Communication Blues

The difference between management and leadership is COMMUNICATIONS” -Winsten Churchill

Communications: a fundamental to the existence of the humans and the organizations. It is an act of explaining the meaning a piece of information both by the verbal and the non verbal methods. To be able to be effective in communications it is necessary that the organizations must adopt a variety of tools and a clear vision that helps its people to design and strategize its policies and communicate them to the various stakeholders.

Corporate Communications is an evolving area within the ever increasing puzzle of global growth. Corporate Communications as an important element of the organizational structure does not possess a very ancient legacy. The concept came into being in late 19th century or in early 20th century following the pace of industrial revolution. However, the aim in the earlier century was to improve towards the image and positioning of the brands and the organizations itself; its larger role was that of maintaining the Public Relations.

The role that largely was restricted towards maintaining the political scenario, started to take a shift and it became more focused towards the organisations and more importantly towards its individuals with the invention of “GLOBALIZATION”. At this time, the organizations started to venture in different parts of the world requiring a more sophisticated communication strategy keeping in mind the culture, values, beliefs, rules etc of the respective countries. This has to be collaborated with the overall VISION of the company so that the aim is not compromised upon.

The onset of the 21st century brought with it the revolution called “The Internet” and the information was digitized. Everything in this new century is available on the internet. Communication, which till now was a one way process (from top to bottom), became the “Conversation” by the end of the second decade of the century. The stakeholders that were only receiving information till now became the “audience” and started participating in the communication process. In today’s age, the biggest challenge a company faces is to maintain transparency, provide information at the regular basis so that it can keep its audience engaged and retain the brand recall in their minds. The even bigger challenge is to decide how much information is relevant and what is the medium that is most suited to communicate a particular kind of information i.e., to decide about the channel.

The digitization has made the information availability much easier and much faster and the arrival of social media has made the companies think out of the box and find out new tools to communicate with today’s customers. Relevance has become the corporate communications center of gravity and being digital has become the new way of life. The various social and digital platforms makes consumer “the king” and thus, ensures that the companies monitor the information constantly and strategize in a pro-active manner to sustain the ever evolving world.

Digitization, strong media presence and the real-times issues rich environment makes the communication process an uphill task for the organizations. The growth of the social media and plethora of information available has brought with it mistrust (due to fake news) amongst the consumers. The organisations have to muster the art of communicating the social responsibilities (that it undertakes) so that it can remain relevant and authentic and are able to retain the customers (both internal and external) ensuring the global sustainability.

This is one small world where every activity and every industry is interconnected.Global presence is the need of the hour and expanding one’s business activities is a part of the mission of any organization.In this global digitally connected world, the companies need to constantly monitor what happens in other parts of the world so that they can strategize effectively in view of maximizing its reach to the global audience. The strong internet presence and the information in the real time poses an immense amount of threat for the companies to sustain and retain its base. So, what happens when this global, digital one world gets a “Pandemic”? How are the organizations dealing with the “first ever pandemic” of the new age world?

It seems in today’s time, every thing is revolving around this one phenomenon called “Covid-19, The Pandemic”. The world is under a lockdown….every economy is struggling to revive itself and get unaffected with this deadly phenomenon and so are the organizations across the globe. Communicating in this age of uncertainty and fear has become a topic to brainstorm upon. Communication at this hour requires unprecedented empathy and strong leadership to bring back the trust,lower the anxiety and sustain in the global platform. The organizations are devising ways and means to communicate with their internal and external stakeholders. The task has become a lot more difficult and complex than what it already has been in an environment that was flooded with opportunities or in a more appropriate way….pre covid world.

In this new world, I would call it a “Covid-19 world”; the companies are making the contingency plans with some new and some old phenomenons. However, the old phenomenon like maintaining a direct base with the customers and communicating clearly the company strategy during the time of crises still hold importance; there are new concepts like creating a crises management teams (that can take a stalk of the situation overall and can tell how adversely or positively the company is affected) and communicate regularly with its customers (both internal and external) and state the facts (how-so-ever good or bad) at the regular intervals on the various mediums ….are a few such that have gained the attention of the leaders across the globe.

An emphatic, clear and precise communication strategy can help win the trust and the loyalty of the various stakeholders associated with the company. Transparency helps to build the brand value at the time of crises and helps in establishing a clear vision as to how the company will (or focus) to emerge after the fallout.

This Covid-19 world has now changed in many ways….ways we live now, buy our groceries, defining our new luxuries, defining our new new. World in this covid-19 has changed and will continue to change. It has changed the way we used to work and will keep on reinventing itself further. We, now have to learn to adapt to the new work cultures, new ways to communicate and new ways to devise our strategies to accomplish our vision. This world is entirely different from the world where the concept of “Corporate Communication” came into being. This world is all about living in an environment that is all about social distancing and a world that is working to restructure itself from the scratch. In the earlier strategies, it was all about staying connected to the audience directly (eliminating all mediums for in between) and communicating the policy directly, through the conferences, press meets etc. With the concept of social distancing, it is now about video conferencing and communicating every single aspect of the organisation digitally.

With so much changing so rapidly around us, will we be able to hold on to the strong communication ethics that we have established and developed over all these decades?? OR are we entering an era where an entire new constitution with regards to communicating within the world is required?????????


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