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Corporate Communication in a Virtual World (Best-Practices)

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Corporate Communication in a Virtual World (Best-Practices)

When it comes to organizational communication, landing on the right strategy is no mean feat. In a digital world that is constantly shifting and growing, trying to keep up as a business requires agility and adaptability, as well as an understanding of the latest developments in the corporate communications arena. In an increasingly virtual (and remote) world, corporate communications look a little different, with an increased emphasis on different mediums like video. This article walks you through how to keep your business’ corporate communication up to speed in a digital world. 

TL;DR 

  • Corporate communication refers to all communications that your business puts out (both internal and external). 
  • Internal corporate communications are addressed to your employees and investors. 
  • External corporate communications are aimed at the media, your customers, new leads, and regulatory bodies. 
  • Corporate communications are important because they build brand awareness, reinforce your brand image, build press and media relations, grow your business and more. 
  • The most important components of corporate communication are a defined goal, consistent tone of voice, and an awareness of your audience.
  • Using video in your corporate communications helps you engage your audience, produce socially-minded content, and add a human touch to your output. 

What Is Corporate Communication?

Corporate communication is an umbrella term that covers all communications carried out, shared, and published by a business. These communications can be aimed at either an internal or external audience, and can range from mundane company memos, everyday social media posts to big-scale, big-investment corporate advertising campaigns. 

Internal corporate communications are generally aimed at an organization’s employees and existing personnel. By contrast, external corporate communication is designed for stakeholders and audiences outside of the business. This means customers, the general public, the media, and even regulatory bodies such as government agencies. 

In a virtual world, corporate communication strategies look a little bit different. The proliferation of social media means that most companies now have a serious presence across the major platforms and this is shifting the emphasis from conventional formats to more ‘digital friendly’ mediums like video. 

What defines corporate communication?

Given that ‘corporate communication’ covers a whole range of diverse mediums of communication, the only thing that unites all of these formats together is that they are defined by your branding and your organization’s tone of voice. 

Whether you’re posting on Instagram, sending out an employee newsletter, or hosting an annual general meeting, your output will be crafted in line with your branding and business. 

Why Is Corporate Communication Important?

Corporate communication, both internal and external, underscores the growth and development of your business. For this reason, it’s hard to see why it’s not important. 

Builds brand perception & awareness

Strong and consistent corporate communication is absolutely key to helping spread awareness of your brand and build a positive perception of your business, product or services in the outside world. This actually applies as much externally as it does internally. Keeping your internal communication strongly on brand is an effective way of reminding your employees of who they work for and why.

Reinforces brand image & reputation 

The way you communicate with external stakeholders directly correlates to your brand image as well as your reputation. 

Media & public relations 

An overwhelming proportion of external corporate communication is all about developing and maintaining positive public and media relations. 

Investor relations 

Communicating and reporting to your company’s investors is another major part of any corporate communications strategy. When it comes to investor relations, the utmost trust and transparency is absolutely essential and this is why consistent and clear communication is so important. 

Grows your business and nurtures leads 

Effective outward customer communication forms the basis of any successful (and high converting) marketing campaign. This is how you nurture leads and convert them into high-lifetime value customers who are committed to your brand. 

Keeps everyone in the loop 

Internal communications are a key mechanism for keeping all your employees, colleagues and associated stakeholders up to date and in the loop. This applies to new announcements, recent achievements, or even broader big-picture strategy that everyone should be aware of. This is also a great way to promote a culture of transparency within your business, so that everyone feels they know what’s going on. 

Builds an internal community 

Keeping communication up within your organization helps to break down barriers within your workforce. It builds a sense of the ‘bigger picture’,  cultivates a community amongst your employees and encourages collaboration.

What are the different types of corporate communication?

As we’ve seen, ‘corporate communication’ as a term can cover just about anything. Here are just a few examples of the different types: 

External Communication

Social media 

Your social media channels are an essential avenue for your external communications. Not only is a strong social media presence necessary for reaching a wider audience, but you’re able to engage closely and instantly with your community in a way that just wasn’t possible before. 

Advertisements & marketing campaigns 

Advertisement and marketing campaigns are exemplary of external corporate communication. You’ll see some overlap nowadays with social media, since most brands run their campaigns and marketing across the major platforms for maximum exposure. Ad and marketing campaigns can consist of anything and everything, from traditional billboards, marketing emails and newsletters, to TikToks and Instagram reels. Although different, all of these marketing materials come under the umbrella of corporate communication.

Conferences & events (in person and online) 

Running branded conferences and events builds traction around your business and helps you to connect directly with your audiences. Whether you’re running an online webinar, conference, or an in-person event, this helps reinforce your industry expertise, build chatter around your latest news, and reach new audiences. 

Website copy

Believe it or not, the copy on your website is a huge part of your external communications. This is how visitors to your website build their first impression of your business, who you are, and what you do. 

Press releases & press conferences 

Press releases provide media outlets and the press with the key facts surrounding a recent development within your business. This could be a product launch or an achievement of some sort. These aren’t intended for the ‘general public’, but rather media professionals who will rework it into something of interest for their respective publications. 

Internal Communication

Internal newsletters & emails 

Any email or newsletter that goes round to all your employees is an example of internal corporate communication. This could be a regular update email, a short memo, or a monthly newsletter, for example. 

Employee resources & onboarding materials 

Any resources you provide to your employees, as well as any materials you use during your onboard processes are also key examples of internal employee communication. Since these types of resources aim to teach your employees about the way you do things, they should always be on-brand. 

Town hall meetings 

Town hall meetings and organization-wide meetings are also examples of internal corporate communication. Although these may take a more relaxed tone, it is still important to reinforce your business’ brand and culture.  Learn about how to host an effective Town Hall meeting with Riverside.fm.

What is the most critical component in corporate communication?

When it comes to corporate communication, whether internal or external, whether big or small, there are a few major things to keep in mind: 

A defined goal or purpose 

Every single piece of communication output should have a defined goal or purpose. This will help to refine your messaging and ensure that your corporate communications effectively embody your corporate objectives. 

Designed with the audience in mind 

Your corporate communication should always be designed with your target audience in mind. Your copy and mindset will be different for example if you’re communicating something to your employees versus your customers. 

Format

The format of your corporate communication matters. As we’ve seen, ‘corporate communication’ can mean just about anything you want it to, so you’re free to choose the medium through which you communicate. You could choose to create videos, flyers, graphics, and a newsletter. The choice is down to you. Just try and keep in mind which kind of format might work best for the audience you’re addressing and what you’re trying to convey. 

Brand tone of voice 

Lastly, but certainly not least, a consistent and strong brand tone of voice is an absolute essential. Brand tone of voice is perhaps the element that makes or breaks successful corporate branding. Your corporate communication, whether internal or external, should be stylized consistently within your set brand guidelines to ensure anything you put out aligns with your defined brand identity. 

What are the main channels of corporate communication?

This comes down to who you’re communicating with. In this social media age, major platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are serious players within external corporate communication. Other media outlets and publications are also important considerations, especially if you’re trying to nurture a strong relationship with the media and press. 

On an internal scale, you’ll probably be using email to communicate with your employees. 

From a COVID perspective, in a world where remote working is becoming the norm rather than the exception, digital and online channels have a newly pronounced importance too. 

Challenges of Corporate Communication

Labor intensive 

The multi-faceted and diverse nature of ‘corporate communication’ means that there are a lot of mediums and audiences to think about. If you’re a smaller organization, you may not be able to hire a dedicated team to handle all of your communications, which may leave you feeling overwhelmed or unable to cover all the bases. 

Fast-paced digital world 

In this social media era, all businesses are competing for a scarce resource: people’s attention. Developing a strong and effective external corporate communication strategy can take time. You have to continually review, refine and rework in order to match your audience’s needs and wants. 

Budget 

Budget constraints will impact on the amount of corporate communication materials you’re able to produce. This is likely to influence your external communications capacity rather than your internal one. But you have to consider that crafting social media campaigns, creating marketing assets, and writing copy all cost money. 

Crisis management 

We’ve all seen brands go through some tricky moments when it comes to their external persona. At times, corporate communication isn’t about developing your brand perception, but rather trying to recover it after something happens that could negatively influence your reputation as a business. This can be a huge challenge and not all brands are successful. 

How Video Can Improve Your Corporate Communications

Although ‘corporate communication’ might make you think of written communications such as press releases, articles, and website copy, there’s a whole new frontier to consider: video

Video is an incredibly effective way to instantly enhance your internal and external communications and they’re not even difficult to produce with software like Riverside.fm in the mix. 

More engaging 

As we mentioned, businesses these days are constantly striving to capture the attention of their audiences. With short attention spans, dense pieces of text no longer cut it. Videos are able to convey a huge amount of information quickly, dynamically and in an engaging way. 

Easier to understand

The ability to visualize what you’re talking about is incredibly liberating. You’ll be able to better engage with your audience and reinforce your messaging. In addition, as we’ve seen, social media platforms are a key arena for corporate communications. And in this context, video is the medium for engaging with a wide audience. 

A human & genuine touch 

Using video for your corporate communications will help to add a human touch to your output. Your audience will feel as though you’re communicating with them rather than at them, which will in turn help to create this critical sense of community and transparency. In addition, with COVID restrictions still in place around the world, remote videos are a great way to foster a sense of connection.

Flexible and creative 

Videos let you be more creative and dynamic with your corporate communication output. You can play around with different formats and really make your message sing. Try mixing different formats or harnessing the power of animation, for example.  

Why you should use Riverside.fm to make your corporate communication videos 

You may have previously resisted creating corporate communication videos because of what seemed like additional effort or cost. You’re not alone. Luckily, things have changed. With Riverside.fm, producing a professional-grade, high-quality corporate communications video (for any audience) is quick and easy. 

User friendly 

There is no steep learning curve or need to be ‘tech-savvy’ to use Riverside.fm. Designed to have an intuitive and user-friendly interface, using Riverside is simple and straightforward. Simply create an account and get recording. 

Host live events 

Corporate communications can comprise both live events and pre-recorded video. If you’re looking to host an online conference or meeting, Riverside.fm makes it easy to connect with remote guests and audiences straight from your browser. You’ll automatically get a recording in full HD of your session, so you can repurpose the video or send it to anyone who couldn’t attend. Plus, you don’t need to worry about dodgy internet connection affecting the quality of your video, because Riverside always records locally. 

Media Board and Screen share

Your Riverside.fm account comes loaded with versatile and dynamic tools that are built to enhance your video creation. Customize your video and harness the power of video by including media such as sound effects and music or sharing your screen during your recording. 

Progressive upload 

Your video recording will be processed and progressively uploaded during your session. This means you don’t need to wait around at the end before you can start editing. 

Magic Editor 

When it comes to corporate communication videos, though you want them to be slick and on point, you don’t want to spend hours editing your recordings. Riverside’s Magic Editor does the hard work for you by getting your video ready to be shared in minutes. Choose which tracks you want to include, customize your video layout, and choose whether you want a video transcript before downloading your video ready for publication. 

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