Producing a corporate communication strategy is often done by committee and can begin to get overly complicated if there are too many inputs. In this article, we’ll show a simple way of planning, tracking and reporting corporate communications.
The planning stage of working out your strategy begins by establishing who your stakeholders are. For external communications, this will include shareholders and the media amongst others. For internal communications, this will include various groups within a large organization and possibly overseas departments. Initially, try to establish which types of messages these stakeholders are to interested in, how you wish to communicate to these individuals (via e-mail, post, etc) and how often you expect to communicate (e.g. monthly, quarterly, ad hoc, etc).
The initial research part of planning should help to formulate communication templates for internal purposes and external purposes. The basic template for this would generally incorporate business objectives, progress summaries, financial information (usually of the historical nature), issues, risks and any changes to corporate plans.
Most firms will wish to customize these communications based on their own requirements and on the sensitivity of information you wish to divulge. Many internal communications should incorporate product innovation strategy opportunities or discoveries if these reports are being sent to senior management (reports to the broader group should omit this information for fear that it could be divulged to competitors).
The final stage of a corporate communication strategy is to track these communications over a period of time. This is easily done using a spreadsheet to track stakeholders versus individual reports to make sure there are no gaps in communications and whether the frequency is still apt. Producing such a spreadsheet is invaluable for auditing your communication strategy at a later stage to see if the reporting structure is correct and if all stakeholders are receiving the correct information in a timely manner.