It always seems so easy to shift the responsibilities to others and even easier to give instructions when you have an operating staff of 10 people. But when it comes to larger scale you are to learn about corporate communication or die.
Like Friedrich Ratzel (German geopolitician) in 19th century coined a notion that a nation-state can be a prototype of a living organism including all key characteristics of it, the same concept can be applied to any organization or company. Firstly, it needs some space to grow and expand; secondly, living frontiers which are subject to change should be established; thirdly, its “health” is defined by successful internal/external communication and communication with stakeholders.
Almost every company has its own communication/PR/marketing department that includes a lot of high professionals. Either it is a transnational corporation, a big publishing house, or a small media unit.
So, the questions are why even business giants with an impressive amount of resources still fail to communicate and which role media performs there?
they serve as the only intermediaries between corporations and stakeholders and seem to be always there when it concerns any failure.
The reasons and examples are manifold.
For instance, it was not the best idea for Boeing to place a full-page advertisement on the back cover of The Economist the day of the two-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York. So that stakeholders got two totally controversial messages at the same time. We can only guess how they have managed to make such a mistake.
Neither it can be called a deliberated plan for JCPenney department store to advertise a new kettle on a billboard without having seen it from the distance as drivers would. Maybe they haven’t paid enough attention to such kind of advertisement, maybe they haven’t concerned it from that angle. Though, they didn’t have time to explain why they have done that when social media users have created a range of memes from it and the Telegraph didn’t hesitate for a long time and ran a whole story.
Quite often, failure corporate communication creates clashes between social media and consumer media. That’s what happened with Vanity Fair and Tinder on Twitter in 2015, just a year ago.
Vanity fair journalist said that Tinder leads to the ‘Dating Apocalypse’, providing dubious statistics after a poll. Then the ‘tweetstorm’ started. Their case was so loud that it has also been covered by Wired, the Guardian, Buzzfeed, the Washington Post.
These are striking examples of how corporate communication should never work. And these are just some from hundred thousand. Either when you’re creating a million-dollar advertising campaign or just writing an article or post on your social media page, consequences are inevitable and impressive.
To avoid such kind of situation there is one simple rule – plan. Plan carefully everything you do and always try to put yourself into stakeholders’ shoes.