According to the dictionary, one definition of communication is “a process by which information is exchanged”. Having defined that, let us turn our attention to what information we are talking about and who we will exchange it with.
For example, it isn’t easy to initiate a new program or product that requires a large amount of time and money to get it off the ground. There are numerous examples that show new and improved products or services launched by a company that incorporated all the bells and whistles yet ultimately fell flat. The reason? Little or no thought was given to a second phase that would have kept the degree of initial enthusiasm high during the life of the program.
Keeping in Touch
More effort should have been put into sustaining it to completion. The sustaining part is just as important as the launching part and it’s all part of communication. Without telling your audience what to expect and what’s coming next, the initial information disseminated gets stale, and the program winds down before its full life expectancy.
Any information about an organization, its people, its policies, and even its customers, must be communicated to ALL the target publics—for example, stakeholders, customers, employees, and even competitors.
One manufacturing company we know, published a quarterly newsletter. This is not unusual but the content was. Each issue featured a page devoted to one of its customers. Since they were all Fortune companies, the residual effect to the reader was one of heightened credibility.
Another company we worked with also published a newsletter—a newsletter dedicated to Quality and aimed directly at their employees. The result –it helped break down resistance to some of the new programs that the company was instituting by citing specific instances where the process worked well. When the employees got to talking amongst themselves, much of the content of that communications tool was the topic of conversation, resulting in peers convincing peers that the process really worked. This was much better and more effective than management mandating processes and having employees follow them grudgingly.
Some of the tools used in communication include newsletters, on-line e-zines, annual reports, advertising, trade shows, product literature, e-mails, blogs, podcasts and just about any other available communications vehicle.
The dissemination and processing of information is an important tool in the value creation process. It helps target audiences formulate opinions about the company and how well they are doing. This in turn, can result in additional stock purchases, product purchases, and a general perception that the company is well-run and operating profitably.
Communication is vital to an organization’s well-being, whether it is word of mouth, formal public relations, plain old publicity, or other forms that keep an idea before a particular audience. Communication ensures that a strategy or idea is embraced by ALL members of the enterprise or company. This ultimately means that everyone understands what the company is trying to accomplish, and everyone is “pulling” in the same direction.