10Jan, 2014

What is the Future for Corporate Communications?

By: Oscar Prajnaphalla and Putri Rizky Pramadhani

corcomRapid technological developments in recent years have changed the corporate communications practice worldwide. Communication via the Internet has become a common thing and starts replacing the traditional communication channels. Then, what will it be like in the future? We can predict that in the future more and more people will have access to use the internet. Not only that, the internet connection will also become faster and mobile devices will be the primary communication tools. The flood of digital content is expected to make consumers more selective in doing curation. Considering that only interesting content will get the attention, the major challenge for corporate communications practitioners in the future is to create and spread the content that is able to attract the attention of  the target audience.

Nowadays, the development of integrated marketing communications and the emergence of social media have increasingly blurred the boundaries between communications disciplines. The marketers today tend to divide marketing communications strategy into 3 channels, i.e. paid media, earned media, and owned media. Currently, marketers are still focusing on paid media and earned media. But in the future, there will be a massive shift toward owned media. Owned media, which is the media owned by a company, will have the greatest potential to improve along with the development trend that has been discussed in the first paragraph. Websites, blog content, videos, photos, and social media are a number of owned media features that can be utilized. The challenge for corporate communications practitioners in the future is to maximally seek owned media strategies in order to succeed in drawing attention amidst the coming content war.

Corporations that have not built its virtual existence until today are considered left behind  and will fall increasingly far behind in the future. Corporations using owned-media strategy will have the following:

•    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-friendly website to make it easily navigated.
•    Website Content that is updated every day through blogs and news.
•    Website content that is 100% original, not a duplicate of other source.
•    All website content that is equipped with share button that allows visitors to share it in their own social media accounts.
•    Website that can be accessed by mobile devices without any navigational problems.
•    Social media channels that are active and updated every day.
•    Production of original content that is spread through social media in photographs, videos, pictures, sounds, or texts.
•    Active interaction with consumers through blog comments, social media, forums, or chat platform.

Moreover, seeing the rocketing popularity of digital media, proper use of social media should also receive a significant portion of attention. It is very important to strategically utilize social media channels for the sake ofgood company image and reputation. Remember, through social media, we are now also able to publish our own content and develop networks. Every company is a media company that can display information to be accessed directly by the public through their own various social channels, such as website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others.

However, how do we grab public’s attention to visit our channels and dig up information from there? It is surely not an easy task. As corporate communications practitioners, we need to create content that is interesting, entertaining, educating, and providing solutions to the public of our company. It is not merely about selling. Apply brand journalism strategy. That is building a story like a journalist, creating conversations in social media, and building public engagement with these activities. Interesting content will generate followers and subscribers who will loyally consume the content provided by our social media channels.

In addition, as being discussed in several previous paragraphs, it is important to always add the share button and comment columns. Make also editorial calendars and content adjustments for different social media channels. Lastly, do not forget to monitor and respond to the whole conversation about our brand or  company in the virtual world.

One example of a company that has managed to transform itself into a company that is ready to compete in the future is Burberry, as can be seen in the video here. Previously, Burberry was an old fashion-company with declining revenue.  CEO Angela Ahrendts then made digital communication as the primary company’s sales strategy and it has resulted in revenue that keeps skyrocketing in recent years. As can be seen in the video, Burberry is using the online store, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, digital live streaming, and a variety of other features to keep the interaction with their consumers. “Wherever the consumers are, whenever they mention the Burberry brand, we must hear it,” said Angela.

To be future-ready, our company must be prepared to be at the forefront of the list of companies that are coveted and loved by the public. As corporate communications practitioners, you are ready, aren’t you? Contact us if you need our support in nbd@fortunepr.com.

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