Latin America´s political stability has triggered a decade of economic growth, which, in turn, has prompted the internationalization of local companies.
The internationalization and expansion of companies have brought about changes in their corporate structures in order to respond to an increasingly complex and geographically diverse market.
Within this framework, it is necessary to count on a leader who would bring in a global approach, handling the communication needs of the region as a whole while, at the same time, supervising local implementation.
However, the role of the Director of Communications is still being consolidated within the organization: his duties and functions continue to evolve, as well as his interactions with the rest of the company. These are the main challenges that the regional DirCom must face:
Firstly, it is important that the DirCom defines his functions, team and communication lines with the rest of the organization, in order to get integrated into the daily structure of the company.
Secondly, coordination is key to the success of the regional strategy. A regional vision including common denominators that bring the company closer to its stakeholders must be one of the DirCom´s priority tasks.
Thirdly, the regional DirCom needs to demonstrate that his position exists to facilitate the tasks for the various business units. If the regional team contributes with content and specific tools, local managers will see them as allies and allow greater interference in the day to day operations and strategic vision.
Unfortunately, the regionalization of the communication practice has been confused with the need to eliminate or reduce local teams, thinking that strategies can be effectively implemented in different territories from a single hub, with the added excuse of a common language. Precisely, the regional position should not neglect strong local teams and must provide strategic focus so that the local capacities can succeed.
Moreover, the DirCom has to generate a shared vision of success, becoming aligned with other areas and using the same language at the negotiating table.
One of the greatest challenges, if not the greatest one, regional DirComs face is the management of internal diplomacy, that is, managing the relationship between those who report to them and those they report to. Undoubtedly, the tension between them is one of the consequences of having created a regional position.
Nevertheless, DirComs have in their hands the possibility of generating positive dynamics between collaborators, turning the business relationship into one of trust.
In short, DirComs´ success depends on their ability to consolidate the regions as productive business units aligned with corporate goals.
*Summary of the article published in Developing Ideas
By: Maria Carolina Cortes, New Business Director Andean Region at LLORENTE & CUENCA.