Building a business is not easy; there are many stones along the way. From building the business itself to competition to who knows what else you might find in the journey. Even with the challenges, people embark on it and often find their way through the hardships of it.
To share your vision, your goals, and the company’s culture with the audience that the company is aiming, the business has to adopt effective ways of transmitting information about itself. Reaching the targeted audience is one of the company’s primary goals, which is how it shares its identity.
Effective Corporate External Communication is how clear a business is going to communicate with people outside the company who are interested in a way or another in the company. This communication will be done in a way that makes clear what are the visions and culture of the company.
Communication is one of the basic and first skills we learn throughout life; communicating in a proper manner lets us understand each other’s goals, and in some cases, bring common visions and goals together. That is also a skill we can continuously improve.
Not only singular people use communication to understand and share ideas, corporations too need this skill to spread the brand’s personality. Good communication is crucial for the thriving and survival of a business.
Communicating the right way has to be a priority too. Remembering that communicating is not only talking, listening is as important. Active listening allows the organization to obtain the customer’s opinions and feelings. That is the first step in communicating effectively, understanding.
That is the way a company passes along its views, values, and feelings to both internal (employees, management department, marketing department, etc.) and external audiences (customers, stakeholders, government institutions, etcetera).
People expect accurate information about products and services; that will make a difference when choosing between going and staying with a company or the other. Good communication is going to dictate the building and an increase in awareness.
Companies should always consider investing in a communications department, a team of specialized personnel focusing solely on corporate communication, and the improvement of it. Some organizations take the marketing department responsible for corporate communication.
If the companies though, separate these two to deal with specific tasks, things can go smoothly since the focus would not be divided, and there would be fewer uncertainties regarding the roles. The company will stay rested, knowing that money was directed to the right area.
Some businesses may hit rock bottom and not know what caused that; improving the way a company communicates can help avoid that. Communication needs to be clear so that it reaches the target as intended.
Poor communication in the company results in high bills that could be directed to other areas and/or departments. Quantifiedcommunications.com states that a study done shows that “Businesses as small as 100 employees spend, on average, 17 hours a week clarifying previous communication, which translates to an annual cost of at least $525,000.”
From that study, we can imagine how much would be the cost for a company with as many as thousands of employees. Poor communication costs a lot of money. That money would serve another purpose in another area, perhaps, so good management of communication should be on the priority list.
Tools for Effective Corporate External Communications
These will be the means through which information is disseminated across the group of people that play a part, directly or not, in the company. Those are customers, investors and stakeholders, in some cases, other companies that are affected by the organization’s projects.
Organizations are constantly in pursuit of better ways to do business, deliver more quality, and keep customers happy. Because customers are looking for new and modern, companies should be innovating to meet those needs.
The advantage the businesses have is that there is a wide range of available resources they can rely on. Companies can learn more and get to know about the tools that help break the communications barrier and improve them.
Let us see and go through some of the tools that can be used to enhance corporate external communication.
- ezTalks Meetings
Let’s look at the features of the corporate communication tools
The first tool in the list is considered by some as the best in its group; it allows you to share project progression both internally and externally. Users can view and collaborate on projects, a great tool for sharing information with external stakeholders.
Another great feature of Teamgantt is the ability to track project hours, which will be handy for projects that are time-sensitive. It does not require any training and has no OS barriers since it runs great on the web. Nike, Amazon, and Disney are some of the companies using TeamGantt.
TeamGantt has a free trial version that needs no credit card for its subscription. It can also be integrated with services such as Google Calendar, Outlook, and more.
Another tool for corporate communication is ProWorkFlow. Which is also not limited only to internal communication; the company can keep clients up to date. It can be integrated with your email to access chat options inside the tool. One of its features is a shared note, and customers can use that feature to have a deeper understanding of projects and give feedback.
ProWorkFlow is web-based, which makes it easy for anyone to engage. There are also mobile versions available; time-tracking and task scheduling are also integrated into ProWorkFlow.
With ProWorkFlow, you can go through more than one project at a time and predict how much time they may take up from previous tracked project hours.
TeamWork, much like the previous tools, features time-tracking in projects, the possibility of client engagement, and can be customized according to your team’s flow, which makes it very flexible.
The tool’s graphical interface, unlike the others, may look unfamiliar at first, but with time and practice, it can be friendly. It can also be integrated with many services; Gmail is one of them.
When it comes to customer collaboration, it can include clients from the beginning of a project so that the final product has a shared vision. Customers are the best counselors a company can get while building a product or service that needs to satisfy the end-users.
Ryver supports both audio and video conference, which is great for sharing new ideas with customers and stakeholders. File sharing and screen sharing are part of its features arsenal. It can be combined with some of the most popular cloud services.
Aside from the conference feature, it offers forums for open discussions too. So whoever feels like adding ideas to projects can engage in a team’s work. The forum can be used to make announcements as well, letting people know what is going on in the company.
This tool has unlimited storage capacity and is very affordable compared to similar apps in the area. It really focuses on enhancing a team’s productivity
Last but not least is ezTalks Meetings, another Business video conferencing tool that allows collaboration between corporations and external audiences. This tool allows meetings to be scheduled and added to the calendar.
It also allows screen sharing and remote control, meaning the host can give control to another meeting attendee. A great feature of this tool is the possibility of voting and creating surveys. The meetings can be recorded both locally and in the cloud, plus the app offers 1GB of free cloud storage.
It has an interactive whiteboard that can be used to share ideas and can be synced to both Outlook and Google. ezTalks Meetings goes with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac Platforms.
|Team Gantt||14 days||$29.95|
|ezTalks Meetings||10 minutes limit in group meetings.Unlimited 1-1 meeting.||From $10/user|
We went through some tools above that can boost corporate external communication; they can all be great with some practice and knowledge.
The features of the tools presented in this article are a summary of them. The tools’ respective websites contain more information and customer help lines that can help people get to know more about them.
Aside from tools for corporate communication, companies also need strategies, tactics to improve their external dissemination of information. Those tactics, just like the tools, can become more familiar with time and practice. The company only has to be committed to them.
Communication is so crucial that it can be the defining point of a company, through effective communication; businesses assure people know about them, investors consider them, and a long-lasting loyalty relationship is built.
Strategies for Effective Corporate External Communications
Let’s go through some of the tactics to be used in corporate external communication now:
- Knowing your audience
- Choosing suitable channels
- Setting a tone of voice
- Actually delivering
- Involving customers
Now let us look at some aspects of these tactics:
Knowing Your Audience
The way to communicate effectively is to know who is getting the message; how does the recipient take and understand what is conveyed. This means for the company to know the language of the external audience.
That been said, it is important that companies get to know their external audience before they communicate and expect results. Surveys and social media can allow a company to know more about the customers.
Conferences and presentations given by the company with the space for questions and answer forums also give the audience the chance to speak their mind; they can let the company know what it needs to do better. This way, the company knows where and how to deliver in a manner that will reach the right people.
Choosing suitable channels
More than knowing how to and whom to, it is as important to know where to direct the communication to. Getting to know your audience can allow you to know the channels your customers prefer to get information from.
Since most people nowadays are on social media, it might be the best channel to transmit information, as plenty of people can be reached. Most companies use social media for marketing strategies, although many are getting familiar with social media benefits aside from marketing.
When communicating to investors and stakeholders though, a more formal channel can be suitable. Conferences, presentations, and emails are some of the means that should be more appropriate for communicating with the more formal external audience.
So, choosing the right channels for the right audience will play an important role in communication. Each and everyone want to get information in a way they best perceive it, their own language. No one wants to struggle to understand the information conveyed to them.
Setting a tone of voice
When setting the tone of voice, your company wants to make it personal, not strictly corporate or following the industry trend; whomever you are talking with wants to feel that they can be part of the communication.
The way your company’s voice reaches the audience will impact how they transmit the information to third parties. When transmitting the message, the audience might use their own words, but there are core values that will echo with the message.
The tone of voice is part of the image and personality of the company and also plays a part in the way the company is going to be remembered. Because the tone of voice is going to influence new potential customers, the company needs to get serious about setting it straight.
External communication should not be only about spreading the company’s name and identity; quality products and services should walk along with the communication. Communication will not be of any meaning if the company cannot deliver what it says it does.
Sure, every business wants people to know them, but the reputation will come with the deliver. A company can invest so much in external communication that it attracts customers, and when they get there, they cannot see palatable results.
The same goes for investors and stakeholders before they get along with the company; they need to see actual data. They need to see that the company can actually deliver and is worth engaging with. So focus on delivering quality services and quality products.
One of the ways to deliver quality products is involving your customers. Through that approach, you get to know your customers better and will be able to deliver what they expect, perhaps more than what they expect.
Involving customers is part of the tactics you should use to make external communication better. Direct contact with them through surveys, feedback, and other social media forms of interaction let the company know more about them but also makes the customers more knowledgeable about the company.
An organization that has a good relationship and communication with its customers might notice that they are the best consultants. After all, the aim of the organizations is to provide for the customers, so who better than those same customers to tell what they need, how they need it.
If customers know more about the company, when they talk about it with friends and family, the information is going to be more accurate and precise. Customer involvement also boosts customer loyalty and customer retention.
For more about the tactics for corporate external communications, I advise the TEDx talk from Strategic Communications Professional Keisha Brewer on YouTube.
In conclusion, businesses need to constantly evolve to meet the needs of modern-day customers and external audiences in general. Ways of communicating and channels through which to communicate need to be updated, always sending a clear message, that is how the communication will be effective.
The clarity of the message is always at stake, external audiences have to get the information as intended. That is the only way the personality of the company will be perceived, and that is what you want when communicating with your audiences.
Some consumers unconsciously buy from a brand because of the brand, not because of the product itself. Some people want the feeling of owning something from a specific brand; that is the result of an image that was built and communicated the right way.
Of course, companies should not be focusing only on the image and the spread of it. Quality in the products will enhance that experience, along with the reputation of the brand. It is crucial that businesses stay ready to welcome clients with quality services and products.
So, being up-to-date with communication tools and tactics for effective communication can simplify the job. The communications department can plan the communication strategy with a clear vision of where to aim when informing.