LLORENTE & CUENCA 13 Dec 2016 // 9:33PM GMT
Almost everything has changed in the communications industry since the beginning of the 20th Century: messages quality has improved, channels have multiplied and audiences are now much more empowered. Applied to business, this leads to an exponential increase of the positioning, involvement and participation of companies in public spaces. In this context, which are the challenges that corporate communications are about to face? There are different things that are shaping the path of corporate communications in the coming years.
First of all, companies will have to learn to live with the “naked company syndrome”, this means, the feeling of loss of control over information. The companies that learn how to operate in this permanent state of “nakedness” will be able to focus on more important issues.
Given the transversality of the issues, the way organizations address issues that arise must be equally transversal. Until recently, limits used to separate the marketing, corporate affairs, legal or communications departments. But this has come to an end: some companies are already creating positions such as reputation manager, who are involved in all the areas.
In view of this, it becomes evident that communications have gained weight within organizations. However, its widespread use has also standardized processes resulting in even more demand for greater sophistication in communication. This is why being more creative is more important than ever.
There is a reason to believe that the most relevant factor in making companies sustainable will be reputation. Companies’ corporate values are more significant than ever, and organizations should incorporate them into their narratives.
From a more strategic point of view, companies should also be able to define their playing field. Companies that choose a specific area to focus on will develop interesting content for their communities. This leads us to the next point; companies will have to find the communities that could be interested in their content, product and services.
However, creating a reputation is as important as knowing how to measure its impact. Metrics that provide insights into the impacts of communication actions are constantly evolving. Besides, this impact needs to be consolidated; talking without taking action is no longer an option. Communication strategies accompanied by experiences will be essential to consolidate its impact on consumers. It is also important that these actions include CSR actions that are aligned with the business objectives and understood and shared with all stakeholders; from employees to final consumers.
Reputation is a great asset for businesses, and it is expected to become the most relevant factor in making companies sustainable in the coming years. Communication teams, directors and consultancies need to be able to integrate ethical behavior, coherence, emotion, transparency and responsibility in the corporate communication standards of the organizations in order to be at the forefront.
*Summary of the article published in Developing Ideas.