:
- Who can help you
- Resources and budget you need
- What your colleagues can expect from you (“accountability”)
- What steps, actions and tactics you will use to get there (“approach”)
In most workshops, we make an additional distinction between what the company wants to achieve and what the communication department wants to (or can) achieve.
Stuff that is too far outside the purview of communication or marketing has no place in the frame.
Use common sense to avoid a frame that becomes too crowded or detailed. Remember, a strategy is a “simplified story” of the complexity of the real world. During the workshop, you can already aggregate some things on a higher level, or cluster them. This will help you write your memo in the next step of the process.
Tips for filling in the canvas:
- You can use an online whiteboard like Plectica or Miro to fill it in, or you can use post-its on a wall (or both)
- Make sure you have a dedicated note-taker (or even two), whose job it is to make exhaustive notes including quotes (you will regret lost information when writing the memo)
- Don’t worry too much about the right-hand side of the frame yet (resources, KPIs, approach) – that will come later. Focus mostly on where you are today, what feels important and where you want to go.
The workshop will result in two documents:
- A rough, filled-in version of the strategic communication frame
- A strategic memo based on the notes
3. The strategic memo: the basis for the corporate communication strategy
The memo is the basis for your strategy. It is the most important document that you will create in this process.
It follows the structure of the communication frame, but it is much, much more detailed than the post-its on the wall or the short sentences that you have on your online whiteboard.
What’s important about this document:
The memo is not a “meeting notes” document. The structure is not chronological but follows the framework. If you put some things in the wrong frame box during the workshop, put them in the correct chapter now.
It’s detailed . Imagine a new CEO starting in a few months. You want a single, comprehensive memo of about 6 to 10 pages that brings them fully up to speed on every aspect that is relevant to the communication strategy. If they read the memo, they should understand why your strategy is what it is and what the underlying business challenges are that your communication programme is helping to solve.
The inputs can range from regulatory issues to employee engagement issues, to strategic initiatives on new products, to investment and divestment plans that will impact the brand.
The memo should already label issues and opportunities in communication or marketing terms.
So input like this:
CEO: We’re seeing huge pressure on pricing from Chinese manufacturers. They just copy our stuff at lower quality and flood the market. That makes it harder for us to raise our prices to match inflation. We just can’t raise our prices, we don’t have enough demand. You know, we’ve had those recalls, clients just don’t accept it when we raise prices – and we don’t get a lot of interesting RFPs right now.
Becomes something like:
Pricing power : price pressure caused by overseas competition erodes margins.
Brand attributes : quality issues and recalls have tarnished the brand.
Awareness and brand preference : we don’t get invited to interesting RFPs.
Remember that we said to take detailed notes? Without extremely detailed notes, you will not be able to write a comprehensive memo.
To keep your readers focused, don’t hesitate to use juicy quotes. Painful areas, compelling visions, recognisable stories or insightful interventions about the real issues will make your strategic document a lively snapshot of where you are with your organisation.
Put these inputs in descending order of importance for every part of the frame. In the above example, brand awareness must probably be tackled before the brand attributes, so put it first in your memo. What good is having the right brand attributes if no one knows you?
After you complete the memo, have it validated by all the participants of the workshop.
4. The communication strategy frame
Now that you have the validated memo, everyone inside your company agrees on what is going on in the world and the company, where you want to go and how you will tackle your challenges. Now you can go back to the frame.
You can now update the frame based on your memo:
- Correct any mistakes that you made, eg: if you put input in the wrong box, move it to the correct box
- Put the inputs in the correct order – the most important things come first
- Write down for yourself which key issues/ patterns you start seeing and label them. Fi: “awareness”, “attributes”,… Mostly 3/4 of big issues emerge.
That will look a little like this:
As you can see, we haven’t bothered too much with KPIs, resources and budget yet. That’s for the next phase.
Now, use colour coding to connect inputs. If you labeled your issues correctly, patterns will become immediately clear.
Like in the example below, we highlight everything connected to “awareness” (do people know we exist). We added the 3 key issues and labelled them (bottom of the slide).
In the next one, we highlighted everything related to “brand attributes” (do people who know us, know us for the right reasons):
5. The corporate communication strategy goals
At this point, strategic priorities should become crystal clear. In the above example the priorities are:
- “People don’t know us” (awareness)
- “People know us for the wrong reasons” (brand attributes)
- “Employees and recruits lack emotional connection to the company” (sentiment)
- “Customers do not prefer us as a supplier” (preference, brand equity)
You should now be in a position to say where you will focus your efforts, and these efforts will be connected to the business strategy.
- Increase awareness
- Emphasise the right brand attributes
- Improve the sentiment around the brand towards internal and external stakeholders
In a sense, by now the hard work is done. You know what you want to achieve, and it’s closely connected to where the company wants to go.
This is where the communication department takes over to dive into the strategic approach: what will you do, how much of it you can do, how will you do it and how will you measure it.
The next steps in the process are where your creativity and knowledge will make a difference for the company.
6. Corporate communication strategy: the “five hows” of KPI setting
This brings us to the next phase: setting those KPIs (in the frame: “accountability”)
For instance, if you aim to “increase awareness”
- do you even know where brand awareness is today?
- using which tactics ( PR ? advertising?)
- using which channels? (LinkedIn, TikTok?)
- how much output is needed?
- what will that cost?
- who will support you in your efforts?
- do you have a baseline metric to compare? do you need one?
You might have heard of the “5 whys” that are used to find the root cause of a problem. In the case of KPIs, replace this with “ 5 hows “:
- By reaching more people
- By communicating more
- Increasing the number of communication campaigns
- Increasing the number of channels
- By measuring them for things like reach
- Through dashboards, surveys, brand trackers
You will not have one KPI, but a pyramid of KPIs and metrics that should all help to achieve your goal :
As a rule of thumb, make sure you define KPIs on at least three levels:
- Output : what will we implement? which actions will we take?
- Outcomes : what should be the effect of these actions? How will the audience respond? Think of things like reach, media clippings,…
- Impact : what will be the impact on the organisational or business KPIs (eg awareness)
You get the idea. You will probably not manage to stuff all these detailed KPIs into the communication frame. That’s not a problem. The framework has served its purpose. The nitty gritty details of KPIs don’t need to be in it.
7. The communication plan
Finally, now that you have your KPIs, you need to put all of your planned output into a communication plan. This is a high-level plan for the campaigns and actions that you will run in the next year (or 2 years if you prefer).
That will look a bit like this:
Read more on how to create a communication plan
Now, you can bundle the strategic communication frame, the more detailed KPIs and the communication plan into one presentation and get sign-off on it from your management.
If you enjoyed this guide for corporate communication strategy…
If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it with your network or linking back to it. Thank you in advance!
Sources & further reading on corporate communication strategy:
- Egon Zehnder, “Communication from the CEO’s perspective – an underestimated challenge?”
- Richard Rumelt, “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy and Why it Matters”
- Joep Cornelissen, “Corporate Communication: A Guide to Theory and Practice”, 5th Edition
- Mary Jo Hatch and Majken Schultz, “Are the Strategic Stars Aligned for Your Corporate Brand?”, Harvard Business Review, 2001/02
- Benita Steyn, (2000) “Model for developing corporate communication strategy”, Communicare, 19(2)
- Benita Steyn, (2004) “From strategy to corporate communication strategy: A conceptualisation”, Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 8 Issue: 2, pp.168-183
- Betteke Van Ruler, Frank Körver, “The Communication Strategy Handbook: Toolkit for Creating a Winning Strategy”, Peter Lang, 2019, 174 pages