The corporate communications team are an integral cog in the well-oiled machine of any organisation, but sometimes the full scope and effort of what they deliver can be misunderstood or underappreciated.
In the last couple of decades, we’ve seen an explosion of choice in available marketing channels and with increasing competition, the need to maintain a rock-solid reputation across your customers, employees and the general public – the role of communicators has never been more important.
Consider the typical functions and purposes of a corporate communications team:
- Maintaining and translating the company’s brand to their various audiences
- Handling media relations, including press releases, interviews, panels and more
- Monitoring various marketing teams to note any mention of their business and respond to any misinformation
- Playing a role in highlighting a firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Influencing their company’s website and social media presence
- Managing crisis communications if serious issues emerge
- Encouraging collaboration across your teams and connect employees to the brand
That is a significant amount of responsibility placed on one department. It is no wonder that the communications industry is valued at £14.9 billion as of the close of 2019, and that the size of these teams is increasing overall.
However, like any strand of your company, without clear goals and objectives, your corporate communications team might lack the focus, understanding or direction needed to fulfil this ever-growing list of responsibilities.
And that is the aim of this article – to establish the importance of corporate communications in all organisations, and present 5 potential goals that will help yours perform at the levels needed to support your company’s reputation.
What does a corporate communications team do?
Above we’ve already highlighted some of the key functions a corporate communications team will be expected to fulfil. But beyond that, this team is responsible for defining how people inside and outside your business envision your brand. For keeping a credible reputation in an ever-fluctuating world.
These obligations can be further divided into external and internal communication tasks:
- Your external communications team is centred on the messages that are going out to people outside your organisation, chiefly customers, the media and the wider public. Their work is crucial in the reputation of your business locally, nationally and globally, and helping you reach people in a positive, beneficial way.
- Your internal communications team is more concerned with the messages shared within your organisation, between management, employees and shareholders. This is with the aim of ensuring everyone is aware of important updates and is brought together under a united brand identity.
Communication leaders and their teams have a lot to juggle, and achieving under this pressure is a challenge that is only becoming greater with the rise of social media and the immediate spread of information. At this point, only 9% of these leaders believe they currently have the ability to shape company culture, which is especially challenging in a multi-location organisation.
With this constant pressure being applied to corporate communications teams across the globe, establishing well-defined objectives early is essential to maintain focus and direction.
An important aspect to note here is that it should align your overall business strategy – giving your Director of Communications direct access to your key executives is vital to ensuring everything their team delivers is in accordance with your brand vision and guidelines.
Here, we outline our 5 top tips for goals to support your team and drive results.
Measuring how well you are achieving these aims has been a challenge for corporate communications teams over the years, as there are many variables that play a role in their aims. So, underneath each overarching goal we’ve identified several corporate communication metrics you should factor in when judging if your team are fulfilling each objective.
5 communication goals for your team
1. Progress the reputation of your brand
At the heart of your communication team’s strategy is building the reputation of your brand in the eyes of your audiences. Setting this in stone as a goal from the get-go is key to ensuring that this focus never wavers, and is central to every message and asset that goes out.
Metrics to track
- Brand mentions on social media
- Google trend patterns relating to your organisation
- Number of press releases being picked up by external websites
- Checking reviews and responses to these
2. Improve employee engagement
Primarily, one of the objectives of your internal communications team should be to increase employee engagement in your organisation and brand. Engaged employees are motivated employees, and are more likely to perform at their very best when they feel connected to their company.
Metrics to track
- Employee retention rate (though there could be many reasons why this fluctuates)
- Open/click rates for company-wide emails
- Responses on employee surveys and feedback forms
- Attendance to company events, CPD sessions and after-work social activities
3. Encourage wider employee advocacy
Another aim of your corporate communications team should be to inspire wider employee advocacy. It is no secret that people are more likely to listen and respond to the testimony of people over brands. Therefore, a communication goal should be to inspire your team to readily share company news, successes and more on their personal platforms.
Metrics to track
- Number of brand mentions on social media
- Number of posts incorporating employees and company activities
- How often posts are liked and shared
4. Increase traffic and leads for your company
Fundamentally, your corporate communications team should be making some impact on your ability to attract leads, spur traffic and generally build interest in your brand, products and services. Whilst they certainly won’t be the only members of your organisation responsible for this, setting goals such as these will ensure they are aligned with your overall business and marketing strategies.
Metrics to track
- Website traffic numbers
- Number of marketing/sales-qualified leads
- Growth of email database
- The overall amount of your websites analytics’ goals attributed to the corporate communications team
5. Speed up crisis communications
A final goal for your corporate communications team to consider is gradually improving the efficiency of your crisis communications. The span of social media allows for negative stories to rapidly spread and cause damage to your reputation, and these can come from customers or employees. How quickly your team can respond is a clear priority that is more crucial than ever.
Metrics to track
- Response time between recognising a problem and sending a response
- Reception to the response provided
Ensuring effective team communications
We hope that this breakdown of how a corporate communications team functions and the goals that they should be achieving will help your team realign and give your employees clarity of what success looks like.
This department will only continue to become more relevant and significant as marketing platforms evolve and companies expand worldwide. Giving your team clear objectives from the outset will make them aware of the areas they’re looking to impact, so they can pursue this with direction and purpose.
Of course, the difference between having these goals and realising them is having the right tools and processes in place.