The Hymn Sheet
Every action an organisation takes these days is subject to intense scrutiny.
The world grows more complex, straining the ability not only of traditional marketing and communications to stay simple and clear, but also of how businesses communicate with their stakeholders and environment.
Ubiquitous and pervasive media creates challenges that amplify the impact of error or misjudgment.
A poorly worded interview, an unfortunate post on social media, or internal conversations inadvertently becoming publicised are big risks involved in any form or level of communication. These did not exist to the same extent and potential effect even 20 years ago.
The way that companies have prepared for the impact that these ongoing behavioural changes have created has been by spirited efforts to catch up with technology change.
Of course, technology has never waited for public comprehension of why or how a business transaction or relationship has changed (ask any client of services from Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and all telecoms companies).
Companies find themselves stringing themselves, faute de mieux, along the continuum of the change, from early adopters on the perilous thin edge to the slow reacting dinosaurs on the thick wedge.
But the modern requirement of a corporate narrative – a story of what a company is doing and why it is doing it – is not as dependent upon technology as it might appear to be. The essence of a corporate narrative, quite simply, is the ability to tell a story. In the rush to adopt and adapt to new technologies, some organizations forget that they still have to express themselves effectively.
There is no reason why every company should not be able to create and use its narrative to develop effective corporate messages. The pressure is stronger now and an organisation’s communicators are no longer the only voices heard in the public conversation. These messages need therefore to be infused into everything that is communicated and involve everyone throughout the organisation.
And it’s not enough just to talk. Good communications involve sensitive reception. A framework needs to be created to deal with response, whether to identify opportunities or quickly react to events that might change the messages. At this point a company is ready to engage the public.