10 steps to effective corporate communications

Successful corporate communications are everything that a company says or does to create a positive image and reputation both internally and externally. It is the foundation that supports the company’s growth goals and conveys the attitudes, beliefs, goals and culture of an organisation in order to gain visibility, credibility and name recognition in the marketplace.

As MIPIM celebrates its 30th edition, developers, asset managers, architects and landowners across the property industry recognise the importance of their corporate profile and engagement with the communities and networks in which they operate. It has been a tough year for real estate players given the widespread macroeconomic disruptions and political uncertainty that will continue to present cyclical changes and challenges for the real estate industry.

Firms will be looking to seize opportunities to articulate their brand and stake a competitive position.  There are many real estate companies that can design a high spec house or build an efficient building, but it’s the way people connect with the brand that makes all the difference. And in order to make that connection, the brands need to tell their stories. Through storytelling, a brand can differentiate, educate, resonate – it becomes more human, more relatable, more memorable. This is where a strategic PR plan comes in. Key events like MIPIM provide a platform for companies to think and apply their communications at a strategic level, understand the implications at a very local level and help build brand authenticity in a world of distrust.

PHA Strategic Communications team share the 10 key components that firms should consider when developing succinct and successful corporate communications:

 1.) Firstly, understand your market and where you fit within it – Acknowledge the challenges being faced and start thinking about an approach to overcoming them.

 2.) Make a self-diagnosis- How is your organisation perceived and how do you want it to be perceived in the future? There is a much greater level of scrutiny of the purpose, vision and value aspects of a company so vital to establish this.

 3.) Identify your goals – These should be measurable and attainable goals and strategies. Any corporate communications plan should also indicate immediate, short, and long-term goals. This will help the team determine how to prioritise and roll out various communication components, strategies, and tactics.

You should be asking questions like:

  • Why are you doing this?
  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • What problem are you trying to solve for your audience?
  • Why is your service/product the only one capable of solving that problem?

 4.) Outline your communication objectives and the audience you are trying to reach and influence. Remember to think about what preferred communication channels they use.

 5.) Define tactics and communication channels needed to accomplish your stated goals. Then develop a tactical planning calendar that will guide how the tactics will be developed throughout the duration of a corporate communications campaign.

Remember to not just use one sole source of communications.  Instead, use a mix of email, social media, corporate intranet (if you have one), face-to-face meetings, media briefings, articles and conferences.

 6.) Develop well-structured and engaging content without the jargon and complex propositions – adapt the content and messaging accordingly. Think about using infographics, multimedia, stats and surveys to present your stories in addition to written pieces.

 7.) Build your media relations and remember to be agile and flexible– You may spot opportunities and threats that cause you to have to adjust your plan or activities.

 8.) Make sure there is a budget, schedule and method of assessing the success of communications initiatives. Without these three components, corporate communication plans are likely to fall through the cracks. Sometimes they are sacrificed to competing priorities or shuffled from one person to another. It’s an irony of modern corporate communications that investment in reputation will always get cut short term in favour of maximising shareholder value.

  9.) Be consistent in your communications – carve out your voice and share insight and knowledge.

10.) Evaluate results – Build into your plan a method for measuring results.

Strategy, not just in PR but in any discipline, is not about today or tomorrow but about the long term i.e. “if A happens, then what does B look like?”. An effective communications strategy can help deepen brand awareness, create a personality, monitor sentiment and engage media to amplify messages that align with your company’s business goals.

Are you looking to build your exposure, or perhaps reach a new audience? Speak to our team today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.

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