WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF EXTERNAL CORPORATE COMMUNICATION?


Businesses need to let people know about them, their products and services, and why people should adhere to these businesses’ values and visions. They need to, in some way, sell their identity and make it convincingly. That is how people are going to want to engage with the company.

How can businesses transmit the information they need? Reach out to the right channels and entities to let them know what the business is about, what they do, their culture, what their values are? How to make sure people will be interested in the company as a brand, not just a common brand, but one that makes a difference?

Corporate External Communication is the way in which a business conducts the transmission of information to people outside of the company. Those people include customers (willing to know more about the company and offers), investors (people that are also interested in the company in some way) and stakeholders (people affected by the company’s projects).

Effective Communication is the key when it comes to sending the right information to the right destination. If we adopt the right strategy and use the proper channels, we can transmit valuable information and stay confident that it will hit where it needs to hit. That is how customers learn about a company.

What is Corporate Communication?

Corporate Communication is the strategy used by organizations to let various entities know about their identity and publicize their services to the general public. Corporations can aim at customers (existing and potential), employees, and other organizations when communicating.

While being conducted in various forms, corporate communications should build a consistent, concise image that will reflect its culture. So the message the company is passing should be the same across all the platforms adopted by the company.

Read More about the 7 elements of an Effective Corporate Communication…

Types of Corporate Communication

A type of corporate communication should be where to, the company aims when communicating. As we will see in a moment, corporate communication can be internal or external. Whether the organization aims at the employees or the customers will define the type of communication.

Corporate Communication can be done in two ways depending on the audience the company aims.

  • Internal Corporate Communication;
  • External Corporate Communication;

Internal Corporate Communication happens when the company informs about itself to its employees through meetings, for instance.

Our focus in this article will be the second one, Corporate External Communication. For detailed information on Corporate Internal Communication, please check our other article here.

External Corporate Communication

When the company aims at external audiences while broadcasting information about itself, it uses the available channels for effective messaging and branding. One of the most used channels nowadays, if not the most used, is social media.

Through it, the corporation can reach customers, investors, stakeholders, the media, and the general public, informing not only existing products and services but also its developments and new approaches being studied.

To ensure the effectiveness of Communication inside a corporation, it is an excellent approach to invest in creating a team responsible for this task and handling all communication activities of the business. With a dedicated team for Corporate Communication, it sure will be more organized, since a staff focuses exclusively on that.

Read here about Strategies and Tools used for Successful External Corporate Communication

Types of External Corporate Communication

When it comes to communication aimed at external audience, it also comes in two ways. It can either be formal or informal. Meaning it can be in a way where the company has control and does it accordingly, or customers do it informally when talking about the company with friends.

When it comes to External Corporate Communication, we have two types:

  • Formal External Corporate Communication and
  • Informal External Corporate Communication.

Formal External Corporate Communication 

Formal Corporate External Communication is the approach of creating an appropriate corporate image for a business; as the name suggests, it will be handled to foster credibility and promote the quality of the products and services. This approach will take the form of formal letters, presentations, memos, periodical reports, and so forth.

Informal External Corporate Communication

This type of Communication happens when employees in a company get more and more informed about the company and publish this information outside of the company.

This happens with friends during conversations, so the company does not have control of this type of approach, yet they benefit from it because the employees are spreading the image and business identity.

For more about the types of corporate Communication

Types of Formal External Corporate Communication

Formal communication in organizations aims at a structure focused on the audience, a formal audience. That audience needs to be addressed properly, following guidelines that will ensure a conventional manner of communicating, different from that used in informal communications.

Formal external Communication can happen in many ways, and there are many available channels that can help companies spread their message in a non-casual way, a way a business can address other businesses and its customers in order to transmit a message that has a positive impact in the industry.

Let’s look at some types of formal external corporate Communication:

  • Website and Blogging
  • Conferences
  • Newsletters
  • Social Media
  • Press Release

All these types of formal external Communication are crucial in delivering a message that reflects the image of a corporation; some businesses may focus more on one or another. Some may use all of them simultaneously and get the expected results. The key lies in studying and getting to know each one of them better.

Let’s look in detail at the types of formal external Communication mentioned above.

Website and blogging

Websites and blogs are great mediums through which companies can build and improve their image; website content, Search Engine Optimization, and digital marketing, are all ways a business can adopt to make their delivery better. Their visibility is also susceptible to improvement online. Adding comment sections on the websites allow barriers between the company and customers to be broken too.

Websites are crucial in building and improving an online presence and branding; most people nowadays appeal to a website when wanting to know about a company before they can get in direct contact with them, so using sites and blogging to send the message is the right approach.

The point of a website for a business is especially to communicate. Aside from the content exhibited in the pages, the website itself needs to tell the customers they are where they want to be. Technical aspects are as important in websites.

The person responsible for the website needs to stay up to date about the company’s vision, what it wants to deliver, which will influence aspects of the website that are not directly related to the data. Colors, logos, layouts are things that call the attention of people visiting a webpage. The kind of ads on the page may reflect what the visitors get as the message of the company.

Conferences

Conferences, presentations, and seminars are a great way to put together corporate staff with customers as well, presentations with PowerPoint slides to disseminate new ideas and strategies as well as creating an opportunity for a questions and answers forum and clarifying uncertainties about the company that the customers and general public might have.

Conferences allow for new information and even skills to be obtained. Usually, this is done by an orator or a board (company’s personnel or guests) with knowledge and experience in the area to be presented.

Though the point of conferences is always to transmit information, it is a good idea to present ways to learn more. The website of the company that has more information about the company is a possible channel for a summary of what happened at the conference so people can get more informed.

Newsletters

Newsletters and email systems also aid in informing about new products, new offers to customers and improve their relations with the company. Customers are not the only targeted audience here; stakeholders outside the environment of the company who need to know what is happening in and with the company will get the newsletters.

Emails can be personalized to be sent when there are new products and updates or periodically with reports of what is going on in the company, meetings, and new pitching ideas. Customers want to know about the companies they are involved in; newsletters are the way to keep that going.

After some time, newsletters can be something boring for customers, which will happen if the newsletters stay the same, monotonous. The communications department or team should be responsible not only for spreading the message but also for innovating the way it is delivered, coming up with new ideas to keep it interesting.

Social Media

Every day new people are adhering to social media; that is, more and more people on social media. That means social media is the place to diffuse a company’s message; almost everyone is there, the information in social media is going to reach thousands of people, and that is what a brand wants, for its services to be known by the masses.

There a lot of social media platforms, making it even easier for companies to communicate to the public their products and visions. A company can adopt many platforms and benefit from them. Many companies already use the most popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, to mention a few.

types of external corporate communication

Making interaction and engagement in social media a priority can foster loyalty from customers, especially if there is someone dedicated to answering and helping customers with issues, and not AI as a form of customer support. People want to feel a humane connection, which will play an important role when deciding to return to the company or not. 

Press Release

 The media is also a great way from which companies can benefit to spread their message and let know about their brand. Press coverage and press releases allow companies to communicate to the external audience through journalists and inform aspects of the company and promote sales as well.

These news media channels are certain to take messages beyond some location barriers, which is a win for a company willing to sell their services, promote branding, and stay ahead of the competitors. That is what brand is about, what makes a company different from other companies in the same branch, and the way to make that known and clear is by effective Communication.

While giving a press release, there are things to take into consideration because journalists can be judgmental. Messages should be brief and clear to avoid a lot of wording and not much information. Avoiding the overuse of words is one of the strategies to nail press releases. There are sites that help with avoiding the overuse of words in press releases.

Conclusion

To sum up, it is clear that Communication, in general, is a tool that, when applied effectively, can bring us to an understanding, a vision, and a goal. Companies are and should be investing more in this tool; that is the tool they need to build and spread their image and identity both online and offline.

Companies benefit from many available platforms and ways in which messages can be transmitted to various audiences. Nowadays, it is easier to transmit information in fractions of seconds to a massive audience. It just has to be done in the proper way, in an engaging way, a caring way.

The late Dr. Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

With that in mind, corporations should be focusing on making things more personal. When Communication is human-based, from humans to humans, people will never forget their experience with the company, and they will want to go back and maybe even bring potential customers.

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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